22 Dec 2004

Malaita Premier says calls for independence triggered by treatment of locals

10:21 am on 22 December 2004

The Premier of the Solomon Island province of Malaita says calls for independence have been triggered by mistreatment of Malaitans.

At the Malaita Leaders' Summit earlier this month, delegates adopted a resolution calling for the province to break away from Solomon Islands.

Ruben Moli says there is a feeling that the national government has not done enough to help Malaita economically.

He also says Malaitans working in other provinces are looked down on.

"The kind of treatment that the Malaitans received, these treatments provoked the kind of feeling that maybe Malaitans are not wanted on other islands so maybe the answer is independence."

Mr Moli says it would take at least 20 years before independence could be implemented.