6 Sep 2005

Solomon Islands MP fears sale of government land to foreigners

8:46 am on 6 September 2005

A Solomon Islands MP says he fears that government land and to some extent property would end up in the hands of the same foreigners.

Alfred Sasako, MP for East Kwaio on Malaita, was referring to the new wave of Chinese businessmen who have arrived in Honiara in the last few years.

He says the interest of the new arrivals is to speculate on prices, making it hard for Solomon Islanders to even own a home, let alone compete in acquiring some of the prime tracts of land in the Honiara town boundary.

Mr Sasako says this is already happening and will get worse unless government acts immediately.

He says the government is duty bound to act now, or it could face a blood bath when evictions of local Solomon Islanders starts

Mr Sasako says he wants a moratorium on the sale of government land and properties in Honiara until a full review is undertaken.

Mr Sasako makes the comment in light of the controversy involving the sale of a tract of land below the Holy Cross cathedral in Honiara.

He says the sale to a foreign businessman has outraged members of both the Catholic Church and the public.