25 May 2006

Solomons government unveils plans to involve more locals in key activities

8:19 pm on 25 May 2006

The prime minister of Solomon Islands says the needs of the Solomon Islanders need to be addressed if further conflicts are to be avoided and to foster greater rural development.

Manasseh Sogavare unveiled his government's policy statement in Honiara on Wednesday.

Mr Sogavare says the conflicts of the past can be traced back to a lack of development and opportunities in rural areas.

Earlier the prime minister had suggested Solomon Islanders needed to replace some RAMSI advisers in the Ministry of Finance and the police because decisions in those areas should be made by locals.

Mr Sogavare says his government will seek to include Solomon Islanders more than in the past.

"We just need to learn and come through the experience that we had in the last four weeks with the riot that led to the looting and burning of the stores in the Chinatown and of course we need to learn through the experience of the year 2000 when the ethnic crisis happened, it happened because of certain demands put forward by indigenous people."