14 Jun 2006

Solomons PM defends appointment of

5:57 pm on 14 June 2006

The Solomon Islands prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, has rejected opposition criticism of his appointment of a civil society leader, Dr John Roughan, as his secretary.

The opposition's Milner Tozaka described the decision not to choose a top public servant for the post as a slap in the face to indigenous Solomon Islanders.

But Mr Sogavare says the comments by Mr Tozaka, who is a former diplomat, are racist, insensitive and lacking in diplomacy.

Mr Sogavare says fairness in the context argued by Mr Tozaka is nothing more than a lame excuse for unproductiveness, which had been the hallmark of the public sector over the years.