13 Mar 2007

Solomon Islands government to seek meeting with RAMSI over misunderstandings

4:35 pm on 13 March 2007

The Solomon Islands government is to seek a meeting with the Regional Assistance Mission, or RAMSI, over what it calls misunderstandings.

This follows a letter sent by the Solomon Islands prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, calling for a stop to RAMSI's outreach programme.

The P.M.'s press secretary, Deli Oso, says Mr Sogavare is concerned that the RAMSI programme, which involves talking to rural communities, is propaganda.

Mr Sogavare has said that RAMSI conducting an independent public relations campaign implies it is not answerable to the government and it won't accept that because it undermines its sovereign authority.

Government representatives have been on previous RAMSI visits to the provinces.

Deli Oso says, however, they would like to hold a meeting with RAMSI over the issue.

"IN: The prime minister is concerned about the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands outreach programme to the community because of the misunderstandings that still exist between the government and RAMSI. And, it feels that those misunderstandings have to be sorted out before RAMSI could go to the community and talk with people."

Deli Oso also says officials from the Forum Secretariat have arrived in Honiara to follow up on the terms of reference for a review of RAMSI.