26 Apr 2007

Inquiry into last years Honiara riots to start next month

9:30 am on 26 April 2007

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister says the official inquiry into the 2006 China Town riots in Honiara will start work next month.

Following earlier challenges to its validity, Manasseh Sogavare has announced the composition of the four-member Commission that will take up the inquiry which is expected to submit its report within five months.

Mr Sogavare says he intend to honour his government's pledge to find truthful answers to questions that Solomon Islanders have been asking since the civil unrest in April last year.

The Prime Minister says attempts to thwart the inquiry served only to delay its inevitability and described previous opposition to the move as 'baseless'.

Two of the Commission's four-members have been drawn from Papua New Guinea.

They are former PNG National Court Justice, Brian Bunton, and former Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Noel Levi.

Former PNG Chief Justice, Sir Arnold Amet was earlier named as the Chair of the Commission which also includes former Solomons speaker of parliament, Waeta Ben Tabusasi.