9 May 2007

Solomons envoy says RAMSI perceived to undermine government

6:02 pm on 9 May 2007

The newly appointed special envoy to the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands says there is a perception in the country that the government is being undermined by RAMSI.

Michael Maina, who was sacked as police minister two years ago after being charged with theft, has been chosen as envoy by the prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare.

Mr Maina says his focus will be to look at RAMSI's role in Solomon Islands and to ensure the partnership between RAMSI and the government remains cordial.

"What the people feel and the government think that some of their efforts by the government is being undermined by RAMSI...The other thing of course to note is that RAMSI is a big partner which must have some control...we need to establish the structure properly so that the perception that government is undermined by RAMSI is quickly deleted in the minds of the government and its people."

Mr Maina insists his purpose is not to dismantle RAMSI but to assist the government and RAMSI in having a better relationship.

RAMSI has declined to comment on Mr Maina's appointment.