23 Jan 2008

Solomon Islands government says new legislation will clamp down on compensation

11:19 am on 23 January 2008

The new Solomon Islands government says it will shape legislation to clamp down on compensation demands.

The deputy prime Minister Fred Fono has defended the government's decision to pay out a 50-thousand Solomon Islands dollars or over 7,000 US dollar to a group of Malaitans.

The group demanded compensation for a public notice that reportedly used offensive language against Malaita people, and threatened violence if the government didn't pay up.

Mr Fono, says the government says it granted the payment as an appeasement policy rather than a compensation.

But he says the government doesn't want to get bogged down in this process.

"There demands are seen in from a custom prospective but we are very much mindful of that and at the moment the laws are not adequately to cater for that sort of thing so that is why we decided to give that a appeasement money but that the understanding is that we will bring in legislation to stop that happening in the future."