10 May 2010

Solomons' RAMSI rejects suggestion new court and prison targetting Malaitans

4:06 pm on 10 May 2010

The authorities in Solomon Islands have dismissed claims that a new courthouse and prison have been built in Malaita because the province has more criminals.

Solomon Islands Television reports there has been talk that the building of the facilities shows Malaita is being further victimised by the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.

But RAMSI's special coordinator, Graeme Wilson, says the buildings have been constructed in Malaita because it is the most densely populated area after Honiara.

"I have heard and read suggestions that by building this new courthouse and the Auki correctional centre, RAMSI and the government are somehow targetting Malaitans. I would like this opportunity to assure everyone that this is simply not the case."

Graeme Wilson says funding the buildings is part of the cooperation agreement between RAMSI and the government, which recognises the importance of law and order to the country's development.

Malaita's Premier, Richard Irosaea, says the province is in dire need of the facilities as the old structures were built by colonial administrators.