19 Jun 2012

Solomon Islands not the Pacific's Darfur says commentator

6:22 pm on 19 June 2012

A political commentator in Solomon Islands says there's a perception that his country is poor but widespread corruption is what's stopping development.

Dr John Roughan is calling for the government to establish an independent commission against corruption, which he says is rife throughout government and business.

The founder of the 30-year-old Solomon Islands Development Trust says the public mechanisms supposed to control it, the ombudsman and the leadership code commission, are toothless.

Dr Roughan hopes that a new constitution being drafted clearly places ownership of the land and resources in the hands of the people.

"The Solomon Islands is not a poor country, it is a rich country. But over the years it seems to have been relegated to a select few. Now with this new constitution there's no guarantee that this is going to be better step unless there's a fundamental shift in understanding that the wealth of this nation is for all."

Dr John Roughan says Solomon Islands is rich in food, fish and mineral resources.