Monday, 23 April 2012 9:10 AM

Archbishop Calls on Authorities to Assure Safety

Solomon Islands Archbishop of the Church of Melanesia, David Vunagi, has said the safety of the general public in Honiara is no longer guaranteed.

Archbishop Vunagi said this following the fatal stabbing of a man near the Central Market in the early hours of Saturday.

He says an unfortunate trend has emerged which has compromised the safety of those in Honiara. This included stealing, shop lifting, robing, wounding and killing.

Archbishop Vunagi says if the motive behind the road block near the market that led to the death of the man was for purposes of extortion and robing, then "Honiara is no longer a safe place for those who live in the city."

He says since the unfortunate incident on Saturday morning happened on a public road, one thing is clear, that "the safety of the public in Honiara can no longer be guaranteed."

Archbishop Vunagi says anybody could have been the victim of that Saturday morning's unfortunate incident.

Archbishop Vunagi says the law enforcement agencies in Honiara must work extra hard to guarantee the safety of the people who want to move freely in the the city without any duress or any restriction.

He says the security of Honiara is the responsibility of everyone who lives in it adding that if anyone sees any activities that is suspicious and anti-social in nature, they should call the police.

Archbishop Vunagi says if the reason for criminal activities in Honiara is because people are struggling to survive because they do not have employment, then it is a matter for the government to address.

He says the economy of Solomon Islands has reached the saturation point, so the country cannot offer any more employment to those who want jobs.

"If living in Honiara without a job is difficult, then the government in consultation with the city authority, the provincial governments and the traditional chiefs from the provinces must legislate against unemployed people living permanently in Honiara and even provincial headquarters. I think there are countries in the world that legislate to control and monitor unemployed people living in urban areas. And if we did that, then people can live in Honiara only if they have jobs to do."

Archbishop Vunagi says as people claim Solomon Islands is a Christian country, he appeals to all denominations and members of other faiths to cooperate help people live together in peace and harmony.