Thursday, 5 July 2007 9:29 AM

Civil Society Alliance to Hold Urgent Seminar

Solomon Islands Civil Society Groups are planning to hold an urgent seminar to discuss matters of concern including the planned appointment of Julian Moti.

The seminar is being organized by representatives of the National Council of Women, the Development Service Exchange, the Council of Trade Union, the Solomon Islands Christian Association, Winds of Change and Transparency Solomon Islands.

The civil society alliance stated on the SIBC that it had partly decided to hold the seminar after the Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, consistently failed to fulfill his commitment to meet with the group. Spokesman for the alliance, Joses Tuhanuku, says they felt the holding of a one-day seminar to discuss current controversial issues facing Solomon Islands was probably the best way forward.

The civil society alliance had hoped to meet with the Prime Minister but after a third unsuccessful attempt on the 25th of June, the group decided to stop pursuing the idea. Despite this, the Prime Minister will be invited to address the seminar, the spokesman said.

Some of the issues to be discussed include the government's continued push to rearm the Solomon Islands Police Force, the planned appointment of Julian Moti as Attorney General, the recent appointment of Fiji policeman Jahir Khan as Commissioner of Police and the government's continued undermining of the country's legal system.

The civil society alliance highlighted the fact that only this week the Sogavare Government sacked the country's legal draftsman after close to 23 years of service to the country. What is more worrying to the alliance is the fact that the prime minister has made clear his intentions to appoint Julian Moti as the country's Attorney General very soon. The legal fraternity has stated that they are quite certain that the sacking is related to the suspended Attorney General Julian Moti.

The meeting will be held Wednesday next week.