Friday, 21 September 2007 9:46 AM

Govts. FIA Act Review "A Bit Harsh" on RAMSI: George

Special Coordinator to RAMSI, Mr. Tim George said that the debate on the Facilitation International Act was "a bit harsh on the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands".

Special Coordinator to RAMSI, Mr. Tim George, in a press conference, said that while he is happy with "a good debate" that encourages working together, some of the references that the Prime Minister made "is not appropriate".

He said regarding the camouflage reference, RAMSI is making a good progress with the Pacific Islanders serving in the mission and their contributions are very valuable.

Speaking in last month's adjournment debate, Mr Sogavare accused Australia of having a 'recolonisation' agenda in Solomon Islands.

Mr. Sogavare also accused Australia of dragging the other Pacific Island countries to be part of the mission "to camouflage" their agenda.

The RAMSI head, in response to the Prime Minister's accusation of RAMSI having a 'recolonisation agenda', told the press conference that RAMSI is not undermining the law of the country.

Mr. George said the mission welcomes close dialogue with the government and are very happy to work in partnership with the members of Parliament.

Speaking about the future of the RAMSI, Mr. George said that the people of Solomon Islands are keen to have RAMSI remain in the country, and the government should recognize their help and support for the Solomon Islands.