Thursday, 18 October 2007 2:00 PM

MPs Should Carry Out Own Survey on RAMSI: Fono

The Opposition is calling on members of parliament to carry out surveys in their own constituencies on whether the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands should remain.

Opposition leader, Fred Fono, made the call following his tour of his Central Kwara'ae constituency on Malaita where he discovered an overwhelming support for RAMSI to remain in the country.

The call also follows the recent Australian National University's survey into RAMSI's operation and whether or not it should remain.

Although the findings show an overwhelming support for the intervention force to stay, the Sogavare-led government had flatly rejected them describing them as flawed.

Mr. Fono says that rather than brushing aside the hard work done by those involved in the survey, it is important for MPs to find out for themselves, particularly what their constituents think about the RAMSI mission.

He says as far as his constituents are concerned, they fully support the regional assistance mission to remain in the country.

"In the longer term, they feel that RAMSI should stay in the country until such time the Solomon islands police can once again enforce the rule of law without bias and in a neutral manner," says Mr. Fono.

"And if public officers serving in revenue generating departments are once again able to refrain themselves from dubious practices and if the peace now being enjoyed since RAMSI's arrival becomes sustainable."

He says his people believe once these are archived, RAMSI could leave or its operations could be diversified into other areas in particular "our efforts to re-develop our shattered national economy."

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