Wednesday, 5 November 2008 2:39 PM

People Dispute Idea to Rearm Local Police

There were some mixed feelings when the Speaker of National Parliament, Sir Peter Kenilorea in a statement last week said that it is the right time to rearm the Solomon Islands Police Force.

The statement was made when the Parliamentary Foreign Relations committee met to review the Facilitation Act.

Sir Peter Kenilorea said that the government should start rearming the police and that if the government agrees to do so, it is best that the rearming should start in the presence of RAMSI.

He continued on saying that, by rearming the police in the presence of the RAMSI, those who would be armed would know how to apply the proper use of the given weapons.

He also stated that by doing so, it would be safer for the country when RAMSI is currently in the Solomon Islands.

However, not many agreed to the statement by Sir. Peter, as according to interviews done by Solomon Times.

David Eloga from Mbokonavera stated that rearming the Police would bring fear into the community as the country is not ready to rearm.

Mr. Eloga stated that even if the heads of the country assumed the idea would be best, the people would not experience freedom as when the police are not armed.

He said that currently people feel comfortable with armed RAMSI officers, "but it would be a different story to see our own officers armed," he adds.

Mary Konihonara from Rove stated that not all people are confident of the local police officers.

"It gives us mixed feelings knowing that our local police would be armed, as we don't trust them. Some police officers are good, however, it will take time for the citizens of Solomon Islands to trust the local police," she said.

"I do not think our country is ready to accept the rearming of our police. It will take time for the people to get use to the idea and I think it is not the right time to rearm our local police," says Hilda Hororipo of Panatina.

"I don't like the idea and i do not think it is an idea we should even think about. We all understand what it was like having to live in fear, it is a terrible feeling and not something I want to experience again. It will take time for us to trust the local police," says Edna Boni'onika of Pt. Cruz.