Wednesday, 19 November 2008 8:49 AM

PM Did Not Refuse Invitation: SSPM

The Special Secretary to the Prime Minister, John Keniapisia, has refuted reports that the Prime Minister had snubbed an invitation from the Solomon Islands Rugby Federation to visit the construction site of the new International Rugby Stadium.

The project, which is funded and managed by a Chinese Developer, includes not only a rugby stadium but also a multimillion dollar plaza.

Last week the Project Spokesman, Mr Jay Kabei, said that they had invited the Prime Minister to visit the construction site but he did not respond to their invitation. Mr. Kabei said that it was rather unfortunate seeing that the Prime Minister has been visiting the Heritage Park Hotel and other major construction sites in the country.

However, in an interview with the Special Secretary to the Prime Minister yesterday afternoon, Mr. Keniapisia said that he was not aware of any invitation from the Town Ground Project.

Mr. Keniapisia went on to say that the Prime Minister receives "hundreds of invitations every day...so his schedule is very tight and at times he may not be able to attend to some of the invitations," added Mr. Keniapisia. Although he said that they always take time to acknowledge all invites.

"The Prime Minister could not have refused an invitation from the Rugby Stadium Project because the government has been very supportive towards the project," Mr. Keniapisia told Solomon Times. He said that three senior government Ministers attended the ground breaking ceremony early this year which "speaks volume of the importance placed on the project."