Thursday, 13 December 2007 10:56 AM

Public Demonstration of RAMSI Military Uncalled for: Solomons Government

The Government has expressed concern over the deployment of armed personnel for members of the Parliamentary Opposition, saying such a public demonstration of military muscle is uncalled for.

Members of the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands [RAMSI] this week began providing armed protection for Opposition MPs camping at the Honiara Hotel, as well as at a motel on Savo.

In a statement today, the Office of the Prime Minister said the decision to provide armed protection for Opposition MPs amounted to RAMSI taking sides, which is contrary to the spirit of the regional assistance mission.

"Such a display of arms rather openly to members of the public is uncalled for and questions the very issue of RAMSI's independence and impartiality in dealing with law and order in this country," the statement said.

The statement said it would appear that RAMSI had allowed itself to be involved in this country's politics.

The statement said by its very action, it would appear RAMSI too wants to see the end of the Grand Coalition for Change Government.

"If they are not, then members on the Government side should also be accorded similar protection."

The statement said RAMSI appears to be demonstrating a double standard in dealing with members of parliament.

"Last week, for example, the Office of the Prime Minister requested RAMSI through the police to provide protection for a Government Minister after he was by harassed by Opposition agents."

"True, police did come, but nothing eventuated after the particular MP was interviewed," the statement said.

"Now it is becoming very clear that RAMSI is working in tandem with Asian loggers who are alleged to have been providing financial support to the Opposition in a conspiracy to oust the Grand Coalition for Change Government," it said.

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