Thursday, 19 February 2009 9:02 AM

RAMSI Review Committee Completes Consultation with Western Province

The Parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee has completed its inquiry with the people of Western Province on how they feel about the role of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, RAMSI.

The Committee had spent three days listening to the views of the people of Western Province on RAMSI, information that will help the Committee to make recommendations towards a review of the mission's operation in the country.

Witnesses were called to express their opinions on RAMSI at Munda and Gizo.

Chair of the Committee, West Guadalcanal MP Laurie Chan, thanked the people of Western Province for accepting the invitation to participate in the inquiry.

Mr Chan said he trusts that those who appeared before the inquiry fairly represent the views of the grassroots people they represent.

Mr Chan said that since it started provincial hearings last year, members of the Committee have learnt a lot from these rural communities in terms of issues regarding RAMSI.

Mr Chan urged the witnesses to feel free to touch on any aspects of RAMSI and to express any concerns or wishes in a frank manner.

The Committee is understood to have gone to Taro in the Choiseul Province where it will listen to the views of people from that province tomorrow.
Tentative reports indicate that there is a strong level of support for RAMSI in the Western Province. However, one of the issues raised, which was quite similar to other consultations, is the lack of visible RAMSI presence in the Province.


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By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
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