Wednesday, 18 July 2007 3:12 PM

Sogavare Condemns Downer's Open Letter

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has condemned the Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer for choosing to write a second open letter to the Solomon Islands public through the media.

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer recently wrote a letter, published in one of the major local newspapers, to the Solomon Islands public to express Australia's objection to the swearing in of Mr Moti.

Sogavare stated in a press release that the actions of Mr Downer had belittled his status by expressing Canberra's views in the Letter to the Editor column instead of channeling them through the right channel - the Australian High Commissioner in Solomon Islands.

Mr Sogavare said Mr Downer's excuse for resorting to the media on the first occasion was the absence of a High Commissioner for Australia in Solomon Islands. Mr Sogavare went on to say that while the first letter could be excusable, as Australia was still without a High Commissioner in Solomon Islands, this second letter is just a blatant disregard for the sovereignty of Solomon Islands.

Mr Sogavare said now that Australia has a High Commissioner in place, Mr Downer had no reason under the sun to express Canberra's views directly to the people of Solomon Islands through the media.

Letters to the Editor All Letters
By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province