Wednesday, 18 July 2007 10:36 AM

We Support Rearmament, says Temotu Premier

While criticisms and protests mount against the government's plan to rearm the police, Temotu Provincial Premier, Johnson Levela, has openly supported government's rearmament plans.

Mr Levela stated that what has transpired from the rearmament issue is the fact that many Solomon Islanders still embrace the post conflict mistrust towards their own fellow citizens. Levela said that such mistrust should not be entertained since Solomon Islands has already gone though many hurdles and championed many reforms since 2003. He says that if Solomon Islanders can nurture and hold trust for other friends in the region, then they must also learn to trust each other.

Premier Levela went on to say that rearmament is not a problem so long as those who are to be rearmed are properly trained and disciplined. Levela said the top brass of RAMSI should help the Solomon Islands government identify officers within the police who should be rearmed and those who should not. Levela urged Solomon Islanders not to worry unnecessarily over how its top leaders, who are charged with the responsibility of upholding the sovereign duties of this nation, watch over the security of the country.

Premier Levela stated that if critics of the rearmament issue are really serious on the issue of arms, then they should call on the parliament to review and amend clauses in the Facilitation Act that allow PPF Officers under RAMSI to carry guns.
Mr Levela said since the Intervention in 2003, much had been said of the country's improved law and order situation, but the sovereignty of this nation can only be protected by its own citizens.

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