Dear Editor,

The fatal shooting incident on the outskirts of Honiara yesterday, allegedly by two Tongan Military personnel serving as part of the RAMSI contingent, undercores my recently expressed concerns about the continuing use of armed military components in police operations.

I extend my condolences to the family and friends of the deceased and my support for the RSIP and RAMSI in investigating the true circumstances of the incident.

I know all too well how seriously the security forces will view this matter since I, too, had the unfortunate task of having to investigate a shooting incident on the island of Bungana involving the police during the onset of the ethnic troubles.

After having initially investigated that incident, I requested the aid of the New Zealand Police and their resulting investigation, assisted by forensic officers of the Australian Federal Police, resulted in the early arrest and conviction of a police constable for manslaughter.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short