Latest News Archive February 2011

Economy Going Strong: CBSI

The Governor of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands says the country's economy is growing.

Leni Testifies in Court

The former Minister of Fisheries, Nollen Leni has told the magistrate court that he did not recall receiving any report from the member for Ngella, Mark Kemakeza, on how he used funds allocated for approved fisheries projects for his constituency.
The Telecommunications Commission says Bemobile has failed to provide telecommunications service to 75 per cent of the population by 1st February 2011 as required in its license.

Bemobile Penalized

The Telecommunications Commission of the Solomon Islands (TCSI) has announced that Bemobile Solomon Islands Limited is in breach of its license.

SPC Supports FSM in Developing Action Plan for Agriculture

Thanks to the Pohnpei State Agriculture Strategic Action Plan (2011-2015) launched last November, agriculture development activities in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) will be more effective and streamlined.
Foreign Minister Peter Shanel and Education Minister Dick Ha'amori with government officials and staff of the Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Canada.

Foreign Minister Seeks Partnership with Canadian University

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Peter Shanel Agovaka and Minister of Education Dick Ha'amori have held consultations with Executive members of Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver, Canada on Friday.

ADB, PNG Sign Renewable Energy Loan to Cut Power Shortages

PORT MORESBY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the Asian Development Bank today signed a loan worth $57.3 million to reduce power shortages in urban areas.
In opening the Trade and Investment Talks Prime Minister Danny Philip calls on the Papua New Guinea (PNG) investors to assist his government in its decentralization policy.

PNG and Solomon Islands Talk Business

A group of leading businessmen from Papua New Guinea is visiting Solomon Islands to discuss an investment plan for the future.

Tahiti Stun Bilikiki to Qualify for Beach Soccer World Cup

Oceania has a new beach soccer champion. Tahiti Nui caused a major upset on Saturday beating three-time champions the Solomon Islands 4-3 in the final of the OFC Beach Soccer Championship in Papeete, Tahiti, to qualify for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup for the first time.
Young Robert Laua had a standout performance, scoring a hat trick.

Solomon Islands Too Strong for Fiji

The Solomon Islands' quest to qualify for their fifth consecutive FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup began well today as they defeated a resilient Fiji side 9-4 in the opening match of the OFC Beach Soccer Championship Tahiti 2011.

Australian Citizen Claims Assault by Fiji Military

An Australian citizen of Fijian descent has made claims that he was assaulted by soldiers of the Fijian Military when he visited the country last year.

Appointment of New RAMSI Special Coordinator Welcomed

The Foreign Minister of Solomon Islands, the Hon. Peter Shanel, the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade and the RAMSI Special Coordinator Graeme Wilson, today welcomed the appointment of Mr Nicholas Coppel as the next Special Coordinator of RAMSI.

Opposition Denies Playing Politics

The Opposition has denied government claims that it is playing politics.
From L-R, DPM Hon. Maelanga, Hon. Garu, Hon. Mua, PM Hon. Danny Philip, Hon. Ghiro and Hon. Namson Tran.

More MPs Join Government

The Government Caucus has welcomed three former Opposition MPs who have decided to join the Danny Philip-led National Coalition for Rural Advancement (NCRA) government.

ICT is a Key Tool for Sustainable Development

Tuesday, 22 February 2011 - Information and Communication Technology (ICT) provides a platform for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through the implementation of locally appropriate national development strategies.

Bilikiki Confident Ahead of Opener with Fiji

The Solomon Islands insist they will not be taking their opponents lightly when the Oceania Beach Soccer Championship gets underway in Tahiti today.
The exhibition includes separate presentations on the contribution of each of the 15 countries that contribute to RAMSI.

RAMSI Photo Exhibition Showcases 7 Years of Progress

A photographic exhibition entitled "RAMSI: A history in pictures," which showcases the history and achievements of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) is set to open in Honiara this week.
Minister Lilo says that the budget "focuses on reducing wastage along with targeted spending to improve services and lay a foundation for future growth in the country."

Cabinet Endorses Final Draft Budget

Cabinet has endorsed the 2011 budget which will now be translated into a bill for consideration by cabinet when it meets later this afternoon.

Status of Solomon Islanders in Christchurch Still Unknown

The status of Solomon Islanders in Christchurch, New Zealand, following Tuesday's devastating earthquake is not yet known.

Solomon Islands Benefits from Flight Agreement with Australia

A new agreement signed between the Gillard labour Government and Solomon Islands will double the current flights between Australia and Solomon Islands.

Regional Workshop Discusses Cairns Compact Implementation Progress

PRESS RELEASE - 22nd February 2011 - The second regional workshop on the Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination has opened in Nadi, Fiji with a call for more guidance and direction to the Forum Secretariat in coordinating the region's collective efforts to progress the implementation of the Compact.

LCC Has Power to Investigate "Grasshoppers"

A prominent Honiara based lawyer says the Leadership Code Commission (LCC) has the power to investigate members of parliament who switched sides frequently during the recent political wrangling.

Vanuatu Pulls Out of Tournament

Vanuatu will not participate at the Oceania Football Confederation Beach Soccer Championship set to kick off in Papeete, Tahiti, tomorrow.

Cabinet to Consider Draft Budget

Cabinet is expected to deliberate on the final draft of the 2011 budget later this week.
Cephas Lumina, the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt on the enjoyment of human rights, called for a "medium-term exit strategy for their development assistance programmes."

Aid Dependency Cycle Must be Broken: UN Expert

Noting that foreign aid accounts for over 60 per cent of the development budget of the Solomon Islands, an independent United Nations expert today called on the Government and its donor partners to design a strategy to help break the cycle of aid dependency.
Expected to once again lead the charge for the Solomon Islands is James Naka, who has scored a remarkable 17 goals in four FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup campaigns.

Solomons Lead Pacific Charge for Italy

The OFC Beach Soccer Championship commences this Wednesday with all four participants dreaming of securing passage to September's FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Ravenna, Italy. History indicates that Fiji, Vanuatu and host nation Tahiti face a massive task if they are to unseat regional sand kings Solomon Islands.
The Heritage Park Hotel, one of the latest investments from PNG.

PNG Investment Mission to Solomon Islands

A Papua New Guinea Investment Mission will visit Solomon Islands from 25-28 February 2011, to look at opportunities for investment in the country.
Paul Gruenwald, ANZ chief economist for the Asia Pacific, in an interview with Radio Australia, says that the strong growth is attributed to the logging sector.

Solomon Islands Economy Performing Well: ANZ

One of the region's biggest banks says the Solomon Islands economy has bounced back strongly from the global economic crisis.

Huge Win for our Oceans!

Can you picture 4.5 million km² of ocean? It's not easy - it's more than ten times the Great Barrier Reef or about the size of the current European Union.
Minister Sofu says that he has regained confidence in Prime Minister Danny Philip after having consultations with him recently.

Sofu Returns to Government

MP for East Kwaio Constituency Stanley Festus Sofu has further strengthened the NCRA government after being sworn-in as Minister for the Ministry of Public Service this morning.

Shanel Meets with Indian PM

Solomon Islands Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon Peter Shanel Agovaka, on Saturday, met with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and held bilateral meetings with his Indian Colleague, Foreign Minister Krishna.
Just last night sources close to key lobbyists of the government revealed that one of the MP is Mr Stanley Sofu.

Three More MPs Likely to Join Government

The Special Secretary to the Prime Minister, Andrew Muaki, has revealed that there are strong indications that at least three more members of the Parliamentary Opposition Group will join the NCRA government.

FSM Adopts Comprehensive Trade Policy

Press Release - 20th February 2011 - The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade has congratulated the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) for adopting a ground-breaking National Comprehensive Trade Policy.
Australian High Commission Third Secretary, Ms Rachel Small, recently visited Emu Harbour and presented the Health Centre and Community with a cheque for 16 new water tanks.

Australian High Commission Supports Emu Harbour Health Centre

The Australian High Commission is pleased to announce its support for the Emu Harbour Health Centre, Western Province.

Report on Aid Effectiveness Soon to be Released

Results of a survey on the effectiveness of aid donor monies to the country's development priorities will be publicized soon.
The government is also confident that at least two more MPs will join them in the coming weeks.

Government Regains Majority

The National Coalition for Rural Advancement (NCRA) government has regained numerical strength after four MPs defected from the Opposition. The numbers now stand at 26 - 22 in favor of the Danny Philip led NCRA government.

Peace Corp to Work with SPC

The United States Peace Corps and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will allow for the placement of Peace Corps volunteers in SPC to assist in some institutional and organisational work.

Trade Ministers Reconfirm Commitment to PICTA

PRESS STATEMENT - Wednesday, 16 February 2011 - Pacific ACP Trade Ministers have reconfirmed their commitment to the Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA).
The statement says that such "scare tactics" is part of the power struggle between the Government and Opposition, led largely by the Deputy Opposition Leader and MP for Aoke/Langalanga Mathew Wale.

Government Attacks Opposition Tactics

The NCRA Government has called on authorities and leaders of the country not to scare people unnecessarily.

Solomon Gold Reports Positive Rock Samples

Minerals explorer Solomon Gold and its partner Newmont Mining are making progress on the Guadalcanal JV Tenements on the Solomon Islands and exploration plans for 2011 have been finalized.

Satu Plans to Export More Dolphins

Solomon Islands exporter of live dolphins, Robert Satu, has confirmed that he plans to fill an order from Germany, along with orders from other European countries and Dubai.

GG Announces Bye-election Dates

The Governor General Sir Frank Kabui has officially announced the date for bye-election in the Baegu-Asifola and Shortland Islands constituencies.
After weeks of political wrangling the Prime Minister, Danny Philip, has set the date for Parliament to convene.

Date Set for 28th March

Parliament will convene on the 28th of March 2011.

The Region has a New Plan to Help Strengthen Pacific Wetlands

Press Release - A new three-year action plan has been developed outlining activities, responsibilities and targets that seek to promote and strengthen the conservation and wise use of wetlands in our region.
The Prime Minister's resolve comes after talks he had with Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Shanel and the Australian High Commissioner Frank Ingruber last Thursday.

Let's Move On: PM

Prime Minister Danny Phillip has agreed to move on with Australia and focus on their bilateral relationship.

Government Seeks to Deregulate CEMA

Commodities Export Marketing Authorities CEMA will no longer export copra out of the country when a new investor arrives to operate the Russell Islands Plantation.

Opposition Group to Foot Hotel Bill

Hotel bills incurred by the Parliamentary Opposition at the Heritage Park Hotel will be met by its members.

Outcomes of Meeting of Forum MCG on Situation in Fiji

PRESS RELEASE - MEETING OF THE FORUM MINISTERIAL CONTACT GROUP (MCG) ON FIJI - Port Vila, Vanuatu - 14 February 2011

Ministerial Contact Group (MCG) on Fiji

PRESS STATEMENT - 13 February - MEETING OF THE FORUM MINISTERIAL CONTACT GROUP (MCG) ON FIJIPort Vila, Vanuatu

Ingruber Clarifies Media Reports

The Australian High Commissioner, Frank Ingruber, has stated that an article which appeared in the Solomon Star newspaper on 12 February about his meeting on 10 February with the Prime Minister, Hon Danny Philip, was a misrepresentation of that meeting.

PM Holds Talks With RIPEL Owners

Prime Minister Danny Philip was in Yandina, Russell Islands, to hold talks with investors of the Yandina Russell Islands Plantations Estate Limited (RIPEL).
Police Commissioner Walter Kola says he totally denied any collaboration with the government on an "intelligence report."

Police Deny Any Involvement in Conspiracy

Police have denied any involvement in the much publicised "intelligence report," which has alleged that there is a wide network set out to topple the current Danny Philip led government.

Report Says Physical Activity Can Help Reduce Risk of Breast, Colon Cancers

Press Release - MANILA, 9 February 2011- Undertaking 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity can reduce the risk of breast and colon cancers, according to the new Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health released by the World Health Organization on World Cancer Day.

Finance Minister Promises Record Budget

Finance Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has pledged to deliver a record budget that is focused on economic growth, strengthening the country's budgetary position and ensuring that Solomon Islands can stand as a strong independent nation.

Ingruber Meets with PM and Foreign Minister

The Australian High Commissioner, Frank Ingruber, held separate meetings with Prime Minister Danny Philip and Foreign Minister Peter Shanel late yesterday afternoon.
Opposition Leader Steve Abana has called on the Speaker to call parliament to test the numbers of the government on the floor of parliament.

Speaker to Decide on Motion

Speaker of Parliament, Sir Allan Kemakeza is now pressured to act on the recently filed no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister Danny Philip.

Migration Due to Climate Change Demands Attention - ADB

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - Governments in Asia and the Pacific need to prepare for a large increase in climate-induced migration in the coming years, says a forthcoming report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The statement says a denial by both Mr Wale and the Australian High Commission Office is "not good enough."

Government Defiant Over Allegations

The Government is demanding the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Wale, disclose details of his dealings with Canberra to topple the government, saying the people of Solomon Islands are entitled to know.
The Australian High Commission to the Solomon Islands, Mr. Frank Ingruber is seeking a call to the Prime Minister.

Australia Expresses Concern

The Parliamentary Secretary for the Pacific, Richard Marles, last night, summoned Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Australia, Beraki Jino.

PFF to Fiji Regime: Remove News Censors

PFF, Rarotonga, COOK ISLANDS--Fiji's regime is being reminded of its promise to remove censors from newsrooms once its media decree came into force, says regional media watchdog the Pacific Freedom Forum (PFF).

Provincial Assemblies to Receive Induction

The Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS) is conducting a series of induction training for new Members of Provincial Assemblies (MPAs) starting this week.

Buses Strike to Hike Fares

Public transportation was disabled yesterday after all buses and taxis seized operation following a strong demand for the increase of fares.
Reports state that the Government has blamed Australia and RAMSI for backing the Opposition.

Australia Dismiss Claims

The Australian High Commission in Solomon Islands has released a Media release following reports by a local paper this morning .

Japan Funding to Increase Foreign Investment and Private Sector

PRESS STATEMENT - 4th February 2010 - The Government of Japan will contribute US$200,000 to the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat for two regional projects that support economic development in the region.
Walter Kola is now the Acting Police Commissioner of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force.

Kola Sworn in as Acting

Solomon Islands Deputy Police Commissioner, Walter Kola is now the Acting Police Commissioner of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force.

Sir Peter Shares Experience

"Members of Parliament need to be active in meeting with their voters and representing their issues in parliament," says Sir Peter Kenilorea.
The incident occurred at the Heritage Park Hotel on Friday night.

Press Conference Cancelled over Near-Brawl

In a twist of events over the weekend, a planned media conference by the Opposition for Friday night had to be cancelled following a near- brawl at the Heritage Park Hotel.

High Court to Review Lusibaea Case

A Judicial review of the criminal charges against the North Malaita Member of Parliament, Hon. Jimmy Lusibaea will be presented before the High Court this Wednesday.

Work Intensifies in Preparation for EPA Negotiations

PRESS STATEMENT - Thursday, 3rd February 2011 - The Pacific ACP region is not alone in its struggle to negotiate a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU).
GRML says that a process of open and regular dialogue has been established and they will continue to use this forum to discuss.

Landowners May Disrupt First Gold Pour

Failure by the Government and the Gold Ridge Mining company (GRML) to settle outstanding issues relating to mining on Central Guadalcanal poses a threat to the much anticipated first "gold pour" next month.

EU Commits to Progressing Pacific EPA

PRESS STATEMENT - Wednesday 2nd February 2011 - The European Union (EU) remains fully committed to concluding negotiations of a comprehensive trade and development agreement (EPA - Economic Partnership Agreement) with the Pacific region.

Four Ministry's Still Without Substantive Ministers

The Government is still without four ministers since the first series of defections two weeks ago.
Magistrate Stefan Metanomski said it is "hard to imagine a more recapitulating crime than a father sexually abusing his daughter and threatening her not to tell anyone."

Father of Seven Charged with Incest

A Magistrate has sentenced a father of seven to three years imprisonment for incest.

East Choiseul Joins the Web

People of East Choiseul Constituency can now access Internet services following the installation of the service at the constituency's Growth Centre.
Police say there is very strong evidence that shows the two were not present or anywhere within the vicinity of where the shots were reportedly fired.

Misleading Reports on Gun Firing Incident

The Police have strongly denied media reports that two former ministers, Douglas Ete and Bodo Dettke, were targeted by gunmen when shots were fired from a taxi.

ComSec and SPC Co-operate to Use ICT to Improve Government Services

Wednesday, 2 February 2011 - The current economic crisis and the growing demand for good governance and more transparency has created an urgent need for governments to become more effective and efficient in the delivery of services in the face of budget cuts.

Renewed Impetus for EPA with EU

PRESS STATEMENT - Monday 31st January 2011 - PACIFIC REGION PUSHES ON:Renewed impetus sought for Economic Partnership Agreement with EU

GG Yet to Respond to Petition by Opposition

The petition sent to the Governor General by the Opposition asking that he intervenes in the current political instability and to call parliament to sit is still not clear.

Government Funds Additional Scholarships

The Government has approved a SBD$25 million dollar rescue package to provide some 200 additional scholarships for Solomon Islands students this year.
Philip Tegavota has resigned from the post less than three weeks after the board's controversial recommendation to release jailed North Malaita MP, Jimmy Lusibaea.

Chairman of Parole Board Resigns

Chairman of the Correctional Service's Parole Board, Philip Tegavota has resigned from the post less than three weeks after the board's controversial recommendation to release jailed North Malaita MP, Jimmy Lusibaea, on license and a 95 per cent remission of his sentence.
"People will now be able to access much of the information and many of the forms they need online simply by accessing the new MOFT website," said Mr Lilo.

Ministry of Finance Goes Online

The Minister of Finance, the Hon. Gordon Darcy Lilo, officially launched the Ministry of Finance and Treasury's (MOFT) website today (www.mof.gov.sb).