Politics Archive November 2020

He says a ban on Facebook is unjustified because other options of achieving the desired policy outcomes have not even been explored.

Facebook Suspension Not Evidence Based: Opposition Leader

Opposition Leader Mathew Wale says it is important that the government's decision to suspend Facebook is evidence-based.
The Department of Health (DOH) of the Philippines on Sunday reported 2,076 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection, bringing the total number in the country to 429,864. The Philippines has a population of about 110 million.

Philippines Flight Now Rescheduled to 9th December

The next flight from Manila, Philippines, is expected to arrive in Honiara on the 9th of December 2020. Secretary to Prime Minister, Dr. Jimmie Rodgers revealed this in the Oversight’s weekly talkback show.
Solomon Islands will now join China, Iran, Syria and North Korea as outlawing Facebook. Other countries have temporarily blocked it, including the island nation of Nauru which prohibited Facebook in 2015 but unblocked access in 2018.

Facebook Ban is an Attack on Human Rights: Civil Society

Civil Society Organisations in the Solomon Islands are utterly disappointed with the Cabinet’s decision to suspend the world’s biggest social networking site, Facebook.
Hon. Wale points out that using limitations in current laws for the quarantining of persons suspected of carrying the Covid-19 virus is no longer a justifiable ground for the ongoing extension of the State of Public Emergency (SoPE).

Extending SoPE is Not the Only Answer: Wale

Leader of Opposition Hon. Matthew Wale says, the government has to accept that Covid-19 is going to be here for a while, and the country needs to adjust to it and return to normalcy, instead of relying on State of Public Emergencies (SoPE) to deal with the effects brought about by the global pandemic.
Prime Minister Sogavare says this will be achieved through efficient management, utilization, and protection of the country’s natural resources.

PM Announces Plans to Broaden Economic Base

Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare has announced the Government’s 5 objectives under its redirection policy to sustain and grow an inclusive broad-based economy.
The Governor General by a Proclamation has declared last night that a state of public emergency exists in Solomon Islands.

Governor General Extends State of Public Emergency

The Governor General, His Excellency, Sir David Vunagi has extended the State of Public Emergency (SOPE) last night for a further 4 months following the expiry of the country’s second SOPE on November 24.
State of Public Emergency Extended

State of Public Emergency Extended

The State of Public Emergency (SOPE) expires today.
103 students underwent COVID-19 tests with the hope that they will be repatriated back to the country tomorrow.

Six Positive COVID-19 Cases, Flight to Philippines Cancelled

The second repatriation flight for students in the Philippines scheduled for tomorrow (24th November) has now been cancelled. Sogavare says this decision is made as six more students in the Philippines have tested positive for COVID-19.
He says consultations will be done with relevant authorities and stakeholders before the suspension comes into effect.

Facebook Must Be Regulated Says PM

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says the use of the biggest social networking site in the world must be regulated in Solomon Islands.
Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, stated during the launching of the $US37.5 million economic stimulus package that this was an “initial response to the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Solomon Islands' economy and society.”

ESP Updates to be Made Known this Week

Updates on the Economic Stimulus Package (ESP) will be made known this week by the ESP Committee.
The returning officer for Central Honiara Atu Balekana making the announcement.

Efona Wins Central Honiara

Alfred Efona has been declared the winner of the Central Honiara by election.
“A good number of police officers are on high visibility in the two constituencies to ensure our communities is peaceful to any act of violence,” says AC Pogeava.

Police Calls on Voters to Accept Election Outcome

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) call on the people of Central Honiara and North East Guadalcanal Constituencies to accept the outcome of the By Election result.
Counting Resumed Today for Central Honiara

Counting Resumed Today for Central Honiara

Counting of votes of for Central Honiara had recommenced 12pm today.
The formal declaration will be made later this evening.

Ethel Vokia Wins North East Guadalcanal

Ethel Vokia has been declared the winner of the North East Guadalcanal by election.
Counting Resumes for 2020 By Election

Counting Resumes for 2020 By Election

Counting of votes for Central Honiara and North East Guadalcanal Constituencies had resumed this morning with Central Honiara having 9 batches to count and North East Guadalcanal 2 batches.
RSIPF Traffic officers are also out on the street controlling the traffic to ensure the road is safe for all vehicles and pedestrians.

Police Secures Counting Venue After By-election

Officers of the Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) are securing the RSIPF Conference Centre at Rove in Honiara, the venue for the counting of ballots from yesterday’s by-elections in North East Guadalcanal and Central Honiara, which started this morning.
Voters in Central Honiara casting their ballot yesterday.

Counting Begins for Central Honiara and North East Guadalcanal Constituencies

Counting for the Central Honiara and North East Guadalcanal elections will start this morning. Results for North East Guadalcanal should be known this evening, with Central Honiara sometime tomorrow.
Polling Day for Central Honiara and North East Guadalcanal

Polling Day for Central Honiara and North East Guadalcanal

Today is polling day for Central Honiara and North East Guadalcanal constituencies. All the polling stations were open since 7am this morning and will close at 5pm.
“If the Solomon Islands Cabinet has any respect for people’s rights, it should urgently rethink its decision to ban Facebook and allow everybody to peacefully express their opinions online.”

Amnesty International: Planned Facebook Ban is Brazen Attack on Freedom of Expression

Amnesty International has responded to the Solomon Islands government’s plan to ban Facebook because of the posting of alleged abusive or defamatory comments against government ministers.
Mrs. Waetara clarified, that public Offices and businesses house that are located within the boundaries of these two constituencies may observe this day as public holiday.

Public Holiday for North East Guadalcanal and Central Honiara Constituencies

Wednesday 18th November 2020 is a public Holiday for North East Guadalcanal and Central Honiara Constituencies. The two constituencies will go to the polls on that day to elect their new representative in Parliament.
Permanent Secretary of Finance and Treasury, Mckinnie Dentana.

Wale: When Will the List Be Published?

The Leader of Opposition, Hon. Matthew Wale, has called on the Permanent Secretary of Finance and Treasury, Mckinnie Dentana, to state when he will publish the list of Economic Stimulus Package (ESP) beneficiaries.
Currently only three countries in the world have banned Facebook. They are China, North Korea and Iran.

Solomon Islands Cabinet Passes Ban on Facebook

Cabinet has agreed to ban the world’s biggest social networking site, Facebook, in Solomon Islands.
The Opposition Leader points out that the public mind is animated by what appears to be self-serving and self-interested allocation decisions.

Opposition Leader Urges Government to Publish ESP List

The Leader of Opposition Hon. Mathew Wale again calls on the Minister and Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Finance to publish the list of beneficiaries of the Economic Stimulus Package (ESP).
Minister for Police, National Security and Correctional Services Hon. Anthony Veke hands over the security strategy documents to the Prime Minister.

Security Strategy Marks Milestone in our Sovereignty: PM

Our two national security platforms have marked a new milestone in our nation’s sovereign security.
“It is sad that these gaps have jeopardized the opportunity of the much-needed growth we envisage in Solomon Islands,” the statement reads.

FPAS Wants to Address Gaps in Interagency Work

The Government’s Foreign Policy Advisory Secretariat (FPAS) within the office of the Prime Minister, together with other key line ministries have reached an agreement to address gaps within our existing systems that will boost economic growth.
He says there are more than 1000 students awaiting repatriation.

Repatriation Plans Underway

Plans are now underway to repatriate students and citizens from regional tertiary institutions.
“This now brings to 16 the total number of COVID-19 cases registered in Solomon Islands," Sogavare said.

Three More COVID-19 Cases

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has confirmed that three more persons have tested positive for COVID-19.
“Public officers do not qualify for ESP, all officials including the Director of Economic Reform Unit (ERU) that appeared in the list were imprest holders and were not recipients of the ESP funding," Dentana explained.

Dentana Clarifies Payments Made to Public Officers

The leaked list of the recipients of the Economic Stimulus Package (ESP) included names of senior public officers - the public are now calling for an investigation into how the funds have been administered.
He stressed that to approve and process payments to a constituency seat that is without any official representative is both questionable and sets a bad precedence.

Wale Questions Stimulus Package Payment to North East Guadalcanal

Opposition Leader, Hon. Matthew Wale calls on the Minister of Finance and Permanent Secretary to explain why the government made an ESP Payment of $600,000 to North East Guadalcanal Constituency when the former MP, Lency Vokia left the seat after his election was declared null and void by the High Court, in February, 2020.
The Commissioner of Police Mostyn Mangau says that the country is still in the SOPE (State of Public Emergency) period and RSIPF has an important role to play.

“No Police Protest,” Mangau Confirms

Commissioner of the Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) Mostyn Mangau assures members of the public that there will be no protest by frontline officers over unpaid COVID-19 allowances as the Government is dealing with the issue.
The defendant has been remanded at the Rove Correctional Centre awaiting his appearance in Court on 13 November 2020 as the investigation continues.

"Sick and Depraved!": 23 Year Old Male Rapes 3 Year Old Girl

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) Sexual Assault Team in Honiara arrested and charged a 23-year-old man on 29 October for alleged sexual assault on a three-year-old girl in West Honiara on 20 October 2020.
“The decision to put them together in one location, is a risky and bad one, as this could have created the potential for the virus to spread,” says Hon. Wale.

Wale Questions High Risk Quarantine in the Heart of Honiara

The Leader of opposition office, Hon. Matthew Wale is questioning the decision by the Government to allow one high risk passenger to be quarantined with lower risk ones at the King Solomon hotel quarantine centre, right in the heart of the city.
The contractors listed are in a range of business activities, but the majority are in the construction sector.

Deregistered Businesses Receive COVID-19 Support

Several contractors providing services for the government are deregistered companies.
“So, while we try to promote women in leadership we must also try and remain neutral and abide by media code of ethics,” Cynthia said.

Media Prepares for the Upcoming By-elections

As campaigning for the Central Honiara and North East Guadalcanal constituencies shifts into high gear the media is also prepping itself for extended coverage on polling day.
Five New Cases of positive COVID-19

Five New Cases of positive COVID-19

There are five new cases of COVID-19 registered in quarantine.