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Solomon Island politician blames colonisers for ethnic problems in Fiji and Solomon Islands

14 June 2000

Honiara (Pacnews) --- Veteran Solomon Islands politician and Vice president of the People's Alliance Party, Sir David Kausimae says the Pacific region's colonial masters should be blamed for the ethnic tensions in Fiji and Solomon Islands.

Sir David said colonisers in Solomon Islands have failed to build economic infrastructures in Malaita resulting in the exodus of Malaitans to Guadalcanal where economic activities are centralised.

Sir David said even in Fiji, the British administration brought Indians to work in Fiji, which has resulted in the ethnic problems.

He said the British government has been "very silent" on the two political unrest in the two Pacific Island nations.

Sir David also questioned New Zealand and Australia's in condemning the ethnic tensions in Solomon Islands and Fiji when they have failed to recognise the rights of indigenous people in their own countries.

He said Australia and New Zealand should also be blamed for problems experienced in Solomon Islands and Fiji.

"I am surprised that Australia and New Zealand have evacuated their nationals creating a bad image on Solomon Islands internationally," Sir David said.

Foreign Affairs Minister Patteson Oti also revealed that he was disappointed with Australia for not ' responding to requests to send peacekeepers.'

In an interview with national radio in Honiara, Oti said requests for an intervention had been made "everyday by the Solomon Islands government and had been rejected everyday by Australia."

Oti said their last request for Australia to intervene into the current political and constitutional problem in Solomon Islands was during the visit by his Australian counterpart Alexander Downer to Honiara recently. But he said it was rejected because Australia considered that it was not in the best interest of international norms to allow the intervention to take place

Australia has indicated its troops in Solomon Islands is only there to evacuate Australian citizens in Honiara.... PNS (ENDS)

Pacnews First Edition 14 June 2000, (c) PIBA 2000 Pacific Islands Broadcasting Association.

*** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. ***

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