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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (July 7, 1998 - PACNEWS)---The Solomon Islands became a year older Tuesday, July 7.

On this day 20 years ago, Solomon Islands gained its political independence from Great Britain.

A ceremony marking the 20th Anniversary of Independence was held at Lawson Tama in Honiara Tuesday morning, witnessed by Honiara residents as well as delegates from as far as Japan and Taiwan and neighboring Melanesian countries, the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation reports.

Speaking at the ceremony, Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa'alu admitted that the past 20 years has not been easy, and the country still has a lot of challenges as it enters the next millennium.

The Prime Minister said the Solomon Islands must be thankful for all it has enjoyed since it gained independence.

Ulufa'alu said the country appreciates the efforts and dedication of its overseas friends who have contributed significantly to the well being of the Solomons’ people.

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