LIQUOR BAN EXTENDED IN HONIARA

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (June 15, 1999 - PACNEWS/SIBC)---The liquor ban imposed last week in the Solomon Islands capital, Honiara, has been extended.

The ban, imposed last week at the height of the ethnic tension between the people of Guadalcanal and Malaita Provinces, was to have expired on June 14.

The ban includes all wholesale, retail and nightclub sale of liquor in the capital.

The ban will be reviewed again on June 21.

Police Commissioner Frank Short warned people to comply with the order and said anyone caught breaching it would face the full brunt of the law.

The ethnic tension has forced Australia and New Zealand to advise their nationals against any non-essential travel to Guadalcanal Province.

Australia's High Commission in the Solomon Islands on Tuesday (June 15) upgraded its warning and recommended its nationals against moving around Honiara at night.

Earlier, the Opposition Leader, Solomon Mamaloni, said the Government was playing a dangerous game by paying for any information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the ethnic violence.

Mamaloni said a $AUS$ 100,000 (US$ 65,800) fund had been set aside by the Government to pay informants.

According to him, an informant was reportedly paid $AUS 7,000 (US$ 4,606) for information without proper documentation.

Mamaloni said this was dangerous because of the current economic situation of the Solomon Islands.

SOLOMON ISLANDS OPPOSITION WANTS NEW ZEALAND TO HELP DEAL WITH ETHNIC TENSION

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (June 15, 1999 - PACNEWS/SIBC)---The Leader of the Opposition in the Solomon Islands, Solomon Mamaloni, says he will recommend to Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa‘alu that a request be made to New Zealand to help deal with the ethnic tension in the country.

Mamaloni said he is recommending outside assistance because the police force in the country is over-stretched in trying to deal with the ethnic conflict between the people of Guadalcanal and Malaita provinces.

He said the Police Field Force and Rapid Response Unit are tied up at opposite ends of Guadalcanal while the law and order situation in the capital, Honiara, is getting out of hand.

According to Mamaloni, the Solomon Islands Police Force would be in a better position to deal with the security situation in Honiara if New Zealand could help deal with the ethnic violence on Guadalcanal.

Earlier, Mamaloni told Parliament his family was being victimized because of what he described as "malicious" reports that he was connected to the ethnic problems on Guadalcanal.

He said his family had been threatened with petrol bombs during the last two months.

According to Mamaloni, he spent 20 years building the country and it did not make sense that he would want it destroyed.

Militants from the self-styled Guadalcanal Revolutionary Army have been targeting settlers from Malaita and last week reportedly forced up to 1,000 to abandon their homes in a township west of Honiara.

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