SOLOMONS POLICE PLAN RETURN TO PNG BORDER

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (November 15, 2000 - Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation/PINA Nius Online)---The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force is working on arrangements to redeploy its members to the border with Papua New Guinea.

The Assistant Commissioner for Police Operations, Wilfred Akao, said the issue of guarding the border has again become important after the deaths of four people in a shooting incident last weekend.

The four were killed after a group of Bougainvilleans went into the Gizo Hotel in Western Province and tried to disarm two Bougainvilleans believed to have brought arms across the border.

Two other people were injured.

Mr. Akao said the government is concerned at the way arms have filtered across the border from Bougainville, especially since the warring factions on Guadalcanal have agreed to begin disarming.

Mr. Akao said, at the moment, the Royal Solomon islands Police Force is taking stock of its manpower and other equipment before a border deployment is made.

During the secessionist conflict on Bougainville, the Solomon Islands stationed its police field force on islands near the border separating Bougainville from the neighboring Solomons.

In other developments:

* Criminals got away with money and personal belongings after holding two doctors at knifepoint in Honiara. The incident occurred at the doctors' residence at Tinge Ridge, just above Rove police married quarters. The doctors have now taken immediate leave, affecting services at the central hospital.

* The High Command of the Isatabu Freedom Movement on Guadalcanal has condemned incidents in Western province, allegedly involving men from Guadalcanal.

Isatabu Freedom Movement Supreme Commander George Grey, describing the incidents in Western province as very isolated incidents, said they must not be associated with the Isatabu Freedom Movement.

He said it is currently doing its best to regain trust and confidence from the people of the Solomon Islands by implementing the Townsville Peace Agreement. He said the Isatabu Freedom Movement will do its best to rid Guadalcanal of criminal activities by arresting and handing over criminals to police.

* At the premiers' conference, the three provinces pursuing independence from the Solomon Islands are standing firm on their decision to break away. The provinces are Temaru, Makira-Ulawa and Rennell-Bellona provinces.

The three premiers rejected suggestions by the Provincial Government Ministry's legal advisor, Reginald Teutao, that he does not believe the three provinces want to break away from the country.

Teutao said he believed that the political sentiments expressed by the three provinces are only ways of expressing their dissatisfaction with the current provincial government system.

Meanwhile, the national government is recommending that traditional chiefs be included in the proposed state system of government.

Other recommendations include state governments being allowed to establish business relations with any foreign country, accept financial assistance from outside funds through the Central Bank and that state governments have legislative power to restrict unwarranted internal migration.

There must also be a sharing formula for bilateral or multi-lateral aid between the federal government and the state governments, and state governments must have the powers to impose taxes to raise revenue, some participants said.

For additional reports from the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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