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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (January 2, 2000 - Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation/PINA Nius Online)---Solomon Islands women are being urged to take on the responsibility of national leadership alongside their men folk, as the country moves toward national elections.

In a New Year's message to women, the Minister for Youth, Sports and Women Development, Hilda Kari, encouraged intending candidates to have courage and boldness in running for Parliament.

The country's only female parliamentarian believes there are many women capable of running for office. The events that have rocked the country in the past two years should encourage them more in vying for positions of leadership, she said.

She warned that fighting against the male contenders, and not having family support, can be obstacles to winning. But she said being successful is only through the grace of God.

Mrs. Kari said those intending to contest the next election should start to think seriously about how to become a "people person," as it is one of the important virtues of political leadership.

She acknowledged the support given to her by fellow women for the past 12 years.

Mrs. Kari also thanked the women and youth who have contributed towards bringing peace to the country and uniting the two former militant groups, the Isatabu Freedom Fighters and the Malaita Eagle Force.

In other news:

** Governor General Sir Father John Ini Lapli, in his New Year’s message, said the future of this country lies in the hands of its youth.

He said on whatever course and destiny the country is heading, the young people will be responsible for whatever is achieved.

New Year celebrations in the capital, Honiara, were described as very peaceful this year.

** Commissioner of Police Morton Sireheti told SIBC that apart from minor drunk and disorderly cases, the overall well disciplined behavior of the Honiara public must be commended.

Mr. Sireheti said police are investigating one suspected case of arson in the White River area. But generally it was a very peaceful New Year celebration throughout the city.

He said only when society respects law and order and fellow human beings can people build a better nation for themselves and future generations.

** Solomon Islands' Legal Draftsman, Ranjit Hewagana, was awarded a CBE in the New Year's Honors.

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: 

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