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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (February 4, 2002 – Radio Australia)---The government's continuing financial crisis has resulted in no official telephone services in the National Parliament building.

Clerk to Parliament Taeasi Sanga said both the Office of the Speaker and the Office of the Clerk have been without telephone services since their phone lines were disconnected early last year.

She said the only telephone contact at the Parliament building, which is located on a hill above the capital, Honiara, is a public telephone.

The situation has caused a lot of inconvenience to Parliament’s work, Ms. Sanga said.

"The Speaker himself doesn't have a telephone or the Clerk and this is very inconvenient, but it's a situation the Solomon Islands is going through at the moment and just cannot be helped.

"We have to physically go down to people we want to see. And most times we can't make appointments, so we just turn up. And it's embarrassing really," said Ms. Sanga.

Telephone lines to most government offices in the Solomon Islands now are disconnected.

A spokesperson for Solomon Telekom said the government owes the company millions of dollars in unpaid phone bills.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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