SOLOMONS MP SAYS GOVERNMENT FAILED TO ACT ON ZOE

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Radio Australia, Jan. 3) - A Solomon Islands Member of Parliament says his government should have called for international help earlier to deal with the aftermath of Cyclone Zoe.

Alfred Sasako, a former Government minister from the island of Malaita who lives in the Australian city of Brisbane, says his country does not have the capacity to deal with the crisis.

Sasako says people are urgently needed on the ground to assess the situation on the islands of Tikopia and Anuta.

But he has refused to criticize Australia's response.

"We would have loved to see a little bit faster than we have seen so far. But again, I would not entirely blame Canberra for that because this sort of thing is normally in response to requests from host governments."

January 3, 2003

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

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