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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Dec. 13) – Solomon Islands band "Saba" has cancelled its proposed peace tour to Bougainville due to security reasons.

The band was supposed to leave for a two weeks tour in Central Bougainville last Friday.

Band leader and lead vocalist Rolley Bogese said the band was advised by the Papua New Guinea High Commission in Honiara to cancel the trip.

"We respect that advice and decided to cancel the tour," he said. "But we promise our fans in Bougainville that we will definitely make the trip once the situation on the ground is back to normal."

[PIR editor’s note: According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Bougainville government is facing threats by a former militia group to launch a coup on the administration of the autonomous PNG province of Bougainville. The group worked alongside the Papua New Guinea Defense Force during the 10-year secessionist war on Bougainville. The group is demanding a payment of about US$3.2 million.]

Bogese claimed that Saba is becoming popular in Bougainville and PNG.

As a result of Saba’s popularity, it has signed an agreement with Powerhaus Recording Studios based in Lae for recording, promoting, marketing and sales of their album.

Bogese’s son and solo musician Young Davie (David Bogese) has also signed up with Powerhaus Studios recently after his music caught the ears of the PNG-based studio.

"Powerhaus will also be releasing the ‘Best of Saba’ album before Christmas in PNG which covers songs from our three volumes," said Bogese.

He said plans are already in the pipeline for more tours by Saba to Bougainville and PNG in the new year.

"But these are yet to be confirmed as we continue our quest to promote the Solomon Islands music beyond our shores," said Bogese who hails from Nagolau village, Isabel Province.

He added that Saba’s fundraising drive in Honiara last week has received positive outcome from local fans and supporters.

"We played in few night clubs around town and received many more invitations, which was overwhelming for us," he said.

He thanked all Saba fans in Honiara and elsewhere in the Solomon Islands for their continual support to the band.

Bogese also thanked Isles De Sound band for providing the instruments they used during their fundraising drive in Honiara last week.

December 14, 2005

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