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Convicted Solomons politician testifies in parliament

By Eddie Osifelo

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Times, Sept. 16, 2008) - Jailed politician Sir Allan Kemakeza on Monday made eight recommendations to the Foreign Relations Committee.

The committee was reviewing the operations of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).

RAMSI came here in July 2003 at the invitation of Parliament to restore law and order, help rebuild the collapsed government machinery and help restore the country’s economy.

Kemakeza appeared before the Committee in black suits, with two unarmed prison officers accompanying him.

His eight recommendations are:

Kemakeza, who is serving six months in jail, said the only problem he had seen is the culture clash between Solomon Islanders and white men.

"The government should harmonize the two cultures. Everyone must work together for good of the people and the country," he said.

The former prime minister, whose government brought RAMSI here, told the committee normalcy has returned but peace is still fragile.

"We still have a long way to go in improving law and order, institutional strengthening and improving economy," he said.

Kemakeza said few donors were funding the mission. "I know but it is kept in the secret file in Canberra," he said.

"These donors spent millions of dollars and want a success story at the end," he said.

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