SOLOMONS OPPOSITION CRITICIZES LENGTHY OVERSEAS TRIP

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PM must inform nation of reason, outcomes of trip

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, May 18, 2009) – Leader of Opposition Manasseh Sogavare has accused the Prime Minister of unfairness to the taxpayers of Solomon Islands for not being transparent about his current 25-day overseas trip.

The Prime Minister, Dr Derek Sikua left the country almost two weeks ago on a tri-nation trip covering Taiwan, Indonesia and Japan.

Mr. Sogavare said it was unfortunate that the Prime Minister chose not to reveal the composition of his delegation when announcing the trip.

He said the travelling of a Prime Minister out of a country is an important event and the taxpayers footing the expenses have the right to know whether they are receiving the desired outcomes from the use of their taxes to the government.

"The people of Solomon Islands need to know the composition of the delegation and their roles and the cost of the trip especially in light of the Prime Ministers announcement in parliament that government must control its expenditure and will expend only where necessary and the CNURA Government’s declared commitment to uphold transparency and accountability," he said in a statement yesterday.

Sogavare said, furthermore the country has never received a feedback from the Prime Minister and his delegation on the outcomes of their meetings since they left.

"I understand the Prime Minister and his delegation have already completed the Taiwan leg of the tour but the country has not received even one feedback on what were discussed and the outcomes and that is not being transparent.

"Solomon Islanders would want to be proud of their Prime Minister and his achievements when representing them overseas but unfortunately they are being left in the dark," he said.

Solomon Star: http://www.solomonstarnews.com/

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