SOLOMONS PRIME MINISTER MEETS WITH PREMIERS

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Sikua urges provincial leaders to consider nation’s interests

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, September 29, 2009) – The third Premiers' Conference opened in Central Province capital Tulagi yesterday.

All nine premiers, provincial secretaries and deputy mayor of Honiara City Council including permanent secretaries, national and provincial senior government officials are attending.

Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua travelled to Tulagi on board a government patrol boat to open the meeting. He returned yesterday evening.

Dr Sikua told the premiers that it is important that while they represent individual wards or constituencies, they must not lose sight of the big picture, that is the country.

He said what we do should and must be for the national interest.

"After all we serve the same voters," Dr Sikua said.

He said people rightfully expect their government to ensure their rights are upheld.

He added that when government goes about the business of providing services and assistance in development, it is really responding to people’s need which is their right to expect.

Minister for Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening Manasseh Maelanga in his welcome speech, said the paramount importance of such forum is that the provincial leaders are given the opportunity to see and discuss matters that are of common interest to all provinces, but are dealt with in different ways by each province.

"You can share experiences on how you deal with your unique characteristics to see development needs are addressed," he told the provincial leaders.

The conference will end on Friday.

A mini trade and agriculture show will take place today at Tulagi sports ground.

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