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Police barge in at Governor General’s residence without warning

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Times, Sept. 6, 2011) – In the Solomons, the Government House says it is disappointed over how the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) Police Officers carried out an advance security check at the Governor General's premises last Thursday.

[PIR editor’s note: In the late 1990s, Solomon Islands experienced increasing civil unrest and instability, leading to a breakdown in the delivery of basic services including law and order. In 2003, the Solomon Islands Government requested assistance from Pacific Island Countries. There are 15 contributing countries to the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands. The goal is to help improve on law and order, justice, security, economic growth, and long-term stability.]

A statement from the Government House Private Secretary, Nigel Maezama says the security check was carried out ahead of the United Nations Secretary General's visit over the weekend.

He says the RAMSI police personnel arrived in two vehicles "without notifying the Government House before their check and also did not stop at the Guard House."

He says upon arrival, the officers rushed towards the front door to the residence of the Governor General to open the door when they were stopped by the Aide de Camp.

Mr. Maezama says the other officers entered the premises of the Governor General without permission.

He says this is not the first time RAMSI police officers showed disrespect to the office of the Governor General, adding that the same treatment was also done during the term of two previous Governor Generals.

The Private Secretary says there is a pattern of disrespect by RAMSI police officers for the office of the Governor General of Solomon Islands and no amount of past apologies seems to work for them.

Meanwhile RAMSI says it is "aware of the Governor General's feelings" and the RAMSI Special Coordinator Nicholas Coppel has written to apologize to the Governor General.

RAMSI says it deeply regrets that its personnel have not provided prior notification of the security assessment for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's visit.

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