Solomons Civil Society Group Supports Students’ Protest

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PM Lilo also called to address teachers’ salaries

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Oct. 23, 2013) – The Joint Civil Society Groups and Concerned Citizens (JCSG & CC) are calling on authorities to support and help facilitate the proposed Solomon Islands National University (SINU) students’ peaceful protest march.

In a statement yesterday the JCSG & CC is further calling on Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo and his government to immediately address the public servants teachers association - PSTA teachers’ salary re-levelling and welfare issues. "SINU, Waimapuru and KGVI schools are amongst our most important educational institutions and incessantly neglecting their issues is analogous to destroying the future of this nation. Needless to mention, the right of access to quality education for our future leaders that has been seriously violated by the government of the day."

The Interim Chairman of JCSG & CC and Acting CEO of ANSI Mr. Barnabas Henson submits: "Suppressing the constitutional rights of assembly and expression of the SINU student body would be imprudent and a highly unsafe thing to do. The authorities need to recognize right and reality and act with good reason and responsibility.

"In most cases, seen globally and in most recent times, violent public reaction has become a necessary course of action when democratically elected governments exercise authoritarian and suppressive governance against its own people.

"Instability is created when governments suppress peoples’ fundamental rights and freedoms through frustrating legitimate methods of seeking redress. This is when people resort to street justice and other drastic forms of redress that threaten violence, and threaten lives."

The JCSG & CC in supporting the proposed SINU student protest and PSTA teachers’ sit-in protest makes a strong call on the Prime Minister and his NCRA government to immediately resolve these critical issues without fail.

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