Malaitans Evicted from Guadalcanal

What is affected
Housing private
Type of violation Forced eviction
Date 01 April 1998
Region Oceania
Country Solomon Islands
Location Guadalcanal Island1

Affected persons

Total 20
Men 0
Women 0
Children 0
Proposed solution

Forced eviction

Duty holder(s) /responsible party(ies)

Brief narrative PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORTPacific Islands Development Program/East-West CenterWith Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies/University of Hawai‘i--------------------------------------------------------------------------------CommentarySTILL WAITING FOR JUSTICE IN SOLOMON ISLANDSBy Frank ShortQUEENSLAND, Australia (Sept. 6) - The people of the United States will shortly pause, reflect, and solemnly remember the terrible loss of life that occurred during the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington. A day said by many to have been the Day that Changed the World.How many I wonder will stop to reflect on the happenings that occurred in September 1998 in the Solomon’s National Parliament? A time, it could be argued, which changed the Happy Isles forever.It was then that the Solomon Islands Alliance for Change Government (SIAC) led by Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa’alu faced a third (and final) motion of no confidence brought on by the opposition despite SIAC’s early success in reforming the sick economy, tackling the budget deficit and introducing a much needed re-structuring and downsizing programme for the top-heavy civil service.In the event the Government scraped through by a slender majority and a source close to the police alleged that to destabilize the government a decision was then made to play the ethnic card and to intensify demands by the Guadalcanal Provincial Administration for compensation for loss of land and for those allegedly murdered by Malaitans.It was never completely clarified who instigated the underhand tactics in urging the then Guadalcanal Premier, Ezekiel Alebua, to press his demands but the former Prime Minister, Solomon Mamaloni, was alleged to have had a hand in the plot.It might be recalled that in a leaked Australian document left by chance at a venue in Cairns a year before, a top Australian official had singled out Solomon Mamaloni as potentially troublesome and the then incoming Australian High Commissioner, James Batley, now the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) Special Co-coordinator, spent the first week of his new posting sorting out ruffled feathers in the Mamaloni camp.The events and atrocities that followed the incitement of ethnic conflict are well documented and still horribly vivid in the minds of those who suffered on both sides. But still there has been no Commission of Inquiry as called for by many, including myself, and by the Pacific Islands Forum Eminent Persons Group. In a report produced following its review of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), the group reported that the underlying causes of the conflict needed to be investigated. It also recommended that the Solomon Islands Government consider establishing a Commission of Inquiry with an independent chair to investigate the causes of the conflict and suggest ways forward. I believe that those responsible for plotting, conspiring and instigating the conflict, the so-called big-fish, should also be quickly identified and prosecuted. I am at a loss to understand why following the arrest and conviction of many of the foot soldiers, including Harold Keke and Joseph Sangu who, presumably were fully interrogated by their RAMSI investigators during the course of their initial arrest and afterwards, no arrests have yet taken place of the main culprits.I am seemingly not alone in voicing such an opinion and many at the grass roots level and in the professional fields seem to echo the same sentiments. It was noted that in March this year the local leaders in the northern region of Malaita called on the government and RAMSI to establish the root causes of the conflict. Speaking to a high level delegation led by the RAMSI Special Coordinator, James Batley, one of the local chiefs said although RAMSI and the government were t
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