32 buildings burnt during riots to be demolished


ABOUT 32 buildings torched and destroyed during the riots in November 21 are recommended to be demolished immediately.

This came after assessments carried out by Ministry of Infrastructure Development, Development Architectural and building license services, National Disaster Management Office, Honiara City Council and Solomon Islands Fire Services last year.

This happened after HCC convened a meeting with Solomon Islands Chinese Association (SICA) in January 2022.

Ministry of Home Affairs permanent secretary, Jeffrey Sade Deve told media last Friday that in a follow up meeting with SICA, they focussed on the need to rebuild Chinatown.

However, he said it was delayed because some property owners are still waiting for financial supports from the National Government.

Further to that, Sade said some property owners have raised concern of another riot occurring during the National General Elections in April 2023.

As such, he said most of them have agreed to start rebuilding their properties after the elections.

Furthermore, Sade said some of them try to rebuild, so HCC has granted them approval in consistence with National Building Code and building ordinances.

Apart from that, Secretary to Prime Minister, Dr Jimmy Rodgers said from a Pacific Games perspective, they join HCC and speaking with SICA to flatten the structures if they are not going to rebuild.

He said this is to avoid ‘eyesore’ during the Games.

Rodgers said this will also include buildings left standing at King George Six in East Honiara.

Ministry of Finance and Treasury has confirmed the November riots has showed an estimated loss of $811 million in 2021.

It happened after protestors demanded Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to step down after his government switched diplomatic ties from Taiwan to China.

However, there were other mixed issues blamed for the riots as well like ‘economic inequality’ and ‘ethnic tension’.

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