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    SORE BOOTED

    Honiara City Council Clerk Rence Sore. Photo: Charles Kadamana

    HCC terminates controversial Clerk’s contract

    BY ALFRED PAGEPITU

    THE Honiara City Council (HCC) Executive Committee has terminated the contract of Rence Sore as City Clerk.

    Deputy Mayor Francis Idu told Island Sun yesterday the decision was reached on Tuesday, with Mr Sore receiving the termination letter yesterday.

    Sore is being investigated over allegations of corruption. However, Idu said HCC executive were in one-mind to get rid of him.

    Sore did not return phone calls made to him last night for comment.

    Deputy Mayor Idu said the executive is doing what former Mayor, Wilson Mamae hesitated to do.

    “Seven Councillors have decided to terminated Sore after the Councillors Committee members meeting on Tuesday 6th April 2021 held at the HCC Chamber decide to terminate Sore’s contract as the Clerk.”

    Idu said the decision is based on the grounds that there is sufficient evidence to terminate the City Clerk; one of the main reasons is illegal sale of Council land PN. 192010-33.

    “HCC Legal team stressed that any decision to terminate the City Clerk must come with good grounds to avoid any repercussion.”

    Idu said despite this the executive committee favoured terminating the City Clerk with immediate effect.

    “There were two options that were considered, and that is either to suspend the City Clerk and allow for investigations to be carried out or to immediately terminate the Clerk.

    “We the executive committee’s decision now is to terminate the appointment of the City Clerk immediately.

    “During the discussion on the motion put forward to terminate the Clerk, Cr Eddie Siapu stated that it would be in the best interest of the Council and the public to terminate the City Clerk.

    “Most of the councillors who joined the meeting shared the same sentiment that termination of the City Clerk needs to be done immediately to clear way forward for the council.

    “The executive committee resolves to terminate the appointment of the City Clerk with the immediate effect based on reasons stated on April 6, 2021 meeting.”

    Idu said the executive committee resolved to revoke and remove the City Clerk’s signature from the Council’s Bank Account, and resolution was passed by majority.

    Meanwhile, Idu said they have appointed the current Deputy City Clerk to be the acting City Clerk until such time a new Clerk is appointed by the full Council.

    Present at the meeting were Councillors Francis Idu, Dorah Huapii, Robert Oge, Mostyn Saferio, Clement Terewauri, Luciano Sade and Eddie Siapu.

    Ex-officio present were Paul Inifiri, William Floyd and Vincent Kohata.

    Malaita PS challenges Public Service over ‘unlawful’ suspension

    By EDDIE OSIFELO

    MALAITA Provincial Secretary Fredrick Fa’abasua is challenging his suspension.

    The province said Fa’asubua will initiate legal proceeding unless the Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Public Service, Nego Sisiolo “withdraws the unlawful suspension on him”.

    Premier Daniel Suidani confirmed this in a statement yesterday after PS Sisiolo issued the suspension letter to Fa’abasua last Friday.

    Suidani said Sisiolo accused Fa’abasua of financial allegations that were “untrue, and in the same letter, he ordered the suspension of our PS, effective immediately”.

    “Unfortunately, in doing so, Sisiolo did not follow the process set out in the Public Service Act and its Regulations,” Suidani said.

    “The Public Service Act and its regulations have a specific legal process set out, by which such accusations can be taken up and acted upon,” he added.

    Suidani said this legal process provides the opportunity for natural justice, and this process was not, repeat was not, followed by Sisiolo.

    He said the Public Service Act sets out a process by which any officer alleging misconduct and having supervisory responsibility over the PS must have a report about this accusation filed to the PS of Public Service. 

    The PS of Public Service in turn must give a minimum period of seven days to the officer to respond.

    “None of these steps have happened or if it had happened the PS has not been aware of it, and therefore our PS has decided to put these issues before the Permanent Secretary of Public Service for him to do the right thing by following the clear process that is set down.

    “Soon these matters will be at court but for now I will say the following:

    1. PS Fa’abasua has been an exemplary public officer and a real servant to Malaita people.
    2. His hard work and integrity has led to the repayment of millions of dollars of outstanding debt left by previous provincial executives.
    3. His dedication and faithfulness have seen the charging of fair business licenses on the logging companies ripping our people’s land.
    4. His careful diligence has given pride and hope to the people of Malaita Province.”

    Suidani said it is sad after all this work, two different ministries have tried to remove PS Fa’abasua from serving the people of Malaita Province.

    Last year in December the Ministry of Provincial Government demanded the removal of PS Fa’abasua back to Honiara.

    Suidani said no reason was given in this demand and the PS kept serving the people of Malaita.

    He alleged this current action by Sisiolo from Ministry of Public Service is similarly motivated. 

    “He (Sisiolo) is trying to remove PS from Malaita Province, this time by trying to suspend him without any proper evidence put against the PS and without even complying with his own regulations.

    “I am not sure of the real reason for these constant attacks on PS Fa’abasua, but the timing of this action by Sisiolo will have some severe effects on the people and province of Malaita,” he said.

    Suidani said his Executive is scheduled to meet today Tuesday, March 16, to pass the budget for Malaita Province.

    “If Sisiolo’s action succeeds, then our PS will be suspended when he should be helping the Executive pass this budget. Malaita Province will then have no budget to spend this year and this will have serious impact on the people of Malaita.

    “In light of this seriousness, I appeal to Sisiolo for the withdrawal of the order to immediately suspend PS Fa’abasua. If he has genuine concerns for upholding the rule of law, I invite him to proceed as set out in the Public Service Act,” he said.

    Suidani said the PS of Public Service without any good reason is attempting to discipline the PS of Malaita Province, yet he is allowing a person who has been found to be a foreigner by the High Court of Solomon Islands to continue holding senior sensitive political jobs in the Prime Minister’s Office.

    “That person too has contravened the Electoral Acts of this country yet the leaders of this country including the PS of Public Service are turning a blind eye on that situation. 

    “The PS of Public Service needs to explain that to the people of Malaita.  Why is he tolerating wilful and reckless behaviour by a foreigner and harassing a national without due process?” he asked.

    However, PS Sisiolo said the suspension decision is due to serious allegations around unaccountable sum of government revenue in which the PS is alleged to have directly involved in.

    “As part of protecting the credibility of the service and upholding better governance, my office deemed it is prudent to suspend the officer from duty to allow investigation into the allegations.

    “As usual, the PS will be accorded natural justice process as we pursue the disciplinary process,” he said.

    PS Sisiolo said the incumbent of the office of the provincial secretary is an extremely important public office because it administers service delivery that affects the affairs of the rural people.

    “Therefore any decision that will affect the said office expected HR capacity is accorded thorough thinking,” he said.

    A statement from the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS) yesterday stated that the Provincial Secretary for Malaita Province is suspended based on allegations raised by former disgruntled Malaita workers.

    “Based on documents submitted, the Ministry of Public Service (MPS) perused those matters reported by former employees. Based on the allegations, the MPS carried out a preliminary investigation and decided to suspend the Public Officer to give way for a full investigation.

    “These cases were brought forward by concerned and aggrieved citizens and not in any way reflect any attempts by the MPGIS or the Solomon Islands Government to tarnish either the PS or the Malaita Provincial Government,” the statement said.

    COVID-19 SCARE: Results all negative

    By Taromane Martin

    The Ministry of Health and Medical Services will continue COVID-19 testing on officials that had recently boarded the MV Papamau in Honiara.

    Minister for Health and Medical Services, Honourable Dr Culwick Togamana said during his unexpected COVID-19 nationwide address last night, regarding MV Papamau crew members.

    Dr Togamana said his Ministry was alerted that 13 of the ship’s 14 crew members had tested positive for COVID-19 in Nauru on its arrival from Honiara on Tuesday July 25th.

    Togamana said a comprehensive risk assessment for all boarding parties, which included Customs, Health, Immigration, Biosecurity, Ship agents and the SI Ports boat captain was immediately conducted by the Ministry.

    “Fellow citizens, ladies and gentlemen, residing in country and abroad. Thank you for tuning in to this rather unexpected nationwide address this evening,” he said.

    “As your Minister for Health, it is my duty to provide timely information to all of us, especially in this time of public state of emergency and uncertainties in light of the COVID-19 global pandemic to prevent any unnecessary fear or panic, therefore this special address tonight.

    “Fellow citizens, my ministry was alerted last night by one of the shipping agents, through the controller of customs of a foreign going vessel that 13 of its 14 crew members had tested positive for COVID-19 in Nauru on July 25th.

    “These are crew members of MV Papamau that was offloading cargo in Honiara on 15th July and had left for Nauru on the same day.

    “The vessel was boarded with one new crew member in Suva on 10th July before it set sail for Honiara. The crew member was tested negative for COVID-19 on 8th July, two days prior to boarding.

    “All other 13 crew members that had been on the vessel had tested negative for COVID-19 on 21st June.  The vessel left Fiji on 10th of July and arrived in Honiara port at 12 midday 14th July.

    “The vessel was allowed to proceed for inward clearance at 8am the next day 15th July and outward clearance at 4pm on the same day.

    “Prior to and upon arrival the exemption committee had assessed the vessel and allowed inward clearance to offload cargo after four and a half days quarantine at sea.

    “The vessel went back to Nauru from Honiara where all crew members were swabbed and tested on the 25th of July, in which 13 out of the 14 tests generated positive results for COVID-19.

    “With this information received, the Ministry immediately conducted a comprehensive risk assessment for all boarding parties, which included Customs, Health, Immigration, Biosecurity, Ship agents and the SI Ports boat captain.

    “All individuals identified in the boarding operation to clear and offloading of the cargo have been contacted and moved to quarantine, with swabs collected and COVID-19 testing done at the National Referral Hospital Molecular Laboratory late this afternoon.

    “Ladies and gentlemen, I have the test results for all those that went on board with me. All tests came back negative.

    “Swabbing is now being done for all Ports staffs which were on duty at that time the ship was in Honiara offloading. Praise be to God. Truly God has indeed come to our rescue,” the Minister for Health said.

    GOV’T: WE ARE SOLID

    DCGA dismisses reports of split

    THE coalition of political parties that formed the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) remains solid and united.

    The DCGA issued the statement following a fake news that claims 28 Members of Parliament from the government are deserting DCGA.

    The government statement says the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare is unshakeable and will not deter in its effort to steer the country clear from the COVID- 19 pandemic and ensuring the economy is sustained throughout this difficult time.

    “The DCGA will not allow a handful of people with ulterior motives to undermine its effort to serve the people,” the statement added.

    The DCGA statement says DCGA is committed to implement its redirection policies, which premised on two important objectives; to contain and eliminate COVID- 19 in a controlled environment and to stimulate the economy to ensure it remains afloat.

    The statement further adds that to date, Solomon Islands is one of the few countries in the world that effectively contained the pandemic from spreading into the communities.

    “This feat is credited to government’s effective policy direction and implementation,” the statement said.

    “The same is said of the economy.

    “While the extent of the effectiveness of the stimulus package is still to be determined through an on- going evaluation survey, early indicators revealed that the production of timber, copra, cocoa and other commodities picks up significantly after the rollout of stimulus package.

    “Business houses who benefit from the rental scheme under the stimulus package have remained in business as well and continue support the economy.

    “The positive impact of the stimulus package is expected to be fully felt across the economy once all the approved projects are funded and in full operation.

    “DCGA remains committed to prioritise and implement its policies all in the interest of serving the people and the economy and will not deter in this endeavour.

    “DCGA sees the circulation of rumours in the print media as a trend that thrives every time parliament is about to convene its meeting and police are continuing to investigate the alleged threats of violence being perpetrated by certain individuals with self-serving agendas designed to cause political instability and provoke social disharmony.

    “In the previous years the so- called veteran journalist Alfred Sasako also made similar outrageous and exaggerated news. 

    “History has it that it was Sasako who propagated a story saying that a government delegation that went to Indonesia returned home with envelopes of money each.

    “It was Sasako as well who, at one time, claimed that the Prime Minister has appointed former long serving police officer Walter Kola as the new Police Commissioner.

    “It is, therefore, not a coincidence to find Sasako playing his harp again at this time of the year.

    “DCGA believes Sasako is trumpeting the views of a handful of people with self-serving agenda’s looking for opportunities to cause political instability and social disharmony.

    “Government will not be deterred to implement its policy objectives and expects like- minded Solomon Islanders to remain steadfast and focused on contributing to nation- building.

    “The DCGA also made a reminder that the strength of the government can be contested only on the floor parliament, any other avenue will be deemed as illegal and undemocratic.

    “The Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet also confirms that to date no petition has been received.”

    TelCom revenue dropped

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    By EDDIE OSIFELO

    THE Telecommunication industry in Solomon Islands has seen a drop in revenue by 14 percent to $369 million from 2019.

    As such it is affecting a fall in the revenue of Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) to $862 in 2020 from $901 in 2019.

    This was revealed in the Telecommunications Commission 2020 annual report released recently in Honiara.

    “Although the fall in total revenue in 2020 can be indirectly linked to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic causing global and local economic recession, the trend can also indicate that the marginal revenue generated by the industry through the value-added services such as data and voice plans has not yet been realized,” the report states.

    The report also states that it is noteworthy to mention that this is despite the rapidly declining cost of data since early 2020 to an estimated SBD$0.06 since the opening of the undersea cable.

    Furthermore, the report states that although the mobile subscriber’s market has decreased by 10.3 percent from 2019, there is an increase in mobile broadband/internet subscribers by 3.3 percent to 133,148 in 2020 from the previous year.

    However, due to limited time and availability of data, the report does not cover any new local investments in the industry and comparison of local industry with those of the regional service providers.

    “Nor does it cover the accessibility of the telecommunications services to the remote areas of the country.

    “It should be noted that with the use of the recent 2019 national census projected figures, the estimates for the mobile and broadband/internet penetration are slightly different from the previous figures used in the previous annual reports of TCSI,” the report states.

    The report further states that the Telecommunication industry continues to maintain its share of the annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at 3 percent and is likely to grow given the trend in the global and local demand for the telecommunications services.

    The current Solomon Islands service providers that use the cable and satellite services are Solomon Telekom Company Ltd, Bmobile SI Ltd, Satsol Limited, Pacific Vaizeds Enterprises Ltd, Patrico Communications Ltd and Solitech Limited.

    Manele declares ownership of MV Lady Libaka

    MV Lady Libaka on arrival at Kaivanga bay

    BY CHARLES KADAMANA

    MEMBER of Parliament for Hograno, Kia and Havulei Jeremiah Manele says MV Libaka is owned by the constituency through a trust board.

    Manele said the trust board comprises of six wards, Havulei, Kia, Katova, Susubona, Kolotubi and Kolomola.

    Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga and Hon Manele officially launched the ship

    “You own this ship. It does not belong to the member of the parliament,” he told his people at the commissioning of the vessel last week.

    Manele also cleared doubts to his voters and non-voters that anyone can travel on the ship as long as they pay their sea fares and freights.

    “Anyone can travel on the ship, whether you vote or not for me you can travel on it so long as you pay your sea fare and freights,” he said.

    SONY DSC

    Manele said the constituency purchased the vessel following request from the people for a regular and non-discriminating shipping services.

    He said in recognition of the importance of shipping services and to stop the discrimination, the constituency responded to fulfil the wishes of his people.

    Communities at Kia put on action chorus as part of the celebration

    The Foreign Affairs minister said Solomon Islands is a maritime state therefore shipping service will continue to be needed.

    “With the vessel now made available it will help the communities to move around either for business, health, education or to support the mission of the church.”

    He said the availability of regular shipping service is important in the social and economic development of Isabel province and the country.

    Communities at Samasodu celebrating the launching of MV Lady Libaka with a dinner

    But Manele cautioned his people that operating a ship is a risky business and people need to understand that to be successful, they must run it on commercial bases.

    “That means even though they own the ship through HKH, the trust board, they must pay their fares and freights.

    “It does not mean that we own the ship and travel free. If this is going to be the practice the ship will not be able to provide us the service for that long,” he said.

    Communities from Hograno participating in the launching ceremony

    Going forward, Manele said people should not politicise the operation of the ship.

    He said the ship will be leased to Segeo shipping company and managed by the HKH constituency trust board.

    Hon Maelanga received his gift

    He acknowledges the chiefs of the six wards for working together from preparation to the launching of the ship.

    Manele encourages people from his constituency to work hard and engage in productive sector like copra, fishery, cocoa and kava, and make use of the ship to boost economic right from their home.

    Foreign ship not welcome back in Western Province

    The vessel that the Covid 19 cases are on board.

    BY BEN BILUA
    Gizo

    PREMIER of Western Province has warned foreign cargo vessel MV Vimaru Pearl and its agent, saying the ship is not welcome in the province.

    MV Vimaru Pearl was on the news headlines earlier this month when one of its crew tested positive for COVID-19.

    Speaking to Island Sun yesterday, David Gina said MV Vimaru and its crews will not enter Western Province after completing quarantine in Honiara.

    “I want to inform the Agent of MV Vimaru Pearl that the ship is not welcomed in Western Province and I call on the Prime Minister with the Oversight Committee not to return that ship to my province,” Gina said.

    “Again, I don’t want to see that ship in Western Province,” he added.

    Gina said there will be no local stevedores allowed to work onboard the ship if the government ignores the call and allow the ship back to Western Province.

    He said notice will be sent to all stevedore operators not to work onboard the ship.

    “I call upon stevedore operators to refrain from boarding the ship as it is still unsafe and would expose you and your families to the virus.

    “We must keep our people safe from the virus and that measures must be taken to safe ourselves and those around us,” Gina said.   

    He stressed that his decision is based on the interest of keeping people of Western Province from the deadly virus.

    “This is serious and I don’t want my people to be exposed,” Gina said.

    He also said that COVID-19 process and procedure needs to be reviewed as the original virus has replicate into different variants.

    “We saw it on TV, heard it on the radio and also read it on newspaper that there is Delta virus found to be more lethal.

    “Our country has established legal procedure and process in respond to COVID-19 based on the original virus, now there are different viruses and the situation now shift along with the news variants – meaning our country needs to make amendments on the existing process and procedures,” Gina said.

    Plans to include governance in our education system

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    BY JARED KOLI

    The Political Parties Commission is planning to work closely with the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development to include local governance structures and politics in the secondary education system.

    Political Parties Commission Registrar Jasper Highwood Anisi said students need to understand the party and voting system in the country.

    “Our social science subjects need to change, so we are looking at asking the Ministry of education to change some of these topics that our senior secondary schools are studying,” he said.

    “Once we have this in our secondary education system, then we will see a lot of change in our politics,” he added.

    He said the country has 43 years of history that needs to be taught to the next generation, and this is high time that it should move on to that level.

    “We can teach them about politics and even history of political parties in our country.

    “Our students need to understand the party system and voting system, so that they understand why they vote and how they should use their vote,” Anisi adds.

    He said one of the things they should learn is why they should vote and why it is important they should vote for political parties.

    Anisi was speaking to Island Sun in a recent interview at his office last week.

    Review of PPIA soon

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    The office of the Registrar of Political Parties.

    BY JARED KOLI

    THE Political Party Commission will soon carry out a nationwide consultation on the review of the Political Party Integrity Act 2014.

    Political Parties Commission Registrar Jasper Highwood Anisi said as part of the review process, due nationwide consultations will be undertaken, to ensure the voices of people are being captured as part of this process.

    He said once the review is approved by the cabinet, they will conduct the consultation stage, hopefully early next year. 

    “The Office of the Registrar has forwarded to a caucus paper to the Prime Minister’s Office, which sets out the review of the said Act.

    “We want to prepare it before the next election so that the gaps which was experienced in 2014 and 2019 NGE to be addressed,” he said

    Mr Anisi said the Commission want to reach out to every province but it also depend on funds for this exercise.

    “But with the limited budget we have we will try to reach out to the provinces,” he said.

    However, the Political Parties Registrar said they will also call out for submission from citizens to write to them their views if the consultation did not reach them.

    “If people think they can contribute to the government, they can write to us and tell their views. It does not mean that the government can go down to you all the time, we are here and you can write to us and tell us your views,” Mr Anisi said.

    He adds if they see good submission, they will acknowledge it and work on it.

    “Especially when it comes to things like reviewing an Act, citizens need to be part of it. You need to claim it as this belongs to you and for your good. 

    “You might not know the effects of it but politics affects daily life of citizens, it is like the air you breath, though you don’t want it but it will affect you because someone is making a decision on your behalf, and it will affect you. As such, citizens must participate on this,” he said.

    Anisi said they have just forward caucus paper to the Special Secretary to Prime Minister because it has to first get approval from the caucus before it goes to the cabinet.

    Prime Minister will present to the caucus.

    “We want to prepare it before the next election so that the next election, loopholes that experienced in 2019 will be solved,” said Anisi.

    Man who raped student gets three years in jail

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    BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

    A 19-YEAR-OLD man from Ngella has been sentenced to three years and six months for raping a primary school student last year at a village in Central Islands Province.

    High Court judge Justice Maelyn Bird after considering all the circumstances and facts of the case imposed a jail sentence of three and half years.

    “Whatever the circumstances in your case must be punished for what you did to the victim, the offence for which you are charged with is very serious and carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment,” Justice Bird told the defendant.

    “The punishment that the court shall impose on you will show to you the gravity of the offence and the public disapproval of your action,” she added.

    “It serves warning to others when you are punished for this crime because these laws are enacted for the protection of women and girls from abusive men like yourself.”

    However, considering the circumstances and taking into account the accused’s early guilty plea and his youthfulness, Justice Bird directed that one year and six months of the total sentence be suspended for two years on good behaviour.

    The incident occurred on 6 December 2020 at a village in Ngella.

    Police said the accused met the victim after church on Sunday on that date and asked the victim, if she could meet him that night.

    The victim then told the accused to came by their house.

    In the evening the accused came by and called the victim to the kitchen during which she was raped.

    Daniel Kwalai of the Public Solicitor’s office represents the accused while Dalcy Oligari of the office of the Director Public Prosecutions appeared for the crown.

    Residents question fencing of access road

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    Part of the fencing that blocked access road to residents and properties at Rove in Lower Tavio Ridge.

    BY JARED KOLI

    FENCING of a public access area at Rove, west Honiara, has prompted residents to call on the Town and Country Planning Board and the Commissioner of Lands to act and resolve the issue.

    A long-time resident Morris Rapa’ai said the fencing was done last week and has blocked access road to their residences and properties.

    “The Commissioner of Lands must work hard to correct this; this has becoming an issue and we are victims of this in Rove, Lower Tavio Ridge community,” Rapa’ai said. 

    The residents also called on the Town and Country Planning Board and the Commissioner of Lands to urgently assess the fencing of this public access.

    They had written to the Clerk of the Honiara City Council and copied to the Commissioner of Lands, the Honiara Town and Country Planning Board, Mayor of Honiara and the Permanent Secretary to the Minister of Lands, Housing and Survey to resolve the issue. 

    “As dwellers and property owners in the area way back in the 1970s and 1980s, we are concern about the strip of land granted to Mr Bosokuru lately which included the public access to our area.

    “As such we are lodging our formal complaint against the subdivision boundaries which does not take into proper consideration the normal planning regulation requirement for Honiara City,” the letter said.

    It adds: “As such, we are lodging our formal complaint against the subdivision boundaries which does not take into proper consideration the normal planning regulation requirement for Honiara city.”

    The residents request the authorities to re-assess the development and correct the subdivision boundaries to resolve the problem amicably.

    “We would like to inform your authorities that our community has condemn this development in the strongest term and would continue to pursue all means to ensure we have proper standard access to our areas and homes,” it said.

    The residents said the fencing will become a major hindrance to access their sites for development purposes.

    “We hope you understand the situation and would act to resolve the issue accordingly,” the letter reads.

    According to Lands and Title Act, public access as declared by the Minister responsible is not allowed for any property to be built on.

    “If the authorities give this land to this person, then they did not take into account the regulation of town boundary and the legislation under the Lands and Title Act,” adds Mr Rapa’ai.

    “Commissioner of Lands should revoke this because it is in a public access.”

    Commissioner of Lands could not be reached for comments yesterday.

    However, questions have already been furnished to his office.

    Island Sun is also seeking comments from the Honiara Town and Country Planning Board.

    MASI embarks on local scoping study

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    MASI consultation with Island Sun last week

    THE Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI) is embarking on a scoping study to strengthen the media industry.

    MASI executives recently consulted with media editors, senior media practitioners and other relevant bodies to identify and develop concepts to protect the media industry and to develop mechanisms to hold journalists to an expected standard to account for their work.

    MASI President, Georgina Kekea says the media industry in Solomon Islands is a growing one yet there is not a set standard code of practice for media practitioners nor does it have an establishment to ensure journalists and/or media organizations account for their publication.

    “We have a MASI code of ethics that sets the benchmark for high professional standards that all media have a duty to maintain,” Kekea explained.

    “However, without a clear pathway for its enforcement, this document lacks the teeth to bite,” she added.

    Kekea says throughout the world, the principles of journalism remain the same but the onus is on individual media organizations to respect the fundamental principles of journalism.

    “The media industry in Solomon Islands is vulnerable as there are no proper mechanisms in place to ensure journalists and media organizations account for the work that they do.

    “The industry needs to be protected as it is susceptible to individuals and groups with wrong intentions.”

    Kekea said Solomon Islands is a vibrant democratic country with so much freedom.

    However, she said with such freedom, there also comes great responsibilities. 

    “A responsible media industry is what MASI stands for.

    “We understand that information has the power to break or make a nation.

    “We cannot sit back and allow our country to crumble before our eyes through misguided propagated news,” the MASI President said.

    She says in addition to the scoping study, MASI is also undergoing a number of activities for its members.

    “This includes research on the media business environment, a media cafe’ and a mass media campaign on the role of the media.

    “The media campaign will start in August.”

    MASI’s mission is to strengthen the media industry in Solomon Islands and the MASI Executive is keen in carrying out the mission as expected.

    Data received from the study and research will guide the work of MASI and the media industry now and into the future.

    “The Prime Minister is keen on bringing a Media Practitioner’s Bill to parliament in October and we are hoping the scoping study will assist us in finding the right mechanisms for us.

    “The pathway for the media industry now lies in the results of the study.”

    DFAT, Internews Network an international NGO supporting the work of media worldwide and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) are supporting MASI in these different activities.

    “I would like to thank the different organizations for their support towards MASI in trying to strengthen the work of the media in Solomon Islands.

    “All these activities are initiatives of the MASI Executive and we would like to thank the different organizations for seeing the need to support us in our endeavors.

    “MASI will continue to do its best to ensure the media industry is well protected and that journalists are able to do their work in a robust industry. If not now, at least for our future generation,” the MASI President said.

    Latest Stories

    COVID-19 SCARE: Results all negative

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    By Taromane Martin The Ministry of Health and Medical Services will continue COVID-19 testing on officials that had recently boarded the MV Papamau in Honiara. Minister...

    GOV’T: WE ARE SOLID

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    DCGA dismisses reports of split THE coalition of political parties that formed the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) remains solid and united. The DCGA issued...

    TelCom revenue dropped

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    By EDDIE OSIFELO THE Telecommunication industry in Solomon Islands has seen a drop in revenue by 14 percent to $369 million from 2019. As such it...

    Manele declares ownership of MV Lady Libaka

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    BY CHARLES KADAMANA MEMBER of Parliament for Hograno, Kia and Havulei Jeremiah Manele says MV Libaka is owned by the constituency through a trust board. Manele...

    Foreign ship not welcome back in Western Province

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    BY BEN BILUAGizo PREMIER of Western Province has warned foreign cargo vessel MV Vimaru Pearl and its agent, saying the ship is not welcome in...

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    25.1 ° C
    25.1 °
    25.1 °
    89 %
    3kmh
    79 %
    Tue
    26 °
    Wed
    30 °
    Thu
    29 °
    Fri
    29 °
    Sat
    29 °

    Exchange Rate

    USD - United States Dollar
    AUD
    0.7365
    NZD
    0.6973
    EUR
    1.1771
    CAD
    0.7959
    SGD
    0.7346
    JPY
    0.0090
    GBP
    1.3748