Chinese business owners call to assess loss

Carnage on the streets of Honiara. PHOTO: Mavis N Podokolo
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SOLOMON Islands Chinese Association (SICA) is urging its members to assess the loss and damage to their shops and cargoes from the burning and looting last week.

Most of the looting and burning occurred at Chinatown, followed by Kukum and Ranadi.

Most of the victims were Chinese businesses. Few locally owned businesses were also destroyed or damaged.

SICA President Henry Kwan said the assessment is very important so the Association can provide a credible report to the Government to assist their members in the rebuilding phase.

He said it is not possible to speculate on the cost of loss and damage because no one knows how many cargoes were in the shops.

Kwan said only when individual members provide their report before they can know the basis of the cost behind the loss and damage of the properties and cargoes.

Billy Wong, President of Solomon Islands Fujian Community in Honiara told Radio Australia more than 60 shops with cargoes were burnt, already worth around SBD$2 billion.

Wong said during the 2006 riot, the Government did not provide them assistance to help in the rebuilding.

However, SICA President, Kwan said currently such amount is mere speculation.

According to report received by Island Sun, 350 Chinese nationals were affected after about 85 shops were burnt down during the riot.

Kwan said most of them have been left homeless after the riot, sheltering at centres provided by authorities.

However, he said since the situation had return to normalcy, most are living with their friends and families at the moment.

In addition, Kwan said SICA is working with the government to arrange any flight to repatriate Chinese who want to return home.

Solomon Islands Red Cross Society said it will be doing a registration soon to ascertain the exact number of those who have been affected.

SIRCS said the assessment will likely to be completed on Sunday.

“Right now, we are in discussions with the National Disaster Management Office and partners preparing to finalize matters for the assessment proper,” SIRCS said.