PERMANENT Secretary for the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS), Stanley Dick Pirione has labelled a front-page article on the Solomon Star newspaper yesterday “out of context, provocative and malicious”.
The article was on the Malaita Acting Premier’s walk-off from the Premiers’ Meeting on Tuesday 28th during the Attorney General’s presentation.
“This is the very reason why we have restricted the Premiers Meeting to certain groups of the media fraternity only,” Pirione stated.
“It’s because of the fact that statements can be intentionally mishandled and misquoted just for the sake of their newspaper sales,” he added.
The PS stated that the acting premier’s walk off is understandable taking into consideration the political situation in Malaita Province, and the fact that he was continuously contacted and pressured not to attend the meeting since Day 1.
He referred to the acting premier as a responsible person who did return and re-join the meeting and interacted with everyone else.
“It’s no big deal. He was just cooling off. We thank him for his understanding.”.
Pirione clarified that it is normal in every Premiers Meeting or Conferences that premiers so many times highlighted issues that are directly related to their respective Provinces.
“The discussions are robust, open and matured and yes, it can be emotional at times, but as leaders, self-control is exercised and matters are discussed responsibly with understanding and maturity.
“As the moderator of the meeting I endeavored to keep sensitive issues under control.
“This is what I have been doing for the past 5 Premiers conferences since 2011,” he stated. “Yes some of the premiers are new and may be their first time to attend such high level and professional forum.
“What really matters most in the meeting is the updates and presentation of work programs and budgets where Provincial Governments and the National Government can work together in ironing out certain issues particularly the covid19 and the SIG’s policy Re-Direction Strategic Plan.
“All premiers truly appreciated and thank the MPGIS, the PMO and the SIG for hosting the meeting.
“The manner in which the Solomon Star exaggerated and over-sensationalize the issue is uncalled for.”
Pirione said urges the media to report sensibly and responsibly.
“It’s inappropriate to get only one side of issues and publish them as news unnecessarily. This is irresponsible reporting on half cooked facts.”
The Premiers meeting ended on Tuesday 28th September 2021 with the signing of a Premiers communique which has already been submitted to the Minister of Provincial Government & Institutional strengthening, Rollen Seleso for his action.