PMO awaits petition

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CALM DOWN: Police Inspector Tex Tafoa addressing a crowd that gathered at Kukum yesterday in anticipation of a protest march to the Prime Minister's Office. Heavy presence of Police on ground at Kukum on Monday calmed the rowdy crowd and dispersed them while their leaders worked with Police to address the issue.
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THE Office of Prime Minister and Cabinet is still to receive the petition from the so-called Honiara based Malaitans group.

Special Secretary to the Prime Minister, Albert Kabui told media in a press conference yesterday that they are still to see the petition.

However, he said if the office receives the petition, they will look into it.

Kabui said there was no petition received in July as claimed in the media.

Attorney General, John Muria Junior said the government has a process to receive submission.

Furthermore, Kabui said in terms of assembly by the group that breached the Emergency Regulation under the State of Public Emergency, this is up to the police to deal with it.

He said any arrest is subject to police investigation.

A spokesman for the group, Noxly Atu earlier told Island Sun they had been in dialogue since Thursday last week because the Prime Minister reportedly did not receive the petition, they had handed his office on July 23, 2021. It was also reported that the petition was not properly signed.

“Because of this we are working on it to have our group leaders to sign it, and we will resubmit it to the Prime Minister tomorrow [Tuesday this week],” said Mr Atu.

The initial petition was reportedly submitted to the Prime Minister two weeks ago, July 23 and copied to the Opposition leader, Police Commissioner and the Honiara City Mayor.

Only Opposition Leader Matthew Wale and the Honiara City Mayor had acknowledged receiving their copies of the petition.

On Sunday a crowd of Honiara-Malaitans met with senior officers of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) at the new Kukum market where they dialogued following the petition.

Police told the crowd and leaders of the Honiara-based Malaitan group to allow time to sort things out.

On Monday, a rowdy crowd gathered again at the Kukum market area with plans to stage a protest march to the Office of the Prime Minister.

A heavy police presence was at the scene and officers managed to calm the crowd and disperse them with help of the group leaders.

Commissioner of Police Mostyn Mangau in a media statement that day strongly asked those who intended to join the protest to refrain.

“The planned protest was illegal under the Procession Act and the current State of Public Emergency Regulation. RSIPF will not tolerate such illegal activities that threatens Public Safety and National Security. The Police is on top of the situation and have advice the organisers not to progress with any protest whatsoever.”


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