SICCI calls on leaders to dialogue with protesters to defuse situation.

Burnt our building at Ranadi. PHOTO: William Ekotani
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“Private Sector & businesses are becoming victims”

The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) on behalf of the private sector and the business community is calling on the country’s leaders both in Government and the Parliamentary Opposition to come out and hold dialogue with protesters to immediately defuse the protests, looting and burning down of businesses in Honiara City.

SICCI Board Chairman, Mr. Ricky Fuo’o has condemned the violence seen in the looting and burning down of businesses and call on political leaders both in Government and Opposition to dialogue with protest leaders or protesters to work out a response to put a stop to this.

“This needs to stop as businesses and the private sector are becoming victims of the political unrest. That has to start at the top in terms of political leadership,” he said.

“On behalf of the Chamber and the business community, we call to immediately resolve the issue before it gets out of hand and affects the recovery of private sector in these trying times,” Mr. Fuo’o said.

SICCI also calls our leaders to immediately deal with the root causes of the recent violence, which will take its toll on business confidence and the country’s image as a safe place to do business.

“This is not protest. This is vandalism and acts of criminals.”

“Events like Wednesday and today’s opportunistic violence can have significant negative impacts on business activities as we have witnessed these past two days so as a Chamber, we strongly condemn the disturbances that has occurred.

“The resulting damages can set businesses back in having to rebuild and restock. The costs in non-operating days also impact on the everyday Solomon Islander. In most cases the customer at the end of the chain will meet these costs,” Mr. Fuo’o said.

SICCI reminds leaders that such violence as shown this week will not do anyone any good.

“It will only affect the lives of the innocent people in our communities including women and children.

“It will also affect businesses which provides employment for our local people and in turn provides revenue for the Government to fund much-needed public services including hospitals, schools and roads,” Mr. Fuo’o said.

The least our leaders can do is to work together and find an amical solution to this situation.

-SICCI Media