Guadalcanal Province Premier Francis Belande Sade condemns the continuing violence, looting and destruction of properties in Honiara and appeals for peace.
He also calls on the National Government to urgently convene a meeting of Members of Parliament and Provincial Premiers to discuss a solution to the situation. The violence started yesterday following a demonstration calling on the Hon Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to resign. It quickly degenerated into looting and the destruction and burning of properties.
Premier Sade calls on “our people to do the right thing and stop the violence and return to your families and communities.” He says while he understands that some people might have political disagreements with the Central Government, violence and the destruction of properties are not lawful means of expressing political discontent. Premier Sade says, “we can resolve our differences in a civil manner and by respecting our country’s laws. We cannot correct a perceived wrong by committing another wrong.”
He says “the looting and destruction of properties we now see in Honiara is criminal. It is not a lawful political expression.”
“History shows us that similar incidents in the past have not led to positive outcomes. Instead, they have set our country back decades and brought disrepute to our image internationally,” says Premier Sade.
Meanwhile, Premier Sade appeals to Guadalcanal people to refrain from participating in these criminal activities and ask them to return to their homes and ensure the safety of their families and properties.
He also calls on national and provincial leaders to stop politicizing the events by making statements that could potentially worsen the situation. “As leaders, it is our responsibility to calm the situation and facilitate dialogue,” says the Premier.
Premier Sade also thanked members of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF), doctors, nurses and other professionals who are working to ensure the health and safety of our people. “I know this is a difficult situation. I therefore thank you for your tireless efforts to ensure the safety of properties and people. Please know that your efforts are appreciated,” Premier Sade says.