Leaked documents have allegedly shown that the Government has granted approval for 10 Chinese security personnel whom the Chinese Government wanted them armed to be stationed at the PRC Embassy in Honiara to provide security for the embassy and do escorts outside of the mission.
It was for a period between six months to one year, according to the leaked documents.
But only hours after the documents were leaked on social media, the Government today has cautioned the public to be alert against fake news or misinterpreted commentaries on social media forums following leaked documents containing official correspondences between the Solomon Islands Government and the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) Embassy in Honiara.
The leaked documents which have now gone viral on social media contain a diplomatic note from PRC Embassy seeking exemption to bring in the personnel with light arms and other equipment, also included a letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Ministry of Police informing them of their approval and for further follow-up.
The diplomatic note states that PRC Government had decided to send a plainclothes security team (10) with necessary light weapons and equipment to the Chinese Embassy in Solomon Islands.
The team will be responsible for internal security and necessary escort missions outside of the Chinese Embassy with all security personnel to hold diplomatic passports with official status as attaché of the mission.
The note states that considering the current security situation in Solomon Islands and the strong relationships between China and Solomon Islands, as well as pressing security concerns of the Chinese embassy, it would be highly appreciated if the government of Solomon Islands could facilitate to grant permission to enter the team, the light weapons and equipment.
In response and in a letter purported to be written by the PS of Foreign Affairs Collin Beck to his colleague of the Ministry of Police, National Security and Correction Services, Karen Galokale which was dated on 9th December, he said: “My ministry during the period (rioting and looting) could not guarantee the safety of the Embassy and staff. As host country we have no objection to the request.”
He acknowledged that sadly this sets a precedent but China is a special case noting public debate was and remains directed against China’s interests in the country from certain quarters of “our country’s population”.
Beck said there is a matter of small arms proposal to be brought into the country saying: “I will leave that to your ministry to consider.”
SBMOnline today contacted the RSIPF Media Unit for the status of the request for arms but that information was not forthcoming since this article was published online.
Meanwhile, the Government in a statement today warns social media on the leaks.
GOV’T CAUTIONS AGAINST FAKE NEWS AFTER LEAKED DOCUMENTS
The Government today has cautioned the public to be alert against fake news or misinterpreted commentaries on social media forums following leaked documents containing official correspondences between the Solomon Islands Government and the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) Embassy in Honiara.
The Government said relevant Ministries will issue an official statement soon.
“There is nothing to be concerned about” the Government further stated.
It is anticipated that more fear mongering, lies and propaganda will be forthcoming from people who are hell bent on creating instability for their own interests.
The Government encourages social media commentators not to be emotionally swayed by the leaked documents as clarifications are forthcoming in an official statement.