OPPOSITION Leader Hon Matthew Wale says the use of replica guns in today’s RSIPF rioting and public order demonstration in Honiara has raised a lot of eyebrows.
The RSIPF today held a demonstration in front of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers on the different tactics on how to respond to rioting and public disorder.
This followed the months long training done by the PRC police in Honiara.
Hon Wale said the use of the replica guns now confirms concerns raised by the Opposition on the guns shipment in recent months.
“The RSIPF demonstration with replica guns only confirms that our police are actually being trained with the replica guns in preparation for any future incidences where real firearms will be used against our citizens. If that is the case then this is worrying,” he said.
Hon Wale said the use of replica guns also confirms that the real guns are either in the country already or are on its way into Solomon Islands soon.
“The concern here is the fact that we now know that our local police will now be armed with real guns to be used against our citizens,” he said.
The Opposition Leader said Solomon Islands has a very dark history with guns and if RSIPF is using guns against its citizens as part of its training then this is very disturbing.
“Obviously we do not have external threats so the use of guns during the training is for what reason? Or are we on the pathway of being militarised again? Obviously, if it is none of the two matters raised above then we are allowing China to train our police to use guns against our own citizens,” he said.
Hon Wale said it was also shocking to learn that during the demonstration the Prime Minister also uttered the words ‘I feel safer now’.
“This is very disturbing and insensitive which only confirms our concerns raised in the past that these guns and trainings are all part of the plan to protect a government that is planning to do something against the people’s will,” he said.
The Opposition Leader said citizens of this country should know by now that the government is doing all these not to protect citizens of this country but their corrupt regime.“It is important that everybody feels safe in Solomon Islands. But the Prime Minister’s statement that he now feels safer betrays his true intent even with the China security pact. It’s not to secure Solomon Islanders but the Prime Minister against his own people,” Hon Wale said.