2012 has been a busy year for the country as it played host to
some major and dramatic events successfully.
Some of the major events include the successful hosting of the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts, OFC Nations Cup, and the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Those events elevated the Solomon Islands in the world map. There were other important issues throughout the year that worth remembering.
The Solomon Star’s Eddie Osifelo takes a look back at the highlights and some of the key stories of 2012 to sum up the year.
A group led by a Tetere inmate escapee clashed with another group at Guadalcanal Plantation Palm Oil Limited (GPPOL) on New Year’s day.
It was reported fire arms were involved in the clash.
There were no casualties.
Police arrested some of those involved in the dispute.
Doctors and Nurses reported a busy period.
A lot of people ended up at the National Referral Hospital after the New Year celebrations.
Complications ranged from accidents to fighting.
No deaths reported.
Governor General Sir Frank Kabui thanked all citizens and those that contribute to welfare and socio-economic development of the country for their tireless contributions in 2011.
He mentioned this when delivering his New Year’s message to the nation.
Sir Frank said despite of all the achievements the country had made over the past years, the biggest challenge of the country was ‘nation building’.
The Governor General Sir Frank Kabui announced the New Years Honours and Awards for 2012 in his New Year’s speech.
Among the nine recipients were two women.
They were Edit Mary Koete and Annie Marciala Saenamua plus Fr Peter Noel Orudiana, Edmund Sikua, Nathaniel Mosese, Gwen Ratu, John Magu Rove, John Walenenea and Chris Laekalia.
A MASSIVE search and rescue operation was mounted in search for a man from Wagina, Choiseul province who went missing at sea.
The search and rescue office in Honiara identified the man as Solo Ngatonga.
He went missing between Nukumaroro village in Wagina and Hay Cook Island on a white 60 horse powered bray boat.
ACTING Police Commissioner Walter Kola confirmed there was never a case against Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo in regards to the tsunami funds saga.
This was because police never received any formal complaints against the Prime Minister regarding the tsunami funds.
He said the only police case related to the Prime Minister was the awarding of contract for the cleanup of Gizo Township to Red Devil Company after the tsunami.
But Mr Kola said that matter was fully investigated and was established that the contract was awarded through Cabinet and therefore there was nothing to substantiate any criminal proceedings.
PRIME Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo arrived back in the country after undergoing a minor cardiac check-up at the Saint Vincent Hospital in Sydney.
Prime Minister Lilo’s visit to the cardiology department of the Saint Vincent Hospital has raised questions about his health.
Mr Lilo was seen accompanied to the Hospital by his wife Madam Lilo.
Speaking upon his arrival, Mr Lilo said he was healthy to lead Solomon Islands.
MINISTER for Peace and Reconciliation Hypolite Taremae was assaulted at the Point Cruz area.
Mr Taremae was admitted at the hospital after suffering from severe bruises to his nose, eyes and head.
The Minister underwent more than a three hour operation, after loosing a lot of blood from the injuries he sustained.
Solomon Islands became received announcement to become part of the Pacific Seasonal Workers Pilot Scheme (PSWPS).
Australian Government informed Prime Minister Lilo during his recent medical visit to St Vincent hospital in Sydney.
Acting Australian High Commissioner Dr Dave Peebles said the announcement of the Seasonal Worker Program is a practical demonstration of the Australian Government’s commitment to Solomon Islands.
NEW Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has made an early New Years visit to the country to re-affirm their government’s bilateral relationship with the new leadership of NCRA.
Mr McCully arrived and met with Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo and his Cabinet Ministers at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Mr Lilo said Mr McCully’s visit demonstrate the New Zealand government’s commitment in supporting the National Government in their development plans.
THE Solomon Islands officially ratified the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).
The instruments formalizing the Solomon Islands membership to UNCAC was made on January 8, 2012 by the Solomon Islands Embassy in New York.
Then Foreign Minister Peter Shanel Agovaka said the ratification
of UNCAC was a significant step taken by the government.
MEMBERS of Parliament paid tribute to the late Sir Moses Pitakaka and late Fred Fono.
Sir Moses, the third Governor General of Solomon Islands and the late Fono, former deputy Prime Minister and long serving MP for Central Kwara’ae passed away at National Referral Hospital in Honiara before the New Year.
Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo led the obituary speech before the MPs followed tune with their condolence messages to families of both former leaders.
THE Honiara City police announced a low number of break-in cases in the city.
Acting Honiara Provincial Police Commander (PPC), Superintendent Phillip Kaukui said Honiara Police recorded only 64 break in cases compared to 100 in past year.
He said decrease of break in cases may be due to the various issues like educational talks conducted by police and or many young people might have been engaged in positive community activities.
THE High Court ordered the Solomon Islands Government and the Ministry of Fisheries to pay Marine Exports Limited more than $10 million for damages.
This was in relation to the government’s banning of dolphin export in 2005.
The court granted the order for loss from dolphin feeds in the sum of $2,073,600, order for loss of property (38 dolphins) in the sum of $7,527,733.75 and the order for exemplary damages in the sum of $500,000.
The order for loss of profit (loss from contract) in the sum of $4,785,600 but the order for interest to be included were refused.
FORMER Finance Minister and Member of Parliament for West New Georgia and Vona Vona Peter Boyers was reportedly arrested by Police.
This followed an incident where Mr Boyers and his personal security allegedly trespassed into Peter Boso’s residence and threatened to kill him.
He was later cleared of the
MORE light was shone on the possible reason behind the re-registration of Qanaku Development Company Limited (QDCL) by a group of men on Company Haus.
Director of QDCL Carl Beldon claimed the re-registration was made to pave way for the men to travel to Vanuatu and claim the company ships.
He alleged that the Danny Philip led government facilitated the men’s travel expenses to Vanuatu with taxpayers’ money.
Malaita and Guadalcanal ex- militants reconciled at Visale, West Guadalcanal.
SOLOMON Islands showed good signs of becoming one country after a number of reconciliations held after the ethnic tension.
Country’s permanent secretary with RAMSI, Paul Tovua told the two parties God did not make a mistake to call them Solomon Islanders.
Police arrested 20 men in relation to the arson attack on residential quarters at Arai logging camp in South Malaita.
Investigation led to the identification of suspected individuals who were tracked down by police to villages surrounding and near the Arai Logging Camp and were subsequently arrested.
The suspects were conveyed to the Auki Police Station where they were lodged at the Auki Police Watch-house before they were transferred by boat to Honiara.
Moses Koini Mose presented his letter of accreditation to the Director General of World Trade Organisation on January 18th.
Mr Mose is the first Geneva
based Solomon Islands Ambassador to be accredited to the WTO since Solomon
Islands joined the WTO as a full member on 26 July 1996.
He is the ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations Organisation, World Trade
organisation and other International Organisations in Geneva, Switzerland.
TWENTY three Malaysians employed by Malaysian logging company wanted to return home due to claims of ill treatment.
The men were employed by New World Limited.
The men crowded the Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration, pleading for a prompt return.
PEOPLE from Temotu Province working and living at the Guadalcanal Plain Palm Oil Ltd (GPPOL) were repatriated back to their home province for fear of their safety.
This was after claims of threats received continuously following a shooting that happened on the plains during the New Year.
Temotu Provincial government assisted her people in the repatriation exercise.
Two parties started talks on a planned reconciliation following a fatal car accident at Kakabona.
Those involved were relatives of a man who died in the car accident and the relatives of the driver.
In the pre-reconciliation
ceremony, shell money was exchanged by both parties.
Figures released show Guadalcanal Province and Honiara City Council (HCC) with the highest number of leprosy cases in the country.
It was believed malnutrition was the main cause of leprosy in Honiara and Guadalcanal.
Other places reported with leprosy as well were Malaita, Western province, Choiseul, Central Islands and Temotu provinces.
Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer opened legal year and announced that there was 50 percent of sexual offending relating to rape, attempted rape, incest and indecent assault.
He said violent offending which includes murder, manslaughter, attempted murder, assault and robbery 43 percent while other offending which includes arson, money laundering, false declarations, embezzlement and larceny & conversion with only seven percent.
Sir Albert urged everyone to work together to make a safer community.
THE Solomon Islands Meteorological Office has issued a strong tropical disturbance watch advisory for the whole country.
The advisory was issued for Rennell & Bellona province, Makira/Ulawa province, Temotu province and southern parts of Guadalcanal and Malaita provinces.
Director of Meteorological office David Hiri’asia said the provinces expected rough seas with large swells, heavy rain with gusty thunderstorms and strong winds.
Former prominent lawyer and businessman Charles Ashley was sentenced
to a total of 24 months in prison.
Ashley was found guilty of three counts of conversion in relation
to more than one million dollars of client’s money he held in trust.
That amount of money has been already paid to his former clients
after his conviction last year.
Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer during the sentence said this is
indeed a sad but disappointing case primarily because of the accused’s
professional status as a lawyer.
FORMER PM Danny Philip accused with ROC funds and he vowed to clear his name.
Mr Philip said he was working on a report on the ROC funding saga to be tabled before Parliament.
The former Prime Minister came under heavy public criticism over allegations he misused the funds for his personal gains which led to a massive walkout by his ministers resulting in his downfall in November last year.
A new political party formed ahead of 2014 national general election to drive the interests of youths into Parliament.
It is called Solomon Islands New Generation Party.
In the committee are: Ishmael Nori (President), Mary Alalo (Vice President), Campion Ohasio (secretary), Patrick Reoko (Treasurer). Members are: Joyce Maetoloa, Gwen Rarai, Rexy Akomae, Channel Nori, Douglas Ganifiri, Alex Haro, Michael Dive, Irish Keketzovia, Ben Afuga and Joy Abia.
Mr Nori said it’s time of a new generation of people to rise up instead of complaining about Government delivery of services and policies.
He said the uprising in Middle East shows majority of young people are not happy about the Government and take their frustration to streets.
Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo sacked Foreign Minister Peter Shanel for meeting with Russia in Fiji.
Mr Lilo said Mr Shanel’s attempt to establish ties with Russia has undermined the Cabinet decision.
Shanel was replaced by Member of Parliament for Temotu Vatud Clay Forau.
MV Island Ace found herself on high ground infront of Pacific Casino after strong winds and high swells swept it ashore.
Responsible authorities could not do anything to remove the ship from the apartment.
Police said the Mari-time unit was responsible for her removal.
Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo reshuffled one and appointed a new minister.
David Tome was sworn in as the new Minister for Provincial Government replacing Walter Folotalu who was sworn in as the new Communication and Aviation Minister.
Mr Folatalu replaced former MP for East Are’Are Andrew Hanaria who lost his seat following petition, which ruled him ineligible to carry on with his official duties.
POLICE have arrested and charged a woman who allegedly stole a large sum of money.
Acting police commissioner Walter Kola said the woman stole more than $19,000 from a man at one of the motels in town.
Mr Kola said the woman fled with the money but was later arrested.
He said only one third of the money stolen was recovered.
EMPLOYEES of Gold Ridge Mining Limited (GRML) receive 11.75 percent cost of living adjustment increase on their salaries.
This followed the signing of an agreement between GRML and the Solomon Islands National Union of Workers (SINUW).
Mr Kagovai highlighted that SINUW welcomes the increase pay of workers which would benefit the workers and increase work output.
A number of Solomon Islanders believed to be working and residing illegally in Australia have been detained.
Reports reaching the paper said the locals who were overstayers were caught in a farm on the outskirts of Brisbane.
They were apprehended in a move by the Australian Federal Police to crack down on illegal stayers in Australia.
Unconfirmed reports said six of the locals have been caught in Gatton, South Queensland state, Australia.
Honiara City Council (HCC) clinics and the National Referral Hospital (NRH) have been flooded.
Not from the heavy rain, but from patients complaining of high fever, running nose, sore throat and cold.
reaching this paper said over the past days clinics and the hospital have seen
young and old complaining of these symptoms.
Forum Solomon Islands organised a ‘champion education forum’ for schools in Honiara.
invited were: Sir Nathaniel Waena (Politics); Dr Philip Tagini (Education); Dr
Patricia Rhodi (Women in Development) and Belani Tekulu (Business).
FSI president Redley Ramo said one of the objective of the forum was to get students to physically meet with the champions in facial dialogue and consultation.
FORMER Member of Parliament for East Honiara Charles Dausabea claimed the country's judicial system was hijacked.
Mr Dausabea said some activities including aiding of overseas trips for prominent lawyers and judges by some donors undermine the independence of the judiciary.
He claimed that documents in his possession showed URS paid for return airfares to Brisbane for a high level delegation.
MORE than 500 new students were given Government scholarships and left for Fiji.
Education Ps Mr Viva assured that the government will do all it can to ensure students who meet the Ministry’s academic criteria and requirements but left unplaced be awarded scholarships to further their education.
This was after only 140 scholarships were awarded leaving more than 190 students who also have the required grade average point (GPA) of three and above unplaced.
MEMBERS of the public demanded the re-allocation of tenders for work at the festival village following revelations that five of the recipients were relatives of one of the key-staff members of the festival committee.
The National Organising Committee of the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts released the winning tenders for various jobs for the festival village and renovation work at the KGVI School.
The committee was accused of nepotism.
REPORTS have surfaced that some Asian loggers and their families are residing illegally in the apartment blocks of the new incomplete Sol-Plaza Rugby Stadium and Commercial Center at Town Ground.
This was after the Honiara City Council halted construction at the newly built sports and commercial center.
It was found that China United Corporation Ltd, the company that had agreed to construct the center under the 3-year lease deed agreement with the Solomon Islands Rugby Union Federation (SIRUF) had been issuing occupancy licenses to various businesses operating in the ground floor of the new center.
ROYAL Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) has a new police commissioner.
is John Michael Langsley from Britain.
Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo announced the new police commissioner during a press
conference at his office.
In the past, the commissioner’s post was held by foreign nationals namely Frank Short, William Morrel (UK), Shane Castles (Australia), Jahir Khan (Fiji) and Peter Marshall (NZ).
Two locals had had the chance to give a shot at the police’s top post namely the late Frederick Soaki and late Morton Siriheti.
THE Government has revoked the ownership of a controversial land owned by Chinese businessman, Jason Yee below the Holy Cross Cathedral in Honiara.
Mr Lee who last week ordered the fencing of the land was forced to remove the posts only days after construction work had begun following mounting opposition to his proposed development.
Yee admitted that he found it very difficult to develop the land into a business center after facing opposition from the Catholic Church dating back to 2005.
Honiara City Council (HCC) acting clerk, Charles Kelly said the
Commissioner of Lands (Silver Dunge) has advised the Physical Planning Division
to revoke the ownership of the land.
Police have arrested a man in his 30’s in relation to a fatal stabbing incident that occurred at the Point Cruz between 3.00 am and 4.00am.
A 28-year-old male victim has sustained serious stab wounds during the attack and was taken to the hospital but later died from his injuries.
Detectives from Honiara City CID and National Criminal Investigation Department (NCID) have launched an investigation into the incident.
About 40 women have trained to be peacemakers in their societies in Honiara.
The training was part of Creator of Peace an international network of women committed to the pursuit of a radical peace where personal honesty and integrity form the basis of reconciliation.
It was supported by ministry of national unity reconciliation and peace, initiative of change Sweden, initiative of Australian and wings of change Solomon Islands.
Commissioner of Labour Josiah Manehia was punched by one of the workers of New World Logging company at their temporary residence in Honiara on night.
This came after Mr Manehia accussed the workers of disobeying his orders to return to work in a logging company in Isabel after they refused due to ill treatment by the company.
The workers claimed Mr Manehia was under the influence of alcohol when he approached them in their residence.
Western provincial premier George Solingi Lilo has denied involving in a sex scandal allegation levelled against him by civil society group of Madegugusu, Western Province.
In a lengthy letter to the Solomon Star, the group alleged amongst other issues, the primer’s affair with a female in Gizo, whom they claimed occurred at the famous tsunami beach.
Lilo category denied the allegation saying it was a mere allegation which came from people whose intention was to destroy his integrity and dignity as a leader to serve their own political interests.
Guadalcanal Provincial government led by Anthony Veke is facing a leadership challenge.
This follows a planned move to oust premier Anthony Veke in a likely motion of confidence soon.
In a memorandum of solidarity signed last week cited by Solomon Star, 11 of the 13 members have signed their support to remove the premier.
THE Government has deported two Chinese businessmen who continued to disobey the beche-de-mer ban imposed in the country since 2009.
They were part of the six Chinese nationals caught by law enforcers previously.
This came as Government moves to crack down on illegally bechde-de-mer traders before lifting the ban in future.
The Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) church is not aware of the arrival of fast craft MV Liberty from Australia.
The boat was ordered to assist Adventist Development and Relief Agency’s (ADRA) in projects it will be undertaking under the European Union (EU) micro project.
However, the church questioned the ownership of the ship as it was not aware of it.
AN internal audit into the use of funds allocated for the 2012 Festival of Pacific Arts (FOPA) has been ordered.
The audit is being carried based on a request by the ministry of culture and tourism.
This followed widespread concerns and claims by the public of unfair allocation of tenders and contracts with further claims of misuse of funds by various prominent officials within the festival committee.
Central Islands Premier, Patterson Mae is facing a motion of no confidence after the budget sitting starts.
Mae joined his counterparts from Western province, Malaita, Renbel and Guadalcanal who have faced political turbulence on their leadership this month.
Guadalcanal Premier, Anthony Veke was lucky to survive the motion moved against him.
AN Australian energy company has been granted a license to develop geothermal energy in the country.
The project will focus on the volcanic island of Savo, Central province.
According to Proactiveinvestors Australia news online, Kentor Gold trading as 'KGL' on the Australian stock exchange will look to dial in to the geothermal energy sector on the island, located few kilometres from Honiara.
This was after the company was granted a three year prospecting license by the Government.
PRIME Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has reportedly axed 11 permanent secretaries.
The Solomon Star understands a lot of those that received their marching orders were appointed by his predecessor, former Prime Minister Danny Philip.
This latest move by Prime Minister Lilo has been described by government sources as Mr Lilo’s ongoing process in cleaning up the government.
Central Police traffic has detained 137 public buses and 120 taxis for failing to provide their valid licenses.
This came after Police carried out a routine check in Honiara after discovering alot of drivers were driving without licenses.
Police said this to ensure safety of passengers and pedestrians who use our roads.
THE Managing Director of China United (SI) Corporation Ltd has been arrested in Honiara.
Honiara City Council law enforcement officers arrested Shiyao Guo for failing to comply with HCC warning notices.
The HCC had issued several notices for occupants of the Sol Plaza building at Town Ground to vacate the property as there was no occupancy permit issued but they disobeyed.
THE landowners of Gold Ridge mining on Central Guadalcanal threatened to close the operation if Government do not return the Lunga land to them.
In a petition letter delivered to the Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo on Tuesday, they asked him to response to them within seven days.
They said failure to do so will result in a actual strike.
Laurie Chan has been appointed as new ambassador to Republic of China (Taiwan).
He replaced Victor Ngele, a veteran politician.
Laurie is the son of veteran politician and businessman Sir Thomas Chan.
A man was sentenced at Honiara Magistrate to seven years imprisonment for touch his step daughter’s private body parts.
He committed the offence when her step daughter was 10 years old.
Principal Magistrate Stefan Metanomski said the accused’s responsibility is to look after the children and not use them as his partners.
United Nation Development Program (UNDP) has announced in New York that Tetepare Descendants Association (TDA) was one of the 25 winners at this year’s selection from a total of 800 nominations from 113 countries.
The prize is awarded to communities that have taken sustainable development initiatives and provided economic and social opportunities for its people in harmony with the environment.
The association of landowners have provided alternate economic opportunities for its people via Eco-Tourism, providing jobs and training in coconut oil production, marketing and agriculture.
THE Papua New Guinea (PNG) High Commission has announced a new initiative that aims to provide short term employment opportunities for young Solomon Islanders.
The PNG envoy office in Honiara in collaboration with PNG companies/investors in the country announced that they will be sponsoring an Employment Training Program.
PNG high commissioner Brian Yombon-Copio said the program would seek expression of interest from people who have recently completed tertiary education with bachelors and diploma programs and had never had the opportunity in employment.
Two Solomon Islanders went missing for 18 days following a fishing trip arrived back in the country with great relieve.
The duo Ivin Matasia, 29, and Robert Sakiri, 25, from Babanga Island and Ranogga respectively in Western province went missing on March 1 before being rescued by a Papua New Guinea (PNG) fishing vessels on March 18 after drifting towards PNG waters.
Speaking upon their arrival at the Honiara International airport Ivin Matasia said it was a great relief for them to arrive home safely after experiencing unexpected sea ordeal.
VICE-president of people with disability Solomon Islands (PWDSI) Savina Nongebatu was awarded this year’s international women of courage award of Solomon Islands.
Savina received her award from the US Ambassador to Solomon Islands, Teddy Taylor in Honiara yesterday.
The Secretary’s international women of courage award is an American award presented annually by the US State Department to women around the world who have shown leadership, courage, resourcefulness and willingness to sacrifice for others, especially for better promotion of women’s rights.
THE Honiara City council has suspended its chief physical planner.
The suspension was in relation to suspicion that a permit was given to the developer of the Kukum Hot bread kitchen land area, which is before the court.
City Clerk Charles Kelly confirmed in yesterday’s council meeting
that Mr Livingstone Saepio has been suspended because of his involvement in the
controversial development at Kukum Hot bread area.
Innocent babies are reportedly being put up for sales or adoption, a new practice claimed to be happening illegally at the Honiara central market.
The latest revelation had prompted members of the public to express their dismay over the practice that is now commonly sighted at the central market, reports reaching The Solomon Star revealed.
The selling of babies or putting up babies for adoption described as illegal or a crime in itself was once only a rumor that circulated through the streets of Honiara.
Leaders at the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) summit signed the first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on skills movement scheme.
MSG Director General Secretariat Peter Forau said this was not a legally binding document as they would like to address skills and trade of people before it can later develop into a labor force.
Forau said they would like to gain more experience first and include other issues in the document before any other decisions are made.
Police was in time to stop a man from Renbel province from setting fire in the Honiara International Airport (Henderson).
The man armed with knive tried to burn the terminal with gas as a result of domestic dispute with her wife who worked for Solomon Airlines.
The incident has exposed the security risk at the international airport.
PRIME Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo and his delegation are stranded in Suva as all domestic and international flights from Fiji have been cancelled due to bad weather.
Reports reaching The Solomon Star from Fiji stated that Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo and his delegation were supposed to depart from Suva to Nadi yesterday before catching the international flights to Honiara.
But all domestic flights out from Nausori to Nadi were also cancelled.
Prime Minister Lilo and his delegation travelled to Suva last week for the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) meeting.
THE Australian Governor General arrived in Solomon Islands.
The visit is part of Quentin Bryce’s 10-day visit to some of the Pacific Island nations.
Ms Bryce will arrive at 3pm where a ceremonial challenge and guard of honour will be staged to welcome her at the airport.
PRIME Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo should receive around $5,720 fortnight under the new review carried out by Parliamentary Entitlement Commission (PEC), it was revealed.
This was after PEC has increased the salaries of Parliamentarians by four percent in the regulation gazette on April 1st.
Apart from the PM, the other Parliamentarian should receive $3,840.
STUDENTS of Kukum Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) primary school in East Honiara staged a peaceful demonstration against the Chinese development close to them.
This came after they see that development is going to block their access road to school and sea breeze coming from the seashore.
They wanted the Chinese investor and responsible authorities to revoke the development behind the Hot Bread because it will have a direct impact on their education.
Namson Tran has won his election petition case in High court to retain his seat as Member of Parliament for West Honiara.
Former MP, Issac Inoke filed the case against Tran after the 2010 national general election.
He challenged the legality of the 3,010 voters living outside of West Honiara whom he claimed casted their votes during the election due to alleged bribery and cheating cases and alleged undue influence by the winning candidate.
The other two MPs, former North Malaita MP Jimmy Lusibaea and former Ngella MP Mark Kemakeza also lost their seats but for different crimes other than election related issues.
A man from Kwaraea in Malaita province was stabbed to death.
The incident which shocked Honiara city over the weekend occured infront of the central market.
The deceased identified as a young diplomat Simon Fuo'o was killed as a result of a confrontation with a group of men.
The deceased relatives retaliated and burnt some houses at Koa Hill.
TWO houses were burnt in Madou, Western Province, as the split within the Christian Fellowship Church (CFC) deepens.
Gizo Provincial Police Commander John Rove said the burning was the result of a split between the church’s spiritual leader Ekan Rove and his brother, Member of Parliament for North New Georgia Job Duddley Tausinga.
It is alleged that faithful followers of Mr Rove burnt the two houses at Madou, Vona Vona Lagoon, as a show of disagreement towards Mr Tausinga’s followers.
A TRADITIONAL reconciliation ceremony was held in Honiara to put an end to the ethnic unrest that evolved after a senior diplomat was killed in Honiara.
Five parties; four from Malaita province and one from Makira/Ulawa province were involved in the reconciliation that was organized by the government and police at the police headquarters at Rove.
The four parties from Malaita were from Kwara’ae, Kwaio, Baegu with those from Lau.
Family representatives of the late Simon Fuo’o who was brutally attacked and killed at the Central market by thugs were also present.
Church leaders including the Malaita provincial speaker also witnessed the ceremony.
THE new Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) commissioner, John Langsley, arrived in Honiara to take his new post.
Mr Langsley arrived to a low key reception at the Honiara International Airport and was welcomed by acting police commissioner Walter Kola.
Mr Langsley who was appointed to the post in March will take his oath today at the Government House.
The Ministry of Health has confirmed the detection of four cases of rubella in children between the ages of 6 to 15 years.
The cases have been reported mainly from within Honiara.
Rubella can be prevented through vaccination.
Solomon Islands economy performs reasonably well despite the uncertainties and subdued growth experienced by the global economy according to the CBSI’s 2011 annual report.
Speaking at the launching of the Bank’s annual report, deputy governor Gane Simbe highlighted that the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is one of the indicators that supports the growth that grew to 10.7% last year.
This growth surpasses the 7% growth in the previous year of 2010.
Deputy Governor Simbe said other contributing indicators is the country’s gross international (foreign) reserves which were sufficient to cover ten months of import, a month above the previous year of nine months.
Meanwhile based on the banks outlook projection for 2012, it expects the economy to grow but at a slower rate of around 5 to 6% by the end of the year.
AS the row between the Prime Minister (PM) Gordon Darcy Lilo and Opposition Leader Dr Derek Sikua heated up, more revelations on hotel bills were exposed.
This time it was the Prime Minister who exposed Dr Sikua's hotel bill of $1.5m.
He made the revelation after the Opposition Leader described PM's denial of the payment voucher worth $1, 363,255.00 raised by the Prime Minister’s office for the accommodation of MPs and ministers for the period leading to his election as PM as a desperate attempt to refute an undeniable truth.
Prime Minister Lilo in a statement claimed a $1.5m hotel bill was incurred by Dr Sikua to accommodate MPs leading up to his election as Prime Minister in 2007.
Dr Sikua further claimed he has in his possession a copy of the payment voucher raised by the Prime Minister’s Office for $1,363,265.00 as well as a copy of the payment voucher for $1,234,945.00 raised by the National Parliament Office.
magistrates have issued a three months notice to the government to meet their
demands or else a strike or massive resignation will follow.
came after the Government failed to address their scheme of service since 2008.
Their demand calls for the regrading of salary, increase of housing entitlement or increase of waiver and approval of Magistrates and Government Lawyers Scheme of Service.
THE search for missing Solfish 001 has started after it failed to reach Lata, Temotu province.
This came after the ship sank between Kirakira and Lata.
Forty nine passengers were picked up by a cargo liner and handed over to Patrol Boat and transported them to Kirakira hospital for medical treatment.
The ship was believed to be sunk by high
swells due to rough weather.
A concern traveler has expressed great disappointment over strict measures and handling process of visas for Solomon Islanders intending to travel to Australia.
The prominent person who wanted to remain anonymous said Solomon Islanders always face immense difficulties when it comes to travelling to Australia.
However, the Australian department of Immigration and Citizenship said the
suggestion that Australia’s visa requirements are set to disqualify people is wrong.
POLITICIAL appointee John Dominic yesterday led a group of men to demand compensation from Opposition Leader Dr Derek Sikua.
This was after Dr Sikua accused Mr Dominic of falsifying documents to obtain an Australian visa to travel with a government delegation to China and Hong Kong last week.
According to Opposition office, the group of more than 20 men travelled to their office aboard a white pickup truck and asked security officers if they could be allowed in to see the Leader for compensation payment for the press statements.
The Guadalcanal Province is offering 100 hectares of land at Doma to host the 4th campus of the University of the South Pacific (USP).
Doma is a provincial land situated on Northwest Guadalcanal.
Guadalcanal Province’s Minister for Social Services (Health &
Education), Melchior Topughu, presented the province’s proposal to the acting
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources
Development (MEHRD), Aseri Yalangono, last Thursday.
The project will be funded from a US$19 million soft loan that USP
secured from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), with the Solomon Islands
Government as the sovereign guarantor.
TWO top officials have been declared innocent by the Leadership
Code Commission (LCC) from allegations of misconduct in office.
This was in relations to the sale of a government quarter at
In a statement yesterday the Leadership Code Commission (LCC) has
found Member of Parliament (MP) for West Honiara Namson Tran and the Commissioner of Lands
Silver Dunge not guilty of misconduct in office.
MINISTER of Education and Human Resource Management (MEHRD) Dick Ha’amori was admitted at the Saint Vincent Hospital in Sydney, Australia.
The Education Minister who was accompanying Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo on his trip to Rio, Brazil was declared unfit by doctors due to high blood pressure.
Prime Minister Lilo and his delegation are in Rio for the Rio+20 for the UN conference on sustainable development.
According to reports reaching Solomon Star, whilst in Sydney, the Education Minister visited the hospital for a routine checkup but was advised by doctors at the hospital that he was unfit to travel.
DELEGATES from participating countries to the 11th festival of pacific arts (FOPA) started arriving in the country as the biggest regional cultural show prepares to kick off in Honiara.
countries participated in the cultural show including host country Solomon
FOPA opened. Solomon
Islands welcomed the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts (FOPA) in a
up the Lawson Tam stadium as the 20 regional countries celebrated the opening
The event was
dubbed as the best festival since Fiji first hosted it in 1960s.
Government of Solomon Islands and the organizing committee of the 11th Festival
of Pacific Arts (FOPA) have been called upon to give a formal apology to
delegates participating in the festival.
This followed various remarks made by the master of ceremony (MC) of the opening ceremony at Lawson Tama.
remarks made by the MC were offensive and insulting, but some visiting teams
said they enjoyed the opening ceremony.
Central Bank of
Solomon Islands (CBSI) launched new $2, $1.50, 20 cent and 10 cent coins in
The coins are
going to serve the economy for the next 30 years.
The $2 notes
would stop circulating in the economy starting 31st December 2012.
Mayor Israel Maeoli has lost a motion of no confidence 6-2.
However, in the same week he was reinstated because under Council Act, votes in favour of a motion to remove the mayor must be 7 or more.
This left the
Mayor to continue to hold on to power.
THIEVES ransacked five firms inside the Panatina complex and escaped with thousands of dollars in cash and goods.
The robbery has been described as one of the biggest ever and first of its kind in a shopping mall which saw five businesses ransacked.
The thieves cut off the roof and entered the building through the ceiling.
Police recovered some of the money and items stolen and arrested those responsible.
RUSSELL Islands Plantation Estate Limited (RIPEL) chairman Patrick Wong was banned from re-entering the Solomon Islands.
The Government declared the controversial businessman an “Undesirable Immigrant”.
A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said Wong will not be allowed to re-enter the country.
Mr Wong was believed to be banned following the controversial RIPEL issue on which he was claimed to be making harsh statements against the Prime Minister and his cabinet.
The controversial pilot and former chief executive
officer (CEO) of Solomon Airlines Ron Sumsum has been reappointed to head the
national flag carrier.
The formal announcement was made by the chairman of
the airlines board Bill Tyson in a statement yesterday.
The appointment came after more than two months of
screening and processing of the applicants by the airlines board.
In announcing the reappointment Mr Tyson said the
board had pursued an exhaustive selection process to ensure the best candidates
PRIME Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has re-instated attorney general (AG) Billy Titiulu after the government’s legal advisor resigned.
Attorney general Titiulu resigned but Prime Minister Lilo swiftly resolved what was described as a ‘misunderstanding’ between Mr Titiulu and the government.
Mr Titiulu was appointed AG when the Danny Philip led government came into office and continued on when the Lilo-led government came into power.
Customs Officer stationed at the parcel post, in Honiara, have intercepted and seized four parcels containing different species of butterflies.
These consignments were destined for Italy, Australia and New Zealand.
The parcels contained 17 species scientifically known as ‘Papillio Toboroi’ together with 90 other pieces of different species.
Papillio Toboro is a prohibited species under the Wildlife Management and Protection Act 1998.
Kongulai registered land trustees threathened to close the water source serving the Honiara population.
This came after Government failed to pay them $6 million during the Festival of Pacific Arts.
However, after they met with the permanent secretaries of Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification, Ministry of Lands and Housing Survey and Ministry of Police and Justice in Honiara last Friday, they agreed to withraw the threat.
Two families of Koa Hill settlement in Central Honiara have escaped unharmed after their homes collapsed during the 6.6 earthquake that shook Honiara.
One permanent house and a leaf hut building collapsed to the ground with families of both homes sleeping inside.
A resident of the permanent home Agnes Misi said nine people were in their house including her two children aged four and two-year old.
TWO young children are presumed dead and two more adults remain missing off the Shortland Islands in the Western province when their boat capsized.
Preliminary reports received by police revealed that the boat carrying 10 people including children departed Gizo for Nila in the Shortland Islands at approximately 10.00am on Saturday morning.
The reportedly capsized at around midday near the Shortland Islands.
have been rescued so far in an operation conducted by the Royal Solomon Islands
Police Force (RSIPF) in the Western Province, the Police Maritime Unit with the
support of the National Search and Rescue Centre and the Participating Police
Force (PPF), the police media unit said.
THREE of six survivors from a boat that capsized near Shortland Islands over the weekend were airlifted into Honiara.
They are currently receiving medical attention at the National Referral Hospital (NRH).
The three included two adults and a seven-year-old boy who survived the three days ordeal.
The boat carrying ten passengers, mostly teachers and three children departed Gizo for Nila in the Shortland Islands at approximately 10.00am on Saturday morning.
It capsized around 3.00pm in the afternoon near Shortland Islands.
A FEMALE nurse cheated death and is recovering at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) from serious head injuries.
This occurred after the medical vehicle she was travelling in allegedly got stoned at the Borderline area in East Honiara over the weekend.
According to initial reports reaching this paper, the nurse, believed to be from Isabel, along with others were on duty that night and in the vehicle travelling eastward back to the NRH, when the alleged incident took place.
Two juveniles have been arrested and remanded in custody yesterday for allegedly stoning a medical vehicle over the weekend.
The alleged incident had also resulted in an innocent young female nurse being struck on the side of the her head injuring her.
Following the incident and investigation by the police, the suspects were apprehended.
THE people of Guadalcanal will soon have one of their own traditional houses built in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
This was after a request by the Vanuatu Tourist Authority to have representatives from Guadalcanal to build a Moro like house (one of the venues popular attractions) in Vanuatu as a means of promoting Guadalcanal culture in Port Vila.
Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo made this revelation whilst addressing the people of Guadalcanal yesterday at the province’s 28th second appointed day celebrations.
Malaita constituency has a new Member of Parliament (MP) who was unofficially
declared by returning officer.
is Vika Lusibaea, the wife of former MP Jimmy Lusibaea.
Lusibaea was declared by Returning Officer Louis Wale after the completion of
counting last night in Auki.
Manepora’a won the other by election in East Are Are, replacing Andrew Hanaria
who lost a petition case.
Former US President JF Kennedy’s surviving rescuer will be a special guest at 70th anniversary to mark the Marines landing on Guadalcanal in 1942.
In his first public and media appearing since 1942, Aaron (Eroni) Kumana who only spoke through an interpreter said he was overjoyed to be part of the celebration.
come out to clear the air over its decision to award Pacific Exporters Limited
(PEL) the license to export cocoa and ownership of the company.
Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration Elijah Doro Muala made this
clarification yesterday following concerns by local exporters when the granting
of the license was announced last week.
that it must be clear that the exemption is granted to Pacific Exporters
Limited (PEL) a joint venture local venture company incorporated in Solomon
Islands with 51 percent (local) and 49 percent (foreign).
Mr Muala said he
made the decision to give license to PEL inorder to serve other copra farmers
in uneconomic routes around the country.
WORKERS of Heritage Park Hotel (HPH) entered a second day of sitting protest after the management did not address their log of claims.
The management of this country’s premier hotel failed to come up with an answer to the 15 serious allegations ranging from sexually harassment to using abusive words, bad condition and entitlement and nepotism.
The workers demanded that they could only give in to the company if Solomon Islands National Union of Workers (SINUW) represents them in this saga.
PRIME Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has come under fire from Opposition Leader, Dr Derek Sikua over an alleged threat to stop President of Malaita Ma’asina Forum (MMF) Charles Dausabea from speaking out on issues of national interest.
Dr Sikua deplored the alleged action saying his office is fully aware that the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operation), Walter Kola and the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Administration), Nella Mosese have warned the President of the Malaita Ma’asina Forum, Charles Dausabea.
Dr Sikua described this as a move orchestrated by none other than the cunning and self-serving Prime Minister for the arrest of Mr Dausabea.
However, Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo in response to the allegations said he will not waste his time to reply to lies by the Leader of Opposition.
The Spouses of the Members of Parliament have rubbished claims made by facebook users and former political appointee Alfred Sasako on their trip to Fiji recently.
A spokesperson for the group Lemu Darcy said the misinformation propagated by Sasako and the so called Forum Solomons is “baseless”.
Mrs Darcy said it was private funded trip and planned eight months ahead since January following the change of Government in November.
THE leader of opposition Dr Derek Sikua has called on the Police Commissioner, John Langsley to immediately investigate the conduct of his two Deputy Commissioners, Walter Kola and Nela Mosese.
The call follows the Police Media’s denial of the statement by the President of the Ma’asina Forum, Charles Dausabea in relation to their meeting.
Mr Dausabea claimed that the meeting with the two Deputy Commissioners at the Mendana Hotel last Saturday was to convey Prime Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo’s warning that he faces arrest should he not refrain from speaking on national issues.
The Opposition Leader said it is common knowledge that Mr Kola and Mr Mosese are closely associated with the Prime Minister.
But Prime Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo in a statement last night said it was wrong for the Leader of the Opposition to continue to associate him with two senior police officers whom he claimed had attempted to gag Dausabea.
PRIME Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo left for Canberra, Australia for a state visit with a list of issues to raise with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Lilo accompanied Australian Foreign Minister, Senator Bob Carr onboard a
Australia Royal Airforce flight directly to Canberra.
Mr Carr returned
after completing a two days visit in the country over the weekend.
SOLOMON Islands has received very little revenue from the tuna caught in its water despite being the third largest country in the Pacific.
This was revealed in the Auditor General’s Performance Audit report on ‘Managing sustainable fisheries (tuna fisheries) in Solomon Islands Fisheries Exclusive Economic Zone presented by AG, Edward Ronia to Speaker of Parliament, Sir Allen Kemakeza yesterday.
The Audit report stated that tuna caught in Solomon Islands water reached a record level of over 180,000 metric tonnes in 2010.
“License fees from both domestic and foreign vessels in 2011 provided about $106 million in government revenue.
“While this is a significant earner for the government, it is only a low percentage of the catch value,” the Audit report said.
TWO homes were attacked and robbed at the Nggosi/Tasahe area in West Honiara leaving an expatriate couple seriously injured and properties stolen.
Police revealed the group of thugs invaded the deputy Opposition Leader’s home Mathew Wale and the expatriate’s home in a spate of two separate attacks that night.
It was disclosed one of the gangs raided Mr Wale’s home at Nggosi by cutting through the security fence and escaped with mobile phones which located on the table.
Mr Wale was not at home that time.
The motives behind the two robberies remained unknown.
The Matepona Downstream Association (MDA) in North Guadalcanal has threatened to seek legal action against the Gold Ridge Mining Limited (GRML) if their demand is not met within fourteen days.
The association is demanding $15million dollar for damages to the river they allegedly claimed to have been caused by mining operation done by Gold Ridge Mining Limited (GRML).
To prove their demand the association organized a field visit for the media to the site over the weekend.
Some of the effects they raised were blockage to the downstream, damages to cocoa plants, food crops, damage to the natural habitant, water turned muddy and diversion of the water flow.
HONIARA City Mayor Israel Maeoli is likely to face another motion of no confidence.
This came after 5 councillors have resigned from his leadership for their own personal reasons.
They are Jonathan Zama (Ward 5), Bongi Darlingi (Ward 8), Charles Gira (Ward 9), David Deva (Ward 2) and Dwane Tigulu (Ward 11).
Their resignation means Mr Maeoli now only has the support of three executive members namely Jack Igi, James Su’umi and deputy Mayor Erick Tema.
GOVERNMENT collected 100 bags of
bech-de-mer worth around $4 million from people of Ontong Java in the Malaita
Outer Islands after they voluntarily surrendered the bags to the Ministry of
This came after five months of
negotiation with the national government to enable the people to legally
dispose the products.
Government in 2009 imposed a ban on
bech-de-mer harvesting and export.
Attorney General Billy Titiulu said
the only way for the bech-de-mers to be disposed legally is for the people of
Ontong Java to surrender their stock to the government.
AN outspoken businessman claims Finance minister Rick Hou and his
permanent secretary Shadrack Fanega conspired to stop government payments due
MASE Business Training Centre owner Martin Housanau said the two leaders retaliated after he publicly called for their sacking.
Mr Housanau signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding with the
Ministry of Commerce in April 2009 to provide training for small business
Two other local business trainers, Small Business Enterprise Council
(SBEC) and Small and Medium Enterprise Council (SMEC), also signed similar
The contracts last until April 2014.
However, Mr Fanega last night denied scheming against Mr Housanau.
Instead, he said the decision to stop the payment was taken after an
audit of the Ministry of Commerce this year.
SOLOMON Islands Football Federation (SIFF) has been slapped with a $120,000 fine over a “throwing incident” at the recent Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Nations Cup in Honiara.
Federation International Football Association (FIFA) imposed the fine following carful assessments of match reports between Solomon Islands and New Zealand.
FIFA found that during the match, local supporters threw in a foreign object that subsequently hit the officiating referee.
SIFF was given 30 days as of this week to pay up.
Failure would result in disciplinary
action – which may include cancellation of all international matches and
tournaments scheduled for Honiara.
A LOCAL pressure group has urged Finance
minister Rick Hou to step down.
Forum Solomon Islands International’s
call came after revelations Mr Hou awarded $248,00 to his wife’s lodge in Afio.
The forum’s chief executive officer Ben
Afuga said members of his group strongly condemned Mr Hou’s decision.
Mr Hou has
previously defended his decision to endorse his wife’s application, saying his
wife applied just like everyone else.
However, at the end his wife decided to withdraw her application for the grants at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Malaita provincial government has offered its support towards the proposed oil palm project in Auluta Basin, East Malaita.
Deputy Premier Alick Mae’aba expressed the province’s support at a ceremony on Friday in Auki during a handing over ceremony of the lands title to ten tribal trust boards of East Kwaio and East Fataleka for the proposed Auluta palm oil project.
Government through the commissioner of lands handed over the lands title.
Publisher of Solomon Star newspaper, Fr John William Lamani passed away in Honiara.
He was described as a Journalist. Entrepreneur. Risk-taker. Hard-worker. Visionary.
His death on Monday shocked the Pacific media family and brought the heart-beat of the Solomon Star, a 30-year-old newspaper outfit he founded, to a standstill.
Honiara City mayor Israel Maeoli resigned in council chambers just before a vote of no-confidence is taken against him.
Mover of the motion and councillor for ward five Jonathan Zama asked Mr Maeoli to step down to save the council from debate the motion.
But before he threw in the towel, Mr Maeoli said all allegations raised against him were baseless.
The Ministry of Home Affairs, which is responsible for the council, accepted Mr Maeoli’s resignation and will have it gazetted.
PRIME Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has dedicated the withdrawal of the vote of no-confidence against him to the people of Solomon Islands.
Opposition leader Dr Derek Sikua withdrew the motion on the floor of parliament before it was debated.
Dr Sikua withdrawn the motion after he did not got the number to continue with it.
Prince William and Catherine have finally arrived in the country kicking off a three days visit here.
The visit is part of a nine-day southeast Asia and Pacific tour, in honour of the Queen's Jubilee.
Their arrival brings to end the anticipation by locals who have waited for so long for the visit.
Hours before their private jet landed in Honiara, the international airport was packed with people.
As they disembarked from the aircraft they were greeted by the Governor General Sir Frank Kabui and his wife, Lady Grace Kabui and the Prime Minister Gordon Darcy.
THE proposed relocation of the Works
Department within the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development (MID) from
Mataniko to Ranadi is now in doubt.
This was after the land allocated for the
relocation was controversially sold to a private businessman for just about
The land located in Ranadi, East Honiar,a is
now under the ownership of John Aba.
Member of Parliament (MP) for East Honiara
Douglas Ete yesterday raised the issue in parliament while questioning the
Minister of Lands and Survey Joseph Onika over the sale of this government
AN undisclosed number of dolphins caught by villagers north of Kolombangara island in Western Province, will be released.
The province’s premier George Solingi Lilo told the Solomon Star yesterday, he had sent a group of fisheries officers to the location to inspect and release the dolphins.
The dolphins have been kept in shallow waters, surrounded by fishing nets to prevent them from escaping.
It was reported the villagers were planning to sell their catch to a Honiara-based dolphin dealer.
Duchess of Cambridge wore a Cook Islands dress instead of a Solomon Islands wear when attending the island feast at Government House.
The dress blunder has sparked un uproar in the country where the public accussed US consular to Solomon Islands Keithie Saunders for causing it.
As a result Government barred Mrs Saunders from attending any functions at its residence.
Mrs Saunders denied have any intention to do this.
THE country’s health service was given a further blow with the closure of the country’s two clinics that deals with mentally affected patients.
The clinic at the National Referral Hospital was closed in March this year.
The main one at Kilu’ufi Hospital, Malaita, which used to admit referral patients, was shut down early this month.
Their closures, according to officers serving in the clinics, were due to their poor and debilitating state, rendering them unfit to offer services.
THE country’s main dental clinic at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) in Honiara has closed its doors indefinitely giving our health service a further blow.
The clinic decided to close its door starting last week due to lack of a building.
The building was demolised early this year to remove the fibro walls which may pose health risk to those working inside the building.
Since then the clinic was never reconstructed with the area still lying idle.
A GOVERNMENT minister has come under fire for chopping down banana trees belonging to another person on a controversial plot of land in Honiara.
But Minister for Infrastructure Development Seth Gukuna has defended his action.
“I chopped down the bananas because these people kept encroaching onto my land,” Mr Gukuna told the Solomon Star.
The Renbel MP on Sunday morning went to that plot of land located in the west Kola’a-Varak Creek area, pulled down posts and chopped off banana trees.
He said the land was his but people are illegally living on it.
But Danny Sengei, who also claimed ownership of the same land and is living there, said the minister’s action does not speak well of him.
FOUR Asian loggers are preparing to export 6,000 cubic metres of round logs of the prohibited vitex species (vasa) amidst mounting public concerns.
Cabinet banned the export of vitex in unprocessed form last month through a gazette.
But the loggers, who have been operating in Makira and Malaita, are in the process of exporting the round logs.
Minister of Forest Dickson Mua confirmed his ministry is being confronted with the issue.
Former Prime Minister Danny Philip was handed a $4,000 fine after he was found guilty of misconduct in office by the Leadership Code Commission (LCC).
This was in relation to the decision he made when he was the Prime Minister to sell a government house at Tandai to his political supporter and Member of Parliament for West Honiara Namson Tran.
LCC chairman Emanuel Kouhota said the commission had carried out an investigation into the matter since last year and found Mr Phillip guilty.
POLICE believed a decomposed corpse found in the Tuvaruhu area on Tuesday was that of a girl age between 12 to 15.
Initial findings indicate the body must have been there for about four weeks, according to police.
who were out on a picnic trip along the Mataniko river located the corpse, much
to their horror.
A MAN who stole $1.7 million worth of rice from his employer was sent to jail for six years.
Principal Magistrate Shafi Khan imposed the jail term on Lonsdale Gagahe, 53, whom the court earlier found guilty of five counts of larceny by servant.
Mr Khan said he has cited other cases of larceny by servant but Gagahe’s case by far involved the largest amount of money.
Gagahe, 53, from Isabel Province, was an employee of local rice distributor Solrice Ltd for 27 years.
At the time of his offending, he was the company’s sales and marketing manager, a position second only to general manager Brian Hutchinson.
A Asian logger is currently recovering at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) after narrowly escaping death from gunshots.
The incident was believed to have occurred near Geza village, North East Guadalcanal around 9am.
The Asian believed to be Chinese man is being employed by the Golden Harvest logging company.
Reports reaching the paper yesterday said the logger was lucky to be alive after an unidentified man allegedly fired gunshot which just missed the victim’s head by few inches and injured the side of his eye.
RELATIVES of a 19-year-old girl whose body was found and those of a young man suspected of killing her held a reconciliation ceremony in front of the police.
This is to end hostility between the two groups after the body was identified and the young man alleged to be her boyfriend was arrested.
The girl’s decomposed body was found at the Tuvaruhu area by students who were out on a picnic trip near the river. Police believed she’s been dead for about four to five weeks.
THE Government has reshuffled three ministers and appointed two backbenchers.
This came after Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo sacked minister for development and aid coordination, Snyder Rini and minister for environment, climate change, disaster management and meteorology, Moffat Fugui over the weekend.
As part of the internal changes, former minister for agriculture and livestock, Connelly Sandakabatu replaces Rini.
While former minister for public service Bradley Tovosia took over from Mr Fugui.
Former minister for police and national security, David Tome is now the new minister for agriculture.
While backbencher Christopher Laore took up the minister for police and national security.
Another backbencher Standley Sofu came in for the public service portfolio.
Deputy Prime Minister, Manasseh Maelanga said this was part of any Government to reshuffle ministers and this was the first one for this year.
THE Opposition group suffered total embarrassment in parliament.
Not only did they failed in their bid to oust Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo, their leader Dr Derek Sikua who was supposed to move the motion did not turn up, while their member Mathew Wale was handed a seven-day ban from attending parliament.
Dr Sikua could not offer any explanation for his absence.
POLICE swiftly moved in to restore law and order in Gizo provincial capital over the weekend with the arrest of thirteen suspects.
In a statement yesterday, Police said about thirteen people have been arrested in Gizo after police reinforcements were sent to deal with civil disturbance between two groups over the weekend.
Earlier last week, Police in Gizo arrested a suspect for the stabbing of multiple victims.
As a result of this incident, tensions have remained high between the respective parties which saw one of the parties went rampage on Saturday to damage properties.
incident left Gizo market and few private properties in ruins over the
A GROUP from the Shortland islands is demanding $100,000 compensation over stabbing incidents that resulted in the disturbances on Gizo.
They earlier demanded $800,000 but after talks, the amount was reduced to the agreed figure.
Chairman of a committee established to negotiate peace between the groups, Ivan Maeke, said talks to end hostilities and reconcile have gone on well in the past days.
Mr Maeke said a reconciliation committee was also set up to spearhead the effort.
He said after a series of talks, the group from Gizo agreed to pay the $100,000 compensation to their friends from the Shortlands.
SOLOMON Tobacco has slapped smokers with a 50 per cent price hike on its popular Pallmall Blue cigarette.
The sudden price increase, which caught smokers by surprise, saw a single packet cigarette now selling at $30 from the previous $20 at retail shops.
A single roll has shot up from a dollar to $2.
Corporate and Regulatory Affairs manager Lilly Lomulo said the price increase was brought about by increasing production costs, which the company can no longer absorb.
A FORMER politician is in police custody after he allegedly drove his vehicle into a man and knocking him down unconsciously.
Francis Zama, former MP for South New Georgia, Rendova and Tetepare, was arrested at the provincial town of Noro last Thursday and brought over to Honiara, Monday.
He is facing one count of causing grievous bodily harm.
Western Provincial Police Commander John Rove told the Solomon Star the incident occurred at the nearby town of Munda last Wednesday.
POLICE recovered a stash of cash in both local and foreign currencies totalling $41,664.35 hours after they were stolen from Tandai home.
And five people, including the housemaid, have been arrested and remanded in custody last night awaiting their court appearance today.
According to the Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the stolen cash included $30, 576 (SBD), 500 Hong Kong dollars, 19,000 Korean Won, 1,163 Japanese Yen and 37 Fijian dollars.
Police said the four men and woman have been charged with theft after their arrest yesterday afternoon at White River.
Two Asian men count themselves lucky after surviving what close to be a horrific traffic accident.
The accident occurred just opposite the Taj Mahal restaurant near Sun Valley area, East Honiara at around 1.30pm.
The accident involved a three ton truck and a Toyota mini-van.
The two men are said to be of Chinese national.
A NUMBER of homes were torched down, coconut trees chopped and food gardens damaged following a dispute at a village in the Temotu province.
Reports reaching the paper said a fight broke out between two parties at Nagu village, Santa Cruz over the weekend.
The incident caused so much fear to the children and mothers within the community as tension in the village remains high.
The incident had prompted the Lata police to act swiftly in response to the incident to ease tension between the disputing factions in the village.
TWO agreements were signed yesterday which will allow a submarine communication cable reach our shores.
Minister for Finance and Treasury Rick Hou signed a financing agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and a project agreement with Solomons Oceanic Cable Company (SOC), for the project to proceed.
The Solomon Islands Broadband for Development Project was to build a submarine cable system that will connect the Solomon Islands to an existing international submarine cable network that runs between Guam and Sydney, Australia.
Mr Hou described the signing marked the start of a milestone project that will boost economic activities in the Solomon Islands.
TWO Chinese working here are in custody for allegedly stealing $1.2 million from their employer.
Sixty two-year-old Jiang Jin Xu and his son Biao Wei Xu, 32, were charged with one count each of Larceny and embezzlement by servants.
The two tried to escape to China but were held by Immigration and Police officers in Nadi, Fiji, early this month while transiting there.
Police prosecutors said the two were employed by Long Sheng (China & Solomon) Group Corporation Company Limited as chief accountant and accountant late last year at its Solomon Islands branch located at China Town, Honiara.
More than two hundred patients discharged from the National Referral Hospital (NRH) are still stranded in Honiara because they are still waiting for their sea fare.
Because of the long delay frustration is mounting amongst the patients saying they cannot cope anymore given the cost of living in the city with relatives and friends.
The patients claimed every time they visited the hospitals finance department they got the same answer, “kam baek tumoro na” (come back tomorrow).
These patients are from the provinces who were referred to the National Referral Hospital for further medical attention.
THE Malaita Ma’asina Forum (NPF) has given Solomon Islands National Provident Fund until January 1 next year to seriously consider a proposal it submitted to them recently.
In the proposal, MMF wants all members of NPF to be able to choose to borrow from the fund any amount equivalent to one-third of the amount standing credit to the member.
However, NPF said it is not a commercial bank for members to borrow money from.
EIGHT men narrowly escaped death this week when their outboard motor powered boat sunk.
The boat left Honiara on Monday for Sepi Village, Isabel Province, when it sunk because of overloading.
Isabel Provincial Police Commander (PPC) Gabriel Manelusi said they were informed on Tuesday after one of the passengers swam ashore to a nearby Island named Vitora and told villagers from Sepi about their ordeal.
Mr Manelusi said Police with the help of villagers contacted Sumitomo Mining Company who dispatched a helicopter and a boat to search.
He said the survivors were located at Ramos Island in Malaita Province and were transported to their home village.
PRIME Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has secured 800 scholarships from the Papua New Guinea Government and a 20 million Kina budget support.
This came about after bilateral meeting with his counterpart Peter O’Neil in Port Moresby.
Mr Lilo who attended the Wednesday Special Pacific African, Caribbean and Pacific (PACP) Leaders’ Meeting participated in his first bilateral engagement with Mr O’Neil during which both leaders agreed to further deepen the relationship between the Melanesian neigbours.
He said he was very impressed by the outcome of the engagement as PNG had again showed its unwavering commitment to support Solomon Islands in a number of sectors.
He confirmed that Mr O’Neil had committed to sponsoring 800 students from Solomon Islands to study in various universities and tertiary institutions across Papua New Guinea.
Mr Lilo in accepting the offer assured the PNG leader that recipients of these scholarships will be fairly chosen from all the provinces in Solomon Islands.
MARADE tribe at Faumamanu spills their anger after the ground breaking ceremony the Prime Minister and his deputy officiated in at Faumamanu in East Malaita.
Chief Hudson Maefonea of Marade land where the ground breaking ceremony took place on Tuesday last week said a legal action is imminent.
Government says it legal avenue is the right place to sort out the issue.
Faumamanu is one of the Government’s planned Growth Centers, that hits the ground to get the project rolling.
The Government plans to establish Growth Centres in various locations throughout the country to stimulate and boost economic activities in rural areas and also to alleviate the focus in Honiara.
TRUE lasting peace and reconciliation cannot be achieved until a national peace and reconciliation ceremony is organised.
Those were the words of the fugitive Francis Lela, who escaped recently from the Rove Correctional Centre.
Lela and other prisoners escaped into the Botanical Garden forests this year, but a man-hunt to catch the former Guadalcanal militant failed.
An audio recording claimed to be that of the escaped prisoner obtained by this paper yesterday contain a recording of what Lela wanted the Government to hear.
Police is still to recapture the escaped inmates.
TWO Chinese accused of stealing $1.2 million from their employer have been further remanded in custody awaiting the arrival of their lawyers from China.
Sixty-two-year-old Jiang Jin Xu and his son Biao Wei Xu, 32, who were each charged with one count of larceny and embezzlement by servant.
They appeared yesterday without legal representation.
The case was adjourned in the Honiara Magistrate’s Court from the last occasion to give time for both accused to find legal representation.
sexual offences against women is an issue that can no longer be swept under the
carpet, a high court judge says.
Pallaras said the problem is now with us every day of the week and it is a
problem we all share.
He made the
remarks yesterday when he sent a 45-year-old taxi driver to nine years in jail
for raping his 19-year-old passenger.
Ministry of Health has recorded three new cases of HV/ Aids.
Since 1994 up to December last year 2011, 17 have been confirmed six of whom are males and 11 females.
From the confirmed figure, seven have already died and 10 are still alive.
Doctors have warned there is high
risk of more Solomon Islanders contracting the HIV Aids virus "unless the
fight against HIV Aids and sexually transmitted infections (STI) are collective
MINISTRY of Foreign Affairs is
seeking answers from the country’s ambassador in New York, Collin Beck, why he
voted in support of Palestine as an
observer United Nations member state.
Minister Clay Forau told the Solomon
Star yesterday the country’s position before the voting took place last week
was to support Israel.
But explaining his decision in the
social facebook page Forum Solomon Islands International, Mr Beck said the
country recognises Palestine’s right for self-determination as an independent
Solomon Islands joined hands with
9, with 41 abstentions
of countries around the world to vote for UN’s recognition for Palestine at the
UN as an "entity”
to a "non-member observer state".
In a historic session at the United Nations in New York last Thursday, exactly 65 years after passing the Partition Plan for Palestine, the General Assembly voted by a huge majority to recognise Palestine within the 1967 borders as a non-member state with observer status in the organisation.
NEW local pornographic material has emerged in the Solomon Islands
involving high school students.
The shocking video clips concerned students involving in indecent acts
in classrooms and at the beach front.
The clips were taken from mobile phones.
The Solomon Star has in its possession some of the clips which clearly
identified the students involved as well as which schools they come from.
GRADE six students will wait until next year to hear the result of their exams.
Director of Primary Education in the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Benedict Esibaea revealed this during Mercy Primary school grade six graduation yesterday.
He said according to National Examination and Selection Unit (NESU), the delay to release the results was due to number of factors.
They include the increase in the number of grade six students this year, incomplete names of students, and many schools are not prepared to open their doors for form one next year.
MINISTER for Finance and Treasury Rick Hou says the decline of logging remains a risk to economic growth and prosperity in Solomon Islands in 2013.
Minister Hou revealed this when he handed down the 2013 budget in Parliament yesterday.
He said the logging sector currently accounts for the largest single part of the formal economy and its contribution is expected to decline from 2013 onwards.
Mr Hou said with an estimated population growth rate of 2.3 per cent, growth in per capita income is likely to remain very slow, suggesting that living standards are unlikely to improve markedly in the medium term.
SOLOMON Islands recently witnessed its first ever Gold investment worth around $222.1 million.
The Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) announced that a portion of the country’s foreign reserves has been invested in gold held in the form of gold bars and in gold metal accounts with recognised Bullion Bank.
CBSI explained that the main reason behind the decision to invest in gold is to ensure security of the foreign reserves.
HUNDREDS of disgruntled contractors from the recent Festival of Pacific Arts (FOPA) threatened to destroy and burn down office of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
The angry workers were the contractors, shell money makers, securities, landscapers and those in charge of the catering services during the FOPA in July.
At about 1pm yesterday, the angry workers threatened to take matters into their own hands and destroy the office following claims the government had failed to pay their outstanding variations after the Arts Festival.
However, swift action by the Police Response Team (PRT) quickly dispersed the crowd away from the Commonwealth Street.
ALCOHOL is the leading cause of traffic accidents during festive seasons in the last 12 years, statistics released revealed.
According to the Traffic Statistic report on road accidents in Honiara from 2000- 2012, there is an average of 226 accidents per year.
The report revealed that out of these accidents, an average of nine deaths and 47 injuries occurrences in a year, with a massive 57 percent of these accidents related to alcohol.
MAROVO landowners have questioned why a log ship was allowed to leave the country with 6,975.932 cubic metres of logs despite their concern over alleged breaches of the Forestry Act.
MV Zhong De Voy was released early this month after it was briefly held at the order of Customs and Excise.
The vessel took off with logs felled from Marovo Lagoon, Western province, to China.
According to the letter of credit in the Bill of Lading the Solomon Star obtained, the ship had on board 6,000 cubic metres of log cost, which would earn the Asian logger RIMA, $5 million.
But an eye witness and landowner, Rocky Jepa claimed in a letter this paper obtained, that after a consent order was signed on November 21st, Choe Integrated Development Limited (CIDL) as licensee and RIMA Limited continue to fell trees which they loaded them onto the ship without been scaled.
THE ‘Road Safety and Crime Free Festive Season’ campaign was launched Thursday, with a convey of both Police and private vehicles along with bicycle riders raising awareness along the streets of Honiara.
It started from Point Cruz, to KGVI, down to White Rive and then back to Point Cruz’s Honiara City Police Station.
The campaign is jointly organised by Police Youth Club (PYC)/Bluelight Solomon Islands under the National Community Policing and Public Relation Unit, Honiara City Police, PPC Office, Traffic Department, Operation Unit and Community Policing Unit.
Banners were held up along with campaign messages from various speakers whilst travelling first eastward and then westward.
The focus of the messages present were so that people assist the RSIPF in maintaining and ensuring a crime free and road safety festive season for all Honiara residents to enjoy.
EARLY police reports suggested Christmas was celebrated peacefully around the country.
Except for few alcohol-related minor offences, police have not reported any major incidents.
In Honiara, acting Provincial Police Commander of Central Police Station Philip Kaukui described Christmas celebrations around the capital as “peaceful and silent”.
He said this maybe result of people wanted to stay home to celebrate with families plus the traffic awareness made before the Christmas.
Tropical Cyclone Freda hits the country with strong winds and heavy rain, flattening trees and lifting roofs on Makira.
The cyclone has been upgraded to a category two out of five storm.
Solomon Islands Meteorological Service said the cyclone was in full force on Rennell Island and Makira.
However, it was moving out from Solomon Islands on the coral sea towards New Zealand.
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