Ex-policemen accuse Senior Ministers accused of ignoring plight, warn of dire consequences if the government fails to address payout claim in a month
SENIOR MINISTERS Manasseh Maelanga, Peter Shanel and Bradley Tovosia have been accused of ignoring the plight of ex-police officers pushing a multi-million-dollar payout claim from the DCGA government.
An estimated 430 ex-police officers, deployed to the Solomon Islands-Bougainville sea border during the civil unrest in 2000, are demanding $200, 000 payout each be settled immediately.
If the figure is correct, the payout will to some $86 million.
The ex-police officers warned they are mobilising to push for the payment, saying their patience is wearing thin.
“We have been lied to over the past 23 years through promises the payments would be made. To date, nothing has come through except for the partial payout of $100, 000 each,” one of the officers told Solomon Star.
The officers said they are very disappointed in Deputy Prime Minister Maelanga, Communication and Civil Aviation Minister Shanel and Mines and Energy Minister Tovosia.
“They have remained silent over the last 23 years, instead of pushing the cause,” the ex-police officer said.
“These three ministers were with us once. They were our members. But as soon as they ascended the seat of power, we were completely ignored. In doing so, they have disowned us, denying we ever existed,” sources told Solomon Star yesterday.
“What these ministers ignored is the fact that without our presence along the border, Papua New Guinea would have planted its flag on some of the islands in the Shortlands. We were there defending Solomon Islands’ sovereignty,” the man said.
“We will give the government a month to address our demand. If this is not done, our focus will turn to our preparations to disrupt the 2023 Pacific Games later this year. We want to make it clear, we are not afraid of dying on our own soil, should it come to that,” he said.
No comments have been forthcoming from the Office of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare who travelled to Fiji on Thursday evening to attend the Pacific Forum Leaders’ meeting being held in Nadi.
The ex-police officers met at the Children’s Park at Rove yesterday but the outcome of the meeting was not immediately known.
By Alfred Sasako