INQUIRY STARTS TODAY
By ANDREW FANASIA
HEAD of the bi-partisan taskforce John Moffat Fugui will be among the first to appear before the Parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee (PFRC) this morning.
Chaired by Peter Kenilorea Jnr., the PFRC will inquire into whether the country should severe its existing diplomatic ties Taiwan.
Fugui, who is also the MP for Central Honiara and a known pro-China politician, headed the taskforce Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare set up to explore the pros and cons of switching ties from Taiwan to China.
His delegation travelled to Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, and China as part of their tasks.
But today, the PFCR is expected to grill him on his taskforce’s finding.
Others scheduled to appear before the PFCR today are:
– Minister for Communication and Civil Aviation Peter Shanel, who led an eight-member ministerial delegation to China two weeks ago.
– Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr Jimmy Rodgers
– Permanent Secretary Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labor and Immigration Riley Mesepitu
– Permanent Secretary of Police, National Security and Correctional Services Karen Barimata.
The PFC will conduct its inquiry for two days.
Day two will feature:
• Chief Executive Officer of the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce;
• Chief Executive Officer of Transparency Solomon Islands;
• President of Forum Solomon Islands International;
• Development Service Exchange/ People Living with Disability, Solomon Islands;
• Project Manager, Active Citizenship Programs of the Solomon Islands Social Accountability Coalition;
• Secretary General of the Solomon Islands Christian Association;
• President of the National Council of Women;
• Director Vois Blo Mere;
• Chair Lady of the Young Women’s Parliamentary Group;
• Solomon Islands National Youth Congress Representative
• General Secretary of Young Women Christian Association
The committee is expected to compile and submit a report to parliament based on its findings.
The Taiwan-China debate has taken up much of public discussions in recent weeks.
It has divided the Government, Cabinet and the public.
Prime Minister Sogavare is expected to announce in coming weeks whether to switch or not to switch.