Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI) continues to be a concern that through his Oversight Committee and his Secretary to Prime Minister the, PM fails to be transparent and to inform people of this country about the truth. The public statements made at different times are contrary to the actions taken and are different from what is happening on the ground. The controversial China flight to Honiara which landed at the Henderson Airport at 11: 30 PM on Wednesday brought in 104 passengers. Only 21 of those arrived were indigenous people of Solomon Islands. The Prime Minister and his Covid-19 oversight committee have been preaching to convince citizens that the direct flight from Guongzhou was to repatriate Solomon Islanders who are stranded there return home. The flight, in fact, brought in 83 Chinese and 21 nationals. This does not speak well on the initial purpose of the flight to repatriate but confirmed the concerns raised objecting to the flight. Obviously, the truth citizens see now is that the direct flight from the founding-nation of the coronavirus was intended to bring in Chinese diplomats for their newly established embassy here and to bring in engineers for the 2023 South Pacific Games (SPG) preparation, threatening our Covid-19 free status and increasing the risk of COVID -19 entering the country by 104 times. Right from the start to this risky plan is really to bring in this Executive Government’s new-found friend and the inclusion of stranded Solomon Islanders in the flight popped up as a result of strong objections from the public. This prompted the PM and his oversight committee to change their tactics and the length they will go to cover up the true intention of the flight by blanketing it on repatriation of our stranded citizens there. We now know anything China wants, those exporting to China wants [loggers, miners], the DGCA government will comply.
It is indeed sad that PM and his oversight committee under the cover of SOPE are portraying Solomon Islanders as non-thinking people, unable to know the difference and amenable to being manipulated around all the lies coming out of Dr. Jimmy Rodgers Secretary to Prime Minister and himself. Why can’t they be just honest with the public and admit that the flight was purposely to bring in Chinese nationals to work on the games preparation and those diplomats to work at the Chinese embassy? Is it because they knew that the decision, made for the flight would spark strong objections from the public? Is it because they are not able to pull out of an agreement they have with the Chinese Communist Party? Is it because of an oligarchy outside our political system is controlling the Executive Government? The PM and his cabinet’s decision approving the direct China flight to Honiara is total disrespect and negligence for the people of this nation whom they responsible to provide care and security for them at this time of disaster that force the world to restrict movements across frontiers. This flight and the risk it poses our COVID – 19 free status is not in the best interest of the security, health, and safety of the people of this country. Only 21 Solomon citizens who we can call our own were on that flight. The flight was overloaded by Chinese nationals, a clear indication of a trip intended to bring in China citizens rather than Solomon Islanders. The excuse for repatriation is a big fat lie by the PM and his oversight committee.
The Prime Minister assured the nation in his media statement that there is no preferential treatment of China as some people might think is another big fat lie. China is being given preferential treatment. 83 Chinese nationals set foot at the Henderson airport, a time when the pandemic forced countries to lock their borders including China to outsiders. It does not need a rocket scientist to figure out the preferential treatment for China. It is very unlikely that other repatriation flights to the Philippines, New Zealand, and elsewhere will have as many foreigners as this flight. It is only this direct flight from Guongzhou to Honiara that has that. Only China flight to Honiara has almost 80% of the passengers flown in were Chinese nationals. Is this the repatriation of Solomon citizens stranded in China the PM talks about? The PM and Dr. Jimmy Rogers prioritize SPG preparation over the lives of women, children, and the aging population and the importance of the Covid-19 free status of this country. His decision to allow the flight from China is a slap on the face of the hardworking citizens at our borders. PM’s decision to bring in Chinese nationals to build a major project is less important than the health of citizens who can survive and live happily without the SPG, Tina Hydro, and other projects he boasted about. The people of Solomon Islands do not have to look far to know the truth that this Executive Government led by the Prime Minister has preferential treatment for China the country that brings a curse to the rest of the world to suffer economic recession and those who do business with it like loggers, miners, and loggers turned miners.
Transparency Solomon Islands urged the executive government not to use the term repatriation on any flight coming from China because those trips are purposely to do with easing movements of Chinese engineers and diplomats. Philippines and others are the countries we have to repatriate our citizens and we can comfortably say that majority or all of the passengers are Solomon nationals, unlike this flight.
According to information available, all the passengers that arrived from the direct flight from China via Biak Island of West Papua were distributed to different quarantine centers in Honiara. Some of them at GBR, King Solomon, Heritage Park Hotel, and other quarantine sites. Transparency Solomon Islands is concern that the spreading of these people around highly populated areas around Honiara further heightens the risk of transmitting Covid-19 if anyone is found positive of the virus. TSI sees this as gross negligence of duty from those authorities responsible for quarantine these people. The risky trip lacks forethought and planning.
TSI is further concerned that the call for the oversight committee and those responsible to allow journalists to enter the terminal to witness whether the work of the front liners are safe and not posing any risk was never considered. This is not good and would instill the sense of suspicion among people that the government and those responsible in the frontline were not transparent and accountable in their work as front liners to this pandemic.
It is very disappointing that the executive government failed to listen to the people who strongly object to the direct flight from China to Honiara. It is very disappointing to learn that the PM and his oversight committee continue to tell lies to the people instead of admitting the truth behind all their decisions made during this time of the pandemic. It is very disappointing that the PM and his Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) will continue to rule this country without taking into account the concerns of the people regarding the health risks associated with their decisions. The direct flight from China that arrived on Wednesday night this week clearly speaks volumes. The Solomon Islands is at risk country on two fronts. First the concentration of enormous power in a few people and the misuse and abuse of those powers for special interest groups and Covid-19. The manner in which the DCGA leaders have exercised those enormous powers under SOE exposes the country to be traded for anything disastrous to the lives of our people.
- Transparency Solomon Islands