Dear Editor – In July 2003, the national parliament passed the Facilitation of International Act 2003.
Following that, the Governor General requested international aid to assist in restoring peace in Solomon Islands after the chaos of the ethnic tension.
In 2003 the so called RAMSI was formed which comprised of six island state in the Pacific region.
On the 24th of July 2003, RAMSI landed in Solomon Islands. RAMSI personnel were dispatched then into various sectors in all government ministries to restore the machinery of the government that went off during the chaos of the ethnic unrest.
Majority of the RAMSI personnel were dispatched into the Ministry of Police, National Security and Correctional Services to restore law and order.
Following their intervention, a number of mechanisms were put in place to address the issue of public confidence into the RSIPF and prison service and one of which is to get rid of serving police officers who were implicated during the height of the civil unrest.
In doing so, around 2010 a voluntary retirement scheme was put in place to remove police officers who are implicated during the unrest.
I thought the exercise was done and over but to my surprise I can still see some of the officers hanging around in uniforms and getting promotions to higher positions within the organisation.
Interestingly, on the eve of Christmas 2015, I was on my way from Chinatown through multipurpose hall route.
As I made my way towards multipurpose hall I was sudden to see a group of around a thousand assembled in front and around the hall.
I then easily made my way into the group and manage to talk with a friend whom I knew him personally by name and ask.
I was then told that it was a payment by the government to the ex-militants who form part the civil unrest. From the list supplied I saw some of their names appeared and to be paid that day.
The question that gives rise to this column is not about the payment by the DCCG to the ex-militant but it is a question for the commissioner of police and commissioner of correctional services to address the issue of keeping current serving officers who are also termed as ex-militants in the list.
It is evident that they have already received what is due to them in their participation during the ethnic tension.
I raised this concern because I am afraid RAMSI is drawing down its operation in Solomon Islands and I assume that if these officers still are out there, in the event that RAMSI exits public confidence and trust in the FORCE will still remain an issue.
Secondly, the government intention to rearm the RSIPF is underway and I am afraid if the guns went into the same old hands again.
Lastly but not the least, I urge the responsible commissioners to deal with the issue.