SUPPORTERS of the People’s Alliance Party in Honiara and Makira say closing of diplomatic ties with the Republic of China on Taiwan by the Government of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare is a sad affair for Solomon Islands.
PAP does not have a member in the National Parliament as its candidates who had won seats in the recent National General Elections defected to other parties to form the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement led by Sogavare.
But PAP supporters in Honiara and in Makira, the birth place of the party’s founder, late Solomon Mamaloni, say their party is saddened by the Sogavare Government’s action because it was a PAP Government that negotiated the diplomatic relations between Honiara and Taipei.
Former Special Secretary to late Prime Minister Mamaloni, Edward Kingmele says in Honiara he made special visits to Taipei with both officials and politicians to discuss the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of China on Taiwan and Solomon Islands.
He says it is sad to drop a friend who was always available to give a helping hand in both good and bad times and has provided development funds towards agriculture, health, education and rural economic development during the past 38 years.
As a result of the cut of diplomatic relations, all Solomon Islands students studying in various Taiwanese educational institutions will be returned to Solomon Islands, Taiwan’s financial funding towards the country’s hosting of the 2023 Pacific Games could be in the tatters, its Agriculture Technical Mission is due to close, and no doubt, if Taipei does withdraw the Constituency Development Fund, it would hurt the 50 MPs personal pockets.
Kingmele and other PAP die-hard supporters urge Taiwan to stop paying the CDF with immediate effect, if it has yet decided to do so.
The PAP supporters believe the decision by the 33 Government MPs (six abstained) to drop Taiwan is un-cultural, taking into account all the help MPs and the country have obtained from Taipei.
They sympathize with representatives of churches, civil society and NGOs who expressed their sadness to the Taiwan’s deputy Foreign Affairs minister at Henderson Airport about the severing of diplomatic relations upon his arrival on Monday.
By GEORGE ATKIN
in Kira Kira