FORMER Prime Minister and MP for North East Choiseul, Manasseh Sogavare says a vast majority of Solomon Islanders do not have a clue what the roles of RAMSI are since the mission’s arrival in 2003.
Mr Sogavare highlighted this in Parliament on Wedneday during the opening of the debate on an Independent Report on RAMSI.
Mr Sogavare also referred to the RAMSI survey conducted, which showed that a majority of answers people gave were that RAMSI was in the country to restore law and order.
“It is clear that a majority of Solomon Islanders do not have a clue as to what roles of RAMSI in the country,” Mr Sogavare said.
“Apart from restoring law and order, many still do not have a clue what other roles RAMSI have with regards to development in the country,” he added.
Mr Sogavare also highlighted that the questions in the RAMSI survey carried out were structured, therefore depicting people’s limited knowledge of RAMSI in the country.
Mr Sogavare also highlighted that the root causes of the ethnic tension are still yet to be addressed.
He added that it is also clear RAMSI have no interest in addressing these issues.
He quoted Australia and then Prime Minister, John Howard making it clear that addressing the root cause of the ethnic tension is the sole responsibility of the Solomon Islands government.
However, Mr Sogavare added that Australia must also consider that they are protecting their own interests within the territory of a sovereign state.
“To protect their own interest, they must be cautious of doing so within the territory of a sovereign state,” he said.
Mr Sogavare said that despite the many success stories in the RAMSI report, it still poses a negative image as to how Solomon Islanders know very little of RAMSI and its roles in the country.
He said that such stories will soon be forgotten if it is not addressed.
By JEREMY INIFIRI