Solomon Islands

MSG chair highlight West Papua issue at UNGA

Sogavare's statement is the second statement from the Pacific that has raised concerns of human rights violations in West Papua, with emphasis for the UN to intervene.

Tongan Prime Minister this week also highlighted humanrights abuses facing people of West Papua.

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister informed  UNGA on the developments at the MSG and the Pacific Islands Forum, including the plea to Indonesia to accept unrestricted access to a possible mission of a fact finding mission to West Papua.

Scientists discover ‘glowing’ sea turtle off Solomon Islands

The hawksbill sea turtle, spotted off the Solomon Islands, is the first reptile seen to exhibit biofluorescence.

The creature was spotted in July by marine biologist David Gruber, who was on a nightdive hoping to capture footage of biofluorescent sharks and coral reefs. 

Gruber, based at City University in New York, described the endangered turtle as looking like 'a big spaceship gliding into view', National Geographic reported. 

Solomon Islands PM satisfied with PSIDS-US meeting on Climate change

 The leaders discussed the issue of Climate Change at the margins of the 70th UN General Assembly meeting in New York.

Prime Minister Sogavare said the meeting concluded with a resolution by the Pacific SIDS Leaders to speak with one firm voice on climate change as agreed upon in the Suva Declaration on Climate Change.

The Suva Declaration emanated from the recent Pacific Islands Development Forum held in Suva, Fiji.

Another chair swap in Solomons Cabinet

The current Minister of Communication and Aviation, Commins Mewa, is to take the role of Minister of Police, National Security and Correctional Services, now held by Peter Shanel Agovaka.

In August three ministers were moved and in May another two swaps were made in the Cabinet, which was first formed just 9 months ago.

PM says sorry

Last Monday Minister Bartholomew Parapolo and his PS Vaeno Vigulu visited Asia Pacific Investment Development Ltd’s (APID) agro forestry on Rennell Island without informing the Premier and his executive.

This has led to Premier Singamoana questioning the visit because there was no courtesy call made to his office.

He said, as the head of the provincial government, he was embarrassed and humiliated because no communication was made to his office of the visit. Also, there was no courtesy to call at his office at Tigoa provincial headquarter.

Solomons PM urged to ratify UN disability convention

People with Disability Solomon Islands made the call during a meeting with prime minister Manasseh Sogavare last week ahead of his upcoming trip to New York for the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The organisation's president Casper Faasala says people living with disability in Solomon Islands are marginalised and have limited access to basic services like education, healthcare and clean water.

Mr Faasala believes ratifying the convention would mainstream ongoing work to make a more inclusive society for people with disabilities.

Solomons reforms logging sector to avoid court action

James Apaniai says it is common knowledge the appointment of customary landowner trustees often sparks disputes over logging operations.

Mr Apaniai says many of these disputes end up in the courts and the government needs to reform the appointment process.

He says disputes over logging operations that go before the courts revolve around disagreements between customary landowner trustees or trustees and tribes.

The Ministry of Forests and Research is currently drafting changes to the Forestry Resource and Timber Utilisation Act.


Solomons tourism urged to carve its own path

This comes as the country's tiny industry works to expand cruise ship business by improving infrastructure and developing cultural experience for visitors.

The chair of the tourism board Wilson Ne'e says he believes Solomon Islands has a lot to offer travellers, but operators should stop trying to compare themselves with well established competitors.

Mr Ne'e says work is underway to improve berthing facilities in Honiara in anticipation of a huge spike in the number of cruise ship visits next year.

Solomons Leadership Code Commission gets tough on leaders

The Commission's Chairman, Francis Luza, says leaders are being reminded to draw the line between official and personal interests.

He says leaders must be guided by law and not allow personal business interests to undermine their official tasks of looking after their public offices, adding they are not above the law.

Mr Luza made the reminder while addressing newly appointed Permanent Secretaries in Honiara.

He says the Leadership Code Commission has an important task of safeguarding leaders who must declare their financial affairs.


BSP remain committed to acquire Westpac bank in Solomon Islands

Bank of South Pacific (BSP) is working closely with the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) to obtain the necessary approvals and discussions with the CBSI have been positive and have well-progressed.

This was revealed in a statement by BSP Group chairman Kostas Constantinou.

He says BSP is confident for a positive conclusion of the new application that is before the CBSI to allow the transaction to proceed shortly thereafter.