Thursday, March 18, 2010

Letter by Attorney-General; "Waipora on TDMA Bill

Just to give West Makirans a glimpse of how your MP is performing on the floor of Parliament, I am attaching a first hand observation by one of the leaders of Solomon Islands, the Attorney-General, commenting on Waipora's manner and level of debate in Parliament. Read the article and make your own observations.


Wednesday, 10 March 2010 10:01

DEAR EDITOR – The Parliament Bills and Legislation Committee discontinued its review of the Timber Development and Marketing Authority Bill (TDMA) on Friday 5th March 2010 upon being informed that the Cabinet had resolved to withdraw the Bill to allow further time for more public consultations.

I listened to a short segment of the review on that day when the representatives of the local timber buyers appeared before the Committee.

I enjoyed listening to the witnesses who spoke about the world of timber marketing until I heard the familiar voice of Hon. Waipora.

The segment of the discussion revolved around the stated objects and reasons of the Bill upon an impromptu question by Hon. Oti. The objects and reasons are threefold, namely:

(a) to establish an authority for the purpose of timber development and marketing;

(b) to facilitate, promote and encourage down-stream processing of timber by communities;

(c) to ensure that communities get maximum benefit from their timber resources.

As I listened, I heard Hon. Waipora made defamatory remarks against the person(s) who drafted the Bill.

That would be the AG Chambers. That stunned me because the issues discussed at that Committee hearing were all policy issues, especially on timber marketing, and nothing turned on legal or legislative drafting issues.

Hon. Waipora remarks had no relevance at all to the productive discussion on the Bill.

Hon. Waipora can easily find better and relevant vocabularies in the English dictionary fitting for use by seasoned politicians and diplomats.

In a particular country, Parliament is literally translated as “House of the Wise”.

Our Parliamentary word, i.e Parliament, does not have the same translation, but nonetheless, it is expected that our MPs speak with wisdom, and so must find wisdom.

Hon. Waipora should have known by now that the AG Chambers does not deal with policy matters although it may, from time to time, be asked to advise on legal aspects of a policy.

In any event, I cannot see the need for a politician to make such thoughtless remarks against our Chambers or any public officer.

The relevant function of the Committee is to “review all draft legislation prepared for introduction into Parliament”.

That function does not give any member of the Committee any right at all to slander any person, whether a public officer or a member of the public.

If Hon. Waipora was of mind that the Parliamentary Privilege and Immunities enjoyed by our MPs gave him the right to make such remarks, may I inform him now that the ultimate object of such Privileges and Immunities is the survival of free institutions like Parliament.

The Privileges and Immunities enable the Parliament to carry out its functions effectively, hence ensures its survival.

Hon. Waipora’s remarks was neither vital to the effective performance of the Committee’s function nor the survival of the Committee.

The Parliamentary Privileges and Immunities have two aspects, namely, freedom of speech and freedom from impeachment or court proceedings.

He will, therefore, do well to know that the Privileges and Immunities are not rights to slander but rather protections against criminal prosecutions and civil suits.

The Privileges and Immunities are not swords or stones he could use to slaughter or stone anyone he likes.

On another matter, Hon. Waipora even told those who appeared before the Committee (local timber buyers representatives) that the Committee had power to stop the Bill from proceeding to Parliament.

I thought I heard another Committee member said that as well.

I do not know where the Committee derived the power from for the Parliamentary Standing Order 71 merely empowers the Committee to make a written report to Parliament on its observations and recommendations arising from its deliberations.

The Parliament can accept or reject the Committee’s report, or part of it, but the Committee has no power at all to stop the Bill from proceeding to Parliament.

The Committee will have to recommend an amendment to the Standing Order before it can have such power.

In the meantime, Hon. Waipora’s reading of the Standing Order is not only wrong but is also contrary to the statutory function of the Committee, i.e to make report to Parliament.

Hon. Waipora need not search in vain for such power now because the Cabinet had resolved on Thursday 4th March that the Bill be halted for further study and consultation.

The public need to know that the AG Chambers does not undertake public policy consultations but may attend if invited by a Ministry to explain a Bill to stakeholders consulted by the responsible Ministry.

Gabriel Suri

Attorney General


Mbokonavera murder case moved to March 22 Wednesday,


As you may remember, early this year a man from Tetere, in Makira was murdered by thugs in Honiara. Reported below is an update of the murder trial...

Solomon Star, 17 March 2010 13:40

THE men accused of the murder at Mbokonavera, Honiara, early this year, were further remanded to appear again in court on March 22.

Henry Gwao and co-accused Isaac Kiriau are both charged with murder that allegedly occurred on the night of February 2 this year at the Mbokonavera junction.

Both appeared on Monday but their cases were further adjourned as their lawyers have just been served with the disclosures and need time for instructions before pleas can be entered.

The matter was adjourned to March 22 by Principal Magistrate Steve Wilson.

Both accused were further remanded.

Anderson Kesaka from the Pubic Solicitor’s Office is representing Gwao while his colleague Hubert Fugui appears for Kiriau.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Cyclone Ului Eases While Heading West

Monday 15 March 2010

Cyclone Ului, recorded yesterday as it travels South of Solomon Islands.

(Source: )

The Severe Tropical Cyclone Ului, that travelled to South of Solomon Islands was said to have broken the record for the most intense ever tropical cyclones in the South Pacific Region.

Cyclone Ului had upgraded from a Category three to a Category five yesterday with expected maximum winds to 115 knots and maximum gusts to 155 knots in areas close to the centre. This Cyclone is located approximately 50 nautical miles South of Rennell Islands and is moving West at 07 knots.

This morning, Cyclone Ului is now recorded as a Category four cyclone. A Gale force wind of 34 to 47knots is still over Southern Makira Province and the similar is expected for the Southern Guadalcanal. Storm force winds at 43 to 63 knots is now in force for Rennell and Bellona but is expected to reduce to 34 to 47knots later today.

A Tropical Cyclone Warning is current for Rennell and Bellona Province, Makira, Guadalcanal, Central, Western and Malaita Provinces whilst a Tropical Cyclone watch advice is for Isabel and Choiseul Province including the Shortland Islands.

There is potential for coastal inundation over low coastal areas. Heavy rainfall and thunderstorms is also expected, as well as rough seas with very high swells.

People throughout these islands are expected to take precaution as the threat for this cyclone increases.

This warning comes days after people are starting to recover from the months of heavy rain experienced causing flash flooding in parts of Solomon Islands, damaging food gardens, bridges, access roads and various infrastructures.

[Source: Solomon Islands Meteorological Service Update, as reported by]

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Makira busy last month .

Monday, 08 March 2010 12:27

Makira provincial government says February has been a productive, positive, but also sad month for the Makira Ulawa Provincial (MUP) Government.

In its monthly newsletter the province said in the beginning of February the full Provincial Assembly and other invitees gathered in the courthouse to review the latest draft of the constitutional reform, which aims to move the Solomon Islands towards a federal-model of statehood which foresees a significantly stronger role and more resources for the Provinces. Many fruitful discussions found place and the review team was thankful for Makira Ulawa's hospitality and productive input in the constitutional reform process.

The Makira Ulawa Provincial Government has also been developing its 2010/11 annual budget which it hopes to be approved on the 15 March by Provincial Assembly.

"This budget will outline and regulate next year's work plan," the newsletter said.

The MUP Government has also been occupied with initiating the voter registration process for the national elections; it has organized training for rural businesses and supported training of teachers in Early Childhood Education.

Last month as well the provincial government also said goodbye to their Provincial Secretary; Andrew Nanauoha.

Mr Andrew has return to Honiara to his Ministry's office.

"We want to thank him for the many years of strong leadership and all the hard work he gave to the Makira Ulawa Province," the provincial government said.

Unfortunately, last month closed with an incredibly sad event; the loss of a dear Minister of Health, the late Honorable John Mara.

Over the years the late Mara showed us his great commitment to Makira Ulawa politics and the development of the province.

His important contributions through PGSP, through conceiving and developing the PCDF fishery centre project in Santa Ana are testament to his commitment.

"Our deepest sympathies are with his family, friends and colleagues at this time, may he rest in peace and God bless his soul," the province's newsletter said.


Makira development council held meeting

Monday, 08 March 2010 12:15

THE Makira Ulawa Provincial Development Council meeting was successfully held last month.

The province's official newsletter said on the 10th of February for the first time in the history of Makira Ulawa Province, the Makira Ulawa Provincial Development Council gathered to discuss various issues affecting the province.

The aim of the Council is to:

- Share information on development strategies, plans, and projects.

- Consult development stakeholders on provincial development plans.

- Prioritise areas for Provincial Governmental investments and capital development funds.

The Council is open for anyone who feels engaged and is committed to the development of the Province and would like to participate in the Council on a voluntary basis.

The Council plans to meet on a three monthly bases, the news letter said.

Representatives from NGOs, Churches, the Council of Chiefs and the Government participated in the council meeting and together took key decisions on the priority investment areas for the Makira Ulawa Provincial Government for 2010/11.

These are to be: economic development, communication & transportation infrastructure, water and sanitation (WATSAN) and education

The meeting took place in a collaborative and friendly environment in which many good ideas were raised, information shared and important decisions taken.


Flooding affects Pamua school .

Saturday, 06 March 2010 18:23 .

STUDENTS of St Stephen Pamua in Makira Ulawa Province are facing water problem due to the heavy rain in the last few days.

In an email to the Solomon Star, form six Geography teacher Ramsi Sirai said staff and students are now relying on their water tank because their source was blocked by thick mud.

He said the staff and students are planning to clean up the water source soon to alleviate the problem.

“Many students have also developed abscess and the cause of it is still unknown,”Mr Sirai said.

He also said many rivers in the area submerged their banks during the rain but this is now receding.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Makira invest more in projects

Monday, 08 March 2010 12:40 .

MAKIRA province is committed to completing most of its project this year by investing half a million last month.

The province in its February newsletter said the provincial government strengthening program, PGSP, contains a funding component called the Provincial Capital Development Fund (PCDF).

The aim of which is to strengthen skills through developing experience in managing public expenditures and to be able to provide citizens with public services.

"In February, the Provincial Assembly approved a supplementary budget of $503,369 to provide our Province with access to additional funding for capital investments.

"All funding has been approved and allocated to ongoing projects and aims to provide sufficient resources to successfully complete all planned PCDF projects from this financial year," the newsletter said.

Makira Ulawa has also opened tenders nationally and locally for several contracts for goods and works.

Hardware materials will be procured from Honiara and all over the Province, while timber and furniture will be procured and labour/ man power contracted to complete the ongoing PCDF projects within March 2010.

At the end of February, a team from the health, fisheries and administration divisions conducted project site monitoring visits, passing by the villages of Maniata, Tawarogha, Ghupuna, Aurigi, Mami, Namuga and Mwareiraro.

The team met with community representatives and discussed ongoing projects for water tank installation for primary schools and communities, nurse aid post development and the Santa Ana Fishery Centre project.

As a general observation is was found that all communities were committed to the development of their villages through these PCDF projects, however, lots of work is still to be done.

"Let's work together as Government and community to complete the projects we have, as we believe that working together is the key to our success," the provincial government said in the newsletter.

In planning for next year's PCDF investments; the executive respected the decision of the Provincial Development Council (PDC) and plans to invest upcoming PCDF funding in the area of economic development and water and sanitation (WATSAN) projects.

It is for the first time that the government has actively engaged the public in such decision-making.

"The rationale was also in consideration of the investments and funds being made available to the transportation and communication infrastructure, with large scale projects and investments done through the mandate and plans of the central government and other donors such as ADB.

"As such, the executive, on the basis of the Council's recommendations, decided to prioritize funding towards Goals one and three.

"As all new projects are currently being developed we will provide you with an overview of the new projects in our next newsletter," the government said in the newsletter.


Monday, March 1, 2010

West Makira Voters Threaten to Sell Ballot Papers

23 February 2010

Threat of Ballot papers being sold out to national general election candidates of West Makira is serious.

A concerned voter on West Makira says people there are suggesting to sell their ballot papers at 200 dollars each to candidates.

Vincent Heimaenia from Hada Bay Village says this is because people there feel that they do not have any elected member representing them in parliament, after the death of their former representative, the late Solomon Mamaloni.

Mr. Heimaenia says no development is happening in West Makira.

He says people there feel that if no candidate wants to buy their ballot papers, they will simply stay away from voting.

[Source: People First Network, ]