Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has wasted no time in deploying defence and federal police personnel to the Solomon Islands. Binoy Kampmark looks at the motivations behind the move.
Demonstration in solidarity with West Papua. Honiara, Solomon Islands. Indonesian police beat two West Papuan students in Yahukimo, Papua Province, on September 16 for handing out leaflets about the Pacific Islands Forum.
Marchers in Honiara in support of West Papua’s bid to join the MSG, June 19. The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) granted the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) observer membership during a summit meeting in Honiara on June 26. It also upgraded Indonesia’s membership from observer to associate.
The Aboriginal Provisional Government (APG) made the following media release on May 12, 2015. * * * APG diplomat Pekeri Ruska (Goenpul/Yuggera) was harassed and threatened by customs officials at Brisbane international airport this afternoon after presenting only her Aboriginal passport which had been stamped on entry and exit from Honiara, Solomon Islands.
Back in 1989 a schoolmate of mine showed me some copies of Tribune, the newspaper of New Zealand’s Socialist Unity Party. The SUP had for decades been convinced of the infallibility of the leadership of the Soviet Union, and the pages of Tribune were full of recycled press releases from the Kremlin and large airbrushed photographs of crumbling Soviet leaders like Leonid Brezhnev and Yuri Andropov.
The Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), involving involves police and soldiers, is set to continue its occupation of the Pacific island for at least “five to six years”, despite a change of government in the Solomon Islands. Danny Philip was elected prime minister of the Solomon Islands by parliamentary vote on August 25, the Solomon Star said, after the August 4 general elections in which 25 out of 50 seats changed hands.
Here is a good news story.
On July 24, 2003, the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) — an Australian-dominated force of police, military and bureaucrats — was deployed in the small island nation at the invitation of the Solomon Islands government.
“Prime ministers of the Solomon Islands and Australia have refused to comment on their meeting in Canberra this afternoon”, ABC News Online reported on January 23, adding: “Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s office says he will not be commenting on the outcome of the goodwill visit. Repeated attempts to contact [PM] Dr Sikua have been either unanswered, or unsuccessful, with no reason given for the secrecy.”
The Solomon Islands government wants the Pacific Islands Forum to initiate talks on an exit plan for the PIFs Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), Solomons foreign minister Patterson Oti told a PIF consultative meeting in Honiara on February 12.
In a further assault on the sovereignty of the Solomon Islands, its Australian-appointed police commissioner, Shane Castles, had Solomons immigration minister Peter Shanel arrested on October 17 over the alleged illegal entry of Fiji-born Australian lawyer Julian Moti.
In a blow to Canberras campaign against the government of Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, a no-confidence motion put by pro-Australian opposition leader Fred Fono was defeated on October 11 by 28 votes to 17 in the impoverished Pacific nations 50-member parliament.
As part of Canberras campaign against the government of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, on September 29 the Australian Federal Police had Solomons attorney-general Julian Moti arrested by Papua New Guinean police at the Port Moresby airport while he was flying back to the Solomons from Singapore. A PNG magistrate released Moti on bail that evening.