9 Sep 2002

Solomons government checks how 100 Asian nationals have gained citizenship

12:08 pm on 9 September 2002

The Solomon Islands government is investigating how up to 100 asian nationals have been given citizenship before qualifying for naturalisation.

The ministry of home affairs, which approves applications for citizenship, is carrying out the inquiry.

George Atkin reports from Honiara.

"A reliable ministry source says those who want to take out Solomon Island citizenship must reside here for at least ten years before they can qualify to apply. But the source says the one hundred Asians who have been granted citizenship have lived here for between two and eight years. The citizenships were granted by the former Manasseh Sogavare government. The source says the MInistry believes the citizenships were given to the Asians prematurely because they have remained in Honiara throughout the ethnic conflict. They are believed to be mainly businessmen. George Atkin Radio New Zealand International, Honiara"