11 Mar 2003

Solomon Islands Government Finance Ministry re-opens

5:07 pm on 11 March 2003

The Solomon Islands government says it hopes to appoint a new permanent secretary for the finance ministry this week, despite the harrassment of key officials by special constables demanding payment.

Edward Kingmele, in the Prime Minister's office, confirms that the permanent secretary of the finance ministry, Luma D'arcy, has remained away from Honiara after being man-handled by the constables and forced to flee the city.

Mr D'arcy's replacement, Cyril Tebauwa, the Accountant General, also went into hiding after being threatened.

Mr Kingmele says the government is confident the Treasury will reopen in the next day or two after closing last week, but that the threat posed by the special constables is an ongoing one...

"It's not only the finance ministry, the security is a security risk for all of us in the government ministry and it's coming out clearly when people are after their pay or whatever and that's why you're seeing it in the ministry of finance."

Edward Kingmele