27 Apr 2006

Former Solomons' leader slams RAMSI presence in Parliament as an annexation

8:25 pm on 27 April 2006

A former Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Batholomew Ulufa 'alu, says the heavy foreign police and military presence in Parliament this week amounted to a complete annexation of the country.

Mr Ulufa'alu told parliament today that allowing the soldiers and police in and around the assembly undermined the sacredness of the institution.

He said the 2003 Facilitation Act, under which the Regional Assistance Mission, or RAMSI, operates does not give it the right to have troops or police in the parliament building.

The Speaker, Sir Peter Kenilorea, told Parliament that once the issue was brought to his attention he spoke to those responsible, after which the RAMSI personnel kept their arms and riot gear out of the building.