6 Feb 2008

Solomon Islands Opposition Leader says independent report into RAMSI genuine

10:19 am on 6 February 2008

The Solomon Islands Opposition Leader says an independent report into the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands is a genuine analysis of the operation of the Australian-led Mission.

The report by the Centre of Independent studies in Australia accuses RAMSI of reinstating ineffective and costly layers of bureaucracy and paying huge salaries to foreign advisers instead of using aid money to improve health, education and infrastructure.

The report also accuses the mission of failing to teach Solomon Islanders to run their own country.

The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation reports the Opposition Leader, Manasseh Sogavare, says the think tank's views reflect the true situation on the ground and supports his former Government's concerns over RAMSI.

Mr Sogavare says the government of Solomon Islands must take the report seriously and address the inefficiencies highlighted before it was too late.

He says RAMSI should not be defensive about the report but see it as a benchmark for improving its operation in Solomon Islands if it is genuine in wanting to help the country manage its own affairs again.