4 Sep 2002

Thousands gather in Solomon Islands capital for payments

2:39 pm on 4 September 2002

Several thousand people have gathered in the Solomon Islands capital, Honiara, to demand compensation money.

Our correspondent says people have been milling around town in the expectation that the government will hand over compensation payments for the loss of property during the civil unrest.

The government, which has been experiencing severe cash flow shortages and has been unable to pay its employees on time, is expected to give cheques out.

A high ranking source says about five million U.S. dollars has arrived from the Exim bank in Taiwan in what is the third and final tranche of a loan payment for the compesnation payments.

It's not known if people will get all the compensation they've claimed for.

The Finance ministry is believed to be informing people today as to what they will receive and is expected to issue hundreds of cheques.

One bank in Honiara is reported to be expecting to handle a large volume of compensation payments sometime this week.