3 Jun 2003

Former Solomon Islands militants want huge compensation payments

4:42 am on 3 June 2003

There are claims in Solomon Islands that former militants have demanded that hundreds of millions of dollars compensation be paid by Thursday this week.

An opposition MP, Alfred Sasako, says the former Malaitan militants made the demand after meeting in Honiara late last week.

He says information he has received shows that about two-thousand people are claiming 150 thousand Solomon Islands dollars each, which they say they are guaranteed under the Townsville Peace Agreement.

"They have submitted a letter to the Prime minister and they are demanding that Cabinet deals with it and comes down with a decision on it on Thursday.... and so when your looking at something like two thousand odd people you are looking at a bill of three hundred million dollars... now where is that money going to come from?"

It is not known how the government will respond to the latest demands.

Last month, it said that it no longer had any money to pay for compensation claims.