7 Jun 2005

Choiseul province group pushes for secession from Solomons

10:17 am on 7 June 2005

People in the Solomon's Choiseul province who say they suffered from the spill-over effects of the Bougainville crisis more than 10 years ago are pushing for the secession of the Province from the rest of Solomon Islands.

A spokesman for the Batava community in North-west Choiseul, William Kutini, is quoted by the Solomons Islands Broadcasting Corporation as saying the move demonstrates his people's frustrations over government's failure to meet compensation claims.

He says the people are claiming payments for the loss of relatives and property during the conflict in the Papua new Guinea Province of Bougainville in the early 1990s.

Mr Kutini says his committee received a petition carrying more than 200 signatures of the Batava community.

He says the people of Batava community no longer hold trust in the present Government and called on their committee to proceed with initial negotiations for the rest of Choiseul province to secede from Solomon Islands.