29 Jun 2007

Solomons' Opposition re-states its concerns about police being re-armed

1:32 pm on 29 June 2007

The Solomon Islands Opposition has reiterated its rejection of the Government's plans to re-arm the police force.

Opposition leader Fred Fono made the comments after the new police commissioner Jahir Khan said he would ask the government for 18 million dollars for next year's police budget to buy weapons for the local police force.

Mr Kahn says the money would go towards arming members of the police patrol boats, and the Close Protection Unit who provide security for the Prime Minister and the governor general.

The Commissioner says the move is enforcing the policy of the Grand Coalition for Change Government.

However, Mr Fono says the government should respect Guadalcanal's opposition to the move, given the experiences it's people had with armed police personnel in the recent ethnic crisis.

Mr Fono says it's now clear why Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare handpicked Mr Khan for the Police Commissioners position.