29 Jun 2017

Feeling insulted, Solomons PM wants history of tensions rewritten

1:19 pm on 29 June 2017

The Solomon Islands prime minister has called on academics to rewrite their analyses of the causes of the country's ethnic tensions and the role of leaders - including himself - during that period.

Manasseh Sogavare

Manasseh Sogavare speaks at a high-level symposium on the legacy of RAMSI. Photo: RNZ/ Koroi Hawkins

Manasseh Sogavare made the remarks at a high-level symposium on the legacy of the Regional Assistance Mission, which ends on Friday after 14 years.

Mr Sogavare said academics had wrongly portrayed the ethnic crisis around the turn of the century as having been politically instigated.

He was referring to a coup in 2000 at the height of the tensions that forced a change of government with Mr Sogavare emerging as prime minister.

Manasseh Sogavare

Photo: RNZ/ Koroi Hawkins

Mr Sogavare said he had been tried and cleared of those allegations and says he finds the existence of academic and written records to the contrary a personal insult to his integrity as a leader.

"It makes, as I have said, some of the academic work out of date and need to be reviewed so that our future generations are fed the right information about what happened during the period of our history. Very important. And this is going [to be] referred to by people who are not yet born."

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