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Solomon Islands mobs burn out Chinese

April 20 2006 at 10:09 AM
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Anonymous 

Obviously you wantoks over in the Solomons have more sense that we do in PNG. Chinese OUT OF THE PACIFIC!!!!!!



World News



The Times April 20, 2006


Island mobs burn out Chinese
By Bernard Lagan

Rioters destory city centre after new Prime Minister is voted in


THE largest hotel in the Solomon Islands was burned to the ground last night and a curfew was imposed on the capital, Honiara, as Australian and New Zealand peacekeepers clashed with mobs angered by the selection of a new Prime Minister.
Last night police and soldiers on the islands — a former British colony in the Pacific 1,777 miles northeast of Sydney — had abandoned the centre of Honiara to gangs who had destroyed the Chinese business district and the newly completed Pacific Casino Hotel. The capital is on Guadalcanal, the scene of fierce fighting during the Second World War which claimed the lives of more than 7,000 American soldiers and at least 28,000 Japanese.

John Howard, the Australian Prime Minister, sent almost 200 extra soldiers and police yesterday to quell the riots and protect a large contingent of Australian and New Zealand police who have been engaged in peacekeeping duties on the islands since mid-2003. New Zealand is also sending reinforcements.



A curfew was declared by the Government last night after the hotel was destroyed and nearby restaurants and nightclubs were set on fire. About 90 per cent of Honiara’s Chinese-dominated business district was destroyed.

The violence was the worst in the Solomons since 2003 when Australia, New Zealand and other Pacific nations intervened to end years of bloody ethnic gang conflict.

The latest violence was sparked on Tuesday when a new Prime Minister, Snyder Rini, 46 — who is considered to be closely aligned with the minority Chinese population — was voted in by MPs.

Francis Billy Hilly, the former Prime Minister, said that some MPs were offered bribes to vote for Mr Rini. The election “was not free. It was controlled and influenced by outsiders.” he told the Solomon Star newspaper.

A government official said: “The protesters were shouting that this was a Chinese government because the president of the party that Snyder Rini belongs to is a naturalised Chinese.” Shane Castles, an Australian who is the Solomon Islands’ Police Commissioner, said that the Chinese were the target of the mobs, adding: “That’s not unusual to the extent that the Asian or the Chinese population here do own most of the retail and commercial businesses.” By noon yesterday about 1,000 rioters had moved from Chinatown to Honiara’s central shopping district. Witnesses said that looting was rife.

At least 17 Australian police officers, who fired teargas at the protesters, were injured.





 
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