Thursday, April 20, 2006

Trouble in Paradise - the Solomons stitch-up

Now that Australia's RAMSI forces - under the direction of our Foreign Minister Alexander Downer - have begun arresting Opposition politicians in the Solomon Islands to buffer the nascent regime of colorful new Prime Minister Snyder Rini, it's worth asking: what's this all about, and why can't we do this in Australia?

Our man in Honiara, Lukim Iu, explains:

The troubles here are a direct, though indecental, response to steps some senior members of the Chinese business community took to influence the outcome of last week's election. The most public of these were the "vote boats" - chartering boats, for "free trips" back to the provinces, on the understanding that you will vote the "right way" when you get there.

There is no absentee voting here. You either go home to vote, or get yourself enrolled where you are actually living.

Taiwanese money was also involved. Taiwan's biggest critic, Joses Tuhanuku, was defeated by a former SI ambassador to Taiwan. A "free boat ride" back to his electorate, in the outlying islands of Rennell Bellona, helped achieve that result, too. Joses, incidentally is the husband of Walkley award-winning journalist, Mary Louise O'Callaghan.

Incidentally, one of the "vote boats" travelling to the Western Province, apparently sank. (No casualties outside the truth).

There was a weekend rumour that Rini would resign then be spirited out of the Solomons by the Australian military for his own safety. Idi Amin's departure from Uganda was handled in that way.

That didn't happen. Rini was sworn in, secretly, as PM instead.

But he won't last. Former PM Billy Hilly has already lodged a no-confidence motion, which is likely to be dealt with next month. RIni would not survive that. Even the present lot of none-too-bright MPs now realize that Rini is on the nose with the public.

Rini, incidentally, once said that RAMSI was welcome to stay in SI, but not to look at the SI Government's account books. He has changed his tune now, of course. But wonder why he said that?

Hugo says: So ther you have it. Australia has aligned itself with yet another corrupt regime in a "Busted Arse Country". What's extraordinary is that we are participating in a military operation to stifle the parliament, under rather thin pretence. Did anyone mention Kristalnacht?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Cameron Reilly said...

So mate help us understand what's really going on here. What's our motivation for getting involved? What's at stake?

8:24 pm  
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