Solomon: Why has this Pacific archipelago been burning for the last two days?

New Delhi: The Solomon The islands are witnessing its last two decades of flak-ups Stress Anti-government protesters stormed the National Assembly building in the capital on Wednesday and set fire to other buildings, mostly in the Chinatown district, after Australia sent peacekeepers to the Pacific archipelago on Thursday.
Nearly a thousand people gathered in the capital, Honiara, on Wednesday, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Manseh Sogaware due to domestic problems and forcing him to declare a strike from 7pm on Wednesday to 7pm on Friday.
He described the incident as “another tragic and unfortunate event aimed at overthrowing a democratically elected government.”
“I honestly thought we were going through some of the darkest days in our country’s history. However, today’s events are a painful memory that we have a long way to go,” he said.
Anti-government protesters, however, defied lockout orders and took to the streets again on Thursday after Solomon Islands police announced they would step up patrols in Honiara.
A local journalist posted a photo of the fire at a bank, shop and school on Twitter. Local media reported that many of the protesters were from Malaya, led by Daniel SuidaniSogabhare has been at loggerheads since deciding to sever ties with Taiwan and instead side with China.
Despite acknowledging that widespread riots and protests had brought the Pacific nation to its knees, Sogabhare rejected a call to resign on Thursday.
“If I am removed from the post of prime minister, it will be on the floor of parliament,” said Sogavre, urging protesters to return home.
Meanwhile, Australia announced on Thursday that it would send police, army and diplomats to the Solomon Islands with the Prime Minister. Scott Morrison He said the deployment included 23 federal police officers and 43 security forces to provide security at more than 50 key infrastructure sites. Staff, a patrol boat and at least five diplomats.
The first employee left Australia on Thursday and will leave on Friday. The deployment is expected to last a few weeks, Morrison said. “Our goal here is to provide stability and security,” he said.
What caused the movement?
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. Primary reason: Sogavare’s decision to sever the country’s diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 2019, instead switching allegiance to China. The Malaysian prime minister openly criticized the decision, accusing the prime minister of being too close to Beijing. Malay leaders still maintain contact with Taiwan and receive significant support from Taipei and Washington.
The state has also complained of being unfairly deprived of government investment. Apart from these issues, there is outrage over youth unemployment and anti-coronavirus controls.
Malayita’s premier Suidani said he was not responsible for the violence in Honiara, although the AP quoted Solomon Star News as saying he had agreed to Sogabare’s resignation.
“Mannaseh Sogavare has been in power for the last 20 years Solomon Islands At the same time, foreigners have reaped the country’s best resources, “said Suidani.” People are not blind to it and do not want to be deceived anymore. ”
Australia’s interest in the Pacific
Australia has a bilateral security treaty under which Sogabhare requested assistance, Morrison said.
The Australian Government has no intention of interfering in the internal affairs of the Solomon Islands. That they have to solve, ‘he explained.
Australia also led an international police and military force called the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands, which restored peace in the country after bloody ethnic violence from 2003 to 2017.
Concerned China
China on Thursday expressed serious concern about attacks on some Chinese citizens and organizations in the Chinatown district, without elaborating.
“We are confident that the Solomon Islands government, led by Prime Minister Sogavare, will be able to restore social order and stability as soon as possible,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a daily briefing in Beijing.
He noted that economic and other cooperation has benefited both sides since the establishment of diplomatic relations. “Any attempt to undermine the normal development of Sino-Solomon relations is futile,” he said.
Bloody history
The Solomon Islands cover an area of ​​approximately 27,500 square kilometers (10,600 square miles) consisting of six main islands and more than 950 smaller islands. The islands are often affected by major earthquakes, triggering tsunamis in 2013, 2007 and 1977, killing dozens. The population of 753,000 is highly Christian and ethnic Melanesian.
The former British protectorate, from whose rainforests large quantities of timber are exported to China, has long been beset by political and ethnic unrest.
During World War II, the Solomon Islands, about 1,500 kilometers (1,000 miles) northeast of Australia, were the scene of bloody battles. The U.S. Marines landed on Guadalcanal Island in August 1942 after it was captured by the Japanese. They managed to regain control, although the war in and around the Solomon Islands continued until the end of the war.
It gained independence from Britain in 1978, but has since struggled with anarchy and political violence.
Rivalries between the most populous island, Malaita, and the central government, based in Guadalcanal, have led to repeated clashes, with previous complaints ignoring it.
The late 1990s saw Guadalcanal militant attacks, particularly on the people of Malaya, and for five years, the country was on its knees.
The so-called “tension” came only after the Australian-led peacekeeping mission was deployed in 2003.
Riots erupted again in April 2006 after Snyder Renee was elected prime minister by legislators. Dozens of businesses owned by ethnic Chinese were looted and burned in the capital as local dissent was building against the dominance of foreign business figures – mostly ethnic Chinese from Taiwan, China, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Chinese businesses were targeted in part because they and Taiwan – which at the time had diplomatic relations with Honiara – provided financial support to bribe legislators to support Rini.
At the time, Australia had sent peacekeepers along with New Zealand.
A major event took place in 2019 when the historic rivalry between Guadalcanal and Malaita turned into international geopolitics when another phase of violent protests began after veteran politician Sogabhare was elected prime minister. Within five months, he switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China, one of the cornerstones of the Sogabhero campaign. Observers say this week’s violence is a continuation of all that.
(Including agency inputs)

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