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Joses Tuhanuku on the Solomons situation -

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(generated from captions) Well, Joses Tuhanuku is the President of the Solomon Islands Labour Party who has questioned the influence of Taiwan on Solomon Islands politics. He contested the recent elections, losing his seat to a former Solomon Islands ambassador to Taiwan. And he joins me know in the phone from his home in Honiara.

Thanks for being there, Joses

Tuhanuku. The Pacific Casino Hotel

is reportedly in flames tonight.

What's the general situation in

Honiara, as you understand it?

The general situation in Honiara

this evening is that first of all

today there was a lot of violence

around town. There was looting and

burning of business buildings and

burning of business buildings and so on. I think the biggest has been

on. I think the biggest has been the Pacific Casino Hotel, which is the

newest hotel in Honiara. This

evening also there was the

announcement of a curfew and of

course the announcement also of the

arrival of Australian troops to

assist in the situation. So, the

situation in Honiara is still very

tense. The curfew, nobody is

supposed to be out in the streets.

So it's not a very attractive sort

of a situation. Do you understand

that the curfew is actually working

and if so could that be because

and if so could that be because news that the Australian troops have

arrived has reached the rioters?

Well, that is yet to be seen

it has only start

it has only started it has only start

Well, that is yet to be seen because it has only started 6pm today. So

it has only started 6pm today. So by tomorrow we will know what the

situation is. What effect do you

think the address by the Prime

Minister Snyder Rini will have, the

televised address? It does not help

at all because the demand from the

people who are demonstrating and

people who are demonstrating and who are rioting in town is for him to

step down as Prime Minister of the

country. What do you think is the

cause of the rioting and what can

you tell us about the motivations

you tell us about the motivations of those people who are out in the

streets causing this violence?

Well, it's a common knowledge here

that the election of the Prime

Minister was not a fair and free

one. It has been corrupted by

one. It has been corrupted by Taiwan and business houses owned by

and business houses owned by Solomon Islandsers of Chinese origin and

they knew there was a lot of money

going around to bribe the new

members and some of the old members

to put up this Prime Minister. So

the process is not really a

democratic process. It's a grub

process. A process that's been

compromised. That's why people are

very angry because they are going

very angry because they are going to have to put up with the same group

again for the next four years.

That's why they demonstrated and

they are demanding that the Prime

Minister-elect has to resign.

Now, you lost your own seat to a

former ambassador to Taiwan. Have

any of your supporters been out on

the streets? It's very hard because

I do not follow the people who are

out in the streets, but because now

that there are roadblocks

that there are roadblocks everywhere and a lot of areas that are

and a lot of areas that are affected are sealed up by the police. So I

would say that, you know, it's a

very - it's a mixed group of people

from all over the country that are

taking part in the whole thing.

A final quick question. Do you

believe the arrival

believe the arrival of the

Australian troops will stop the

violence if the Prime Minister

remains in place, as he said he

would tonight? Well, I'm just

would tonight? Well, I'm just hoping that it's not going to aggravate

that it's not going to aggravate the situation because we hope that they

will help the police here to be

will help the police here to be able to Britain back law and order. But

the problem is that some people are

going to view that as Australia is

helping to maintain and support a

corrupt Government. So you think

people might actually react against

that? I think that there will be

people who will be reacting against

that. Joses Tuhanuku, we'll have to