Solomons govt criticised for China repatriation flight

A provincial premier has criticised the Solomon Islands government for accepting a repatriation flight containing mostly Chinese workers.

The seven ni-Vanuatu returned to Port Vila via this Solomon Airlines plane

A Solomon Airlines plane repatriating ni-Vanuatu in May.
Photo: RNZ Pacific / Hilaire Bule

The Beijing funded flight from Guanzhou landed in Honiara last night with 104 people on board.

About 20 were Solomon Islands citizens while the rest were Chinese workers for the embassy, as well as technical personnel and private contractors brought in to build sports stadiums for the 2023 Pacific Games in Honiara.

It is the largest group of foreigners to be allowed into the country since it closed its borders in March because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The flight was widely opposed by the public but the government allowed it to go ahead saying the risks were manageable.

But the outspoken premier of Malaita province, Daniel Suidani, was outraged by the decision and said Honiara needed to get its priorities straight.

“The government has been doing something opposite from what it announced as preparedness for Covid-19,” Suidani said.

“It talks so much about preventing this sickness from coming but now we get this flight.

“My question is what is really important, the stadium or the peoples lives?”

Published at Thu, 03 Sep 2020 08:14:47 +0000
Source: Solomons govt criticised for China repatriation flight