13 October 1998


"Solomon Star" protests attempts to swear in ministers in secret

Incident details


(PINA/IFEX) - "Solomon Star", the main newspaper of Solomon Islands, has
protested concerning efforts to hold swearing-in ceremonies of two new
government ministers in secret, preventing journalists from covering the
occasion. In a 25 September 1998 editorial, the newspaper wrote: "Events
this week in which the media had been barred from covering the swearing in
ceremony of two government ministers at the Government House were quite
disturbing -- not only to the media practitioners but also to the public who
have the right to know what their leaders and their government are doing ...
One of the important roles of the media is to inform people of what their
leaders and the government are doing. This role must be maintained at all
times in a democratic country like Solomon Islands."

The new ministers being sworn in were members of parliament who had defected
from the opposition. It came before an opposition motion of no-confidence in
the government, which the government later defeated. "Solomon Star" quoted
a government official as saying the attempt to hold the swearing in
ceremonies in secret was necessary because of threats to one of the men.


Pacific Islands News Association
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Private Mail Bag, Suva
Fiji Islands
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Fax:+679 3317055
Solomon Islands
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