Parliament Building Burned Down as Protesters in Solomon Islands Demand PM’s Resignation – Video
15:03 GMT 24.11.2021 (Updated: 12:43 GMT 19.06.2023)
The stand-off between the provincial government of Malaita and the national government led by Manasseh Sogavare has been rumbling on since the latter decided to end ties with Taiwan in favour of China in 2019.
Major clashes erupted between protesters from Malaita Province and police in the capital city of Honiara on Tuesday as crowds tried to enter the Solomon Islands’ parliament building.
Footage on social media shows plumes of thick black smoke billowing from the roof of the building after protesters started a fire.
Police used bullets and tear gas to control the crowds without inflicting any casualties.
According to media reports, protestors also set a police station and a building belonging to a Chinese national on fire. Local media reports said that demonstrators then moved towards the new Chinese embassy building in the west of the city.
RNZ Honiara media reported that people from Malaita Province
are leading the protest and demanding the resignation of the national government led by Manasseh Sogavare. They allege that Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has overlooked their region's issues for too long.
Daniel Suidani, premier of Solomon Islands’ most populous province Malaita, and his supporters have been expressed their dissatisfaction at the Solomons’ decision to end the 36-year alliance with Taiwan
in 2019 for years.
The Malaita province government has since pledged to reject any Chinese investment while accelerating ties with Taiwan, resulting in a stand-off between Sogavare and Suidani.