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Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Pacific islands on edge
Melbourne Herald Sun

AUSTRALIAN-led security forces and Solomon Islands police are preparing for possible unrest in Honiara, the island nation's police chief says.

Royal Solomon Islands Police Commissioner, Australian Shane Castles, said it was too early to speculate on the prospects of an outbreak of trouble, but a threat assessment process was in place and intelligence gathering under way.
Riots in the capital in April sparked by the election of short-lived prime minister Snyder Rini resulted in the burning down of Honiara's Chinatown and injuries to more than 30 Australian Federal Police officers.

Mr Rini's successor, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, is now facing a leadership challenge following a damaging stoush with Canberra over his expulsion of Australian High Commissioner Patrick Cole.

Commissioner Castles, who co-ordinated the police response to April's riots, said: "We are very conscious, from a security law enforcement perspective, that parliament may sit on the second of October; we are informed there could be a vote of no confidence," he said. - AAP

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