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Soloman island riot.

657 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  didu
I'm a bit surprised that there hasn't been any discussion about what's going on
in the Soloman island here. It's already been all over the news for a couple of
days. What do you guys think?
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What's to say, they've smashed up their island and their economy, only 2 years after they feared being overrun by gangs and mobs. The Australian Federal Police and the Army were sent there to restore order and law then and when they got law and order they decide they don't like the order aspect because they feel that the rich (the Chinese business people) make all of the rules.

It's a bit like the dilema being faced in Fiji, where the Indian settlers who have been there for up to 200 years have successfully established trading companies and business and have generated much of the wealth that exists there. The traditional Fijians regard them with suspicion and a degree of contempt because Indians are percieved to be holding most of the cards. There was an interesting article in the papers a few days ago that elections are being held in Fiji and that the military in Fiji are watching the outcome closely as they may attempt to seize power again if the result tips too far in the balance of the Indians.

These countries will continue to undergo these upheavals as long as people within their society have a sense of being disaffected and there is a perception that only those with the money have all of the control and power.

Australia should be perhaps better by now at recognising the warning signs of these events.

- Fiji Coup 1986 This event caught the Australian Army woefully off guard and the Australian Navy and Army completely ill equipped to react.
- Vanuatu Coup 1987 Slightly better response from the Amy although operational security was badly compromised by Townsville media.
- Bougainville 1992-94 Army responded well whilst simumtaneously maintaining deployments in Somalia (A 900 strong battalion group from 1 RAR) and a 400 strong group of communications specialists from across the Army supporting the UN in Cambodia.
- Fiji Coup 1993 No response from Australia
- Solomon Islands Colapses 2003 Australia responds deploying 700 troops and 200 Federal Police whilst maintaining 1700 in East Timor as well as troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
- Solomon Islands 2006 How to respond? There are still small groups of troops deployed around the world.

Whether or not we can sufficiently respond to these is another matter. There is only so much that our five battalion strong Army can do. Further to this, we can't just go marching into other countries on a presumption that they are in trouble and that law and order is about to break down. We can only deploy troops and police into these countries with either UN permission or the permission of the host government. Our Foreign Affairs Department perhaps are engaged with other matters with Indonesia and Western New Guinea at the moment that they see as an even bigger crisis unravelling?
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I wonder how long our guys will be there, it's obvious the locals can't handle security. Who is going to invest in the place now?

The population is over half a million, so it's a pretty big place.

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Australia is a bit tight with troops at the moment, i know we dont have that many deployed but we have heaps of equipment overseas which is the big problem.
Would be nice if someone looked beyond the fact we deployed troops. Not the fact we have i thought that was a gimi but the australian public are to dumb in the media's eyes.
Does the Solomons not have a small armed force?
^^ they were too busy looting and burning to maintain the law and order ...
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