In a brief article which I wrote and published today, I said, quote.
‘In today’s Solomon Star newspaper there is an article alleging that a well known public figure used words threatening violence in Auki in Malaita.
I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the newspaper report or the truth of the allegations but suggest the allegation be looked into for, if the report is true, the individual concerned could, prima-facie, be in breach of section 89 of the Solomon Islands Penal Code relating to the offence of ‘Threatening Violence’ and for such a misdemeanor, if found guilty, liable to imprisonment for one year.”
End of quote.
This afternoon, in the same newspaper, there is yet another article from another reporter for the Solomon Star claiming the report and earlier quoted words of the public figure were taken out of context and the individual in question commented,
“Those quotes attributed to my name are totally false.
“A person in his right mind would not dare to mislead the public.”
What does one believe in such circumstances and what are we to think of both reports and where does the truth rest?
I am reminded of the old English proverb which is ‘There is no smoke without fire.”
It remains a sensitive time in the Solomon Islands and all, and especially public figures of standing, but all included, should be very careful of making statements and speeches which might have an influence on inciting tension or mistrust, just as happened in early 1998 by another well known public figure who cited land having been stolen, and those old enough both in the Solomon Islands and outside, will well remember the actions and events which followed that unwise speech.
Already today I have seen adverse reaction on Linkedin to the alleged speech I reported as having been made by the Malaitan public figure. That adverse reaction emanated from parties closely involved in potential investment and development opportunities for the Solomon Islands.