Unrest as Solomon Islanders defy lockdown | Newcastle Herald

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Protesters in the Solomon Islands have defied a lockdown and set fire to buildings in the capital on another day of unrest. Australia’s National Security Committee has reportedly convened a meeting on Thursday morning amid reports and images shared on social media of crowds of protesters and burning buildings in Chinatown’s Honiara district. The governments of both countries had over the last 24 hours talked about the deteriorating situation, reports ABC. Media reports said people had traveled from the most populous province of Malaita to the capital due to concerns about being overlooked by the national government. The province opposed a 2019 decision to end diplomatic relations with Taiwan and establish formal relations with China, resulting in an independence vote last year that the national government has rejected as illegitimate. Solomon’s Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on Wednesday declared a 36-hour shutdown in Honiara following the recent unrest, calling it “another sad and unfortunate event aimed at bringing down a democratically elected government”. The shutdown, which will last until kl. The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force urged people attending schools and businesses around Honiara to stay home to avoid being hit by unrest. “We want to ensure that our streets, schools and businesses reopen soon after the closure,” Police Force Deputy Commissioner Juanita Matanga said in a statement. “I ask for your cooperation until the situation becomes normal.” Australian Associated Press

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