By ANDREW FANASIA
WESTERN Provincial Premier David Gina has come out publicly to express his frustration and disappointment with the government’s silence over China’s promised assistance to the province.
In a statement issued to this paper last night, he said it is over a year now since the promise was made to the province but nothing was forthcoming from China.
“In the manner, I was approached then, it seems huge infrastructure development and other nominated development project were going to happen in the province overnight,” Gina claimed.
He further stressed that after the meeting no one has even come forward to discuss any long term development plans they had with them connected to the promised Chinese assistance.
The then meeting was held with the Chinese consular to the Solomon Islands and a team from the Prime Minister’s Office a year ago, he said.
“Instead, I hear attempts after attempts being made to drag Chinese funded projects with Malaita Province without provincial government approval,” he said in the statement.
The statement further added that it seems the promises made by China to the government were hinged on all provinces supporting the switch and once Malaita refuses, it left an incomplete task which must be addressed at whatever cost.
Gina continues to express that he heard that the humanitarian assistance provided by Taiwan to Malaita was not being released by the government.
“This is too bad for any government to do,” he expressed.
Premier Gina added he also heard from the prime minister (PM) through statements aired on TV about PM talking about working together to fight the common disease Covid-19.
“It is imperative in our preparedness plans for Covid-19 that high-risk provinces are well prepared before any outbreak,” he added.
He stressed that this equipment will go miles in enabling Malaita Province to prepare themselves.
“Therefore, it does not make sense why in a democratic country like ours, compassion, humility, and respect for human rights cannot take precedent,” he said.
Gina further stated that just like what Taiwan proposed to do for Malaita Province, he also received on behalf of Western Province similar to personal protective equipment donated by Eagon Plantation Company, a donation from South Korea.
“I believe in our common stance in the fight against Covid-19 together and avoid refusing assistance from foreign friends.
‘’This is truly regrettable. But given the manner in which our sister province Malaita is being treated, we feel the prime minister’s assurance of unity is also a fuss.
“If the treatment of Malaita continues, I feel the aspiration of uniting all provinces and people of Solomon Islands will slowly be eroded thus forcing Western Province to also seriously consider its future,” the statement added.
Western Province hosts a number of the country’s national projects which generates huge revenue for the country.