In the process of our joint investigation through the Solomon Island High Commissioner to the Republic of Fiji Patteson Oti we had a meeting with Mataiasi Lomaloma on August 14th, 2pm at the High Commission office to get his side of the story, interviewed 11 students residing on the particular residence (Barret) individually on August 15 and 16 at SISA office and had a meeting with Vanuatu Education Attaché on August 16 on his office.
During our meeting with Mr Lomaloma, he raised that the unruly behaviour is becoming an events that happens during weekends. He raised that on July 7th there was an incident where Solomon Islands boys threw bottles on the Fijian boys and on 8th July he mentioned a fight broke out on the road alleging the fight was started because of swearing from Solomon Islands boys.
On July 9th he mentioned of two incidents. One was involving a student who keeps swearing saying he is a lawyer and even goes to the extent of mentioning his people are the one who killed Mr Bell. The other incident involve an allege sex. He said that on early morning of July 9, he saw a boy and girl having sex and he could see it from his veranda. He said he never mention they are from Solomon or Vanuatu because the girl only speak English the whole time.
In our findings SISA have established that the party, loud noise, music and using of abusive words are true but not to the extent of having sex. The students who have interviewed admitted of the loud noise, loud music, use of abusive words but they denied any knowledge of having sex.
There is a mixer of report implicated on this matter and there is no concrete evidence to prove the involvement of Solomon Islands students since the particular residence was shared between Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
For the incident that happened on July 7 where Solomon Islands students throw bottle to boys from Fiji, it happened because they trespassed on their area and attempted to rob two Solomon Islands students.
On the incident where a fight broke out because of swearing as reported to happen on 8 July actually happened on July 22 on Saturday evening. That incident occurred because it was instigated by two boys from Fiji and that was already settled on July 23rd with the Fiji Police.
SISA based on its finding will deal with the students and take tough measures if students continue with this unruly behaviour.
We now ban fundraising activity at the particular place (Barret) and advice those students occupying the resident to look for other places.
SISA also wish to clarify that not all Solomon Islands students studying in Fiji have unruly behaviour.
Majority are good aspiring students who are doing their utmost best in Fiji to complete their studies and return to serve their country.
The way SBM online and social media put it out on the public assumes all Solomon Islands studying in Fiji are involved in the issues.
SISA while appreciating the intention of Lomaloma to address the issue by raising it through the Media we regretted that he should raise it in a more diplomatic way.
As a respectable person serving in Solomon Islands in Regional Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) he should consider appropriate ways to raise the issue through the Solomon Islands High Commissioner in Fiji and our Education Attaché’ and then to SISA to address such issues amicably.
A proposed reconciliation ceremony will be held between the Fiji Community at Baret, High Commission, Lomaloma family and SISA to settle the issue harmoniously.
SISA also urged the local journalists from Solomon Islands to verify their information to balance their article before publishing them on the social media, online news or print media.
Local journalists should always uphold the fundamental principles of good journalism and that is to report with fair and balanced views not just for purpose of disseminating information to meet the dead line or breaking news.
SISA recognised the importance of education and will not tolerate to deal with it students if there are matters of concern or complains are raised to us.
By Elijah Raomae (SISA President)
Alphonce Botu (SISA Vice President)