THE Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OPMC) has strongly deplored the allegation by a New Zealand Journalist Michael Field that Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare had staged the 2000 coup.
The claim is carried in Field’s article ‘War in Solomon Islands circles’ that was published in the Island Sun Newspaper.
A government statement said the claim by Field’s that PM Sogavare staged the 2000 coup is false and malicious.
It said Legal advice is being sought on what action to take in response to this false and malicious publication.
“The truth is that the coup was staged by some Solomon Islanders who in their own judgement think the political government at that time failed to protect their ethnic grouping from harm by other Solomon Islanders who took the law into their own hands because of government failure to address their longstanding concerns and grievances.”
The OPMC said the article is a classic example of fictitious journalism because ethical journalism seeks to impart the truth and that such serious allegation must be corroborated with strong and tested evidence.
It said local journalist must be cautioned against republishing or rebroadcasting articles from other online sites word for word without checking or verifying the truthfulness of their content and without examining the motives of their authors.
The OPMC said Solomon Islands is still in its rebuilding stage after the ethnic crisis and local journalists in particular must exercise responsibility in ensuring the information they give out to the public is truthful and does not undermine or has the potential of derailing this nation- rebuilding process.
Source: OPMC Press