Pressure group, the Malaita Ma’asina Forum (MMF) is calling on Australia and New Zealand to pack up their spying kits and go home.
The pressure group made the call in light of revelations that Australia’s top-secret electronic espionage agency, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) and New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) have obtained comprehensive access to telecommunication networks in Solomon Islands.
Pacific Islands News Association (PACNEWS) reported this was revealed by certain leaked documents published in New Zealand, Thursday last week.
But MMF President Charles Dausabea told a media conference, Australia and New Zealand should not use Solomon Islands to carry out their covert espionage operation.
“So on that issue what we want is please do not use Solomon Islands to carry out your covert espionage operations. Go back and do them at home and control your more than 2,000 militants who have joined the fight in Iraq and Syria at the moment. They are the ones that are dangerous, not Solomon Islanders. They are the ones that you should be dealing with. Never come around here with machines to spy on Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. What’s the use? Put those machines at Darwin and spy on Indonesia which is very close.”
SIBC News understands, ASD and GCSB also alleged to have accessed telecommunication networks across Indonesia and other South Pacific countries.
Meanwhile asked how he would deal with this issue, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare told local journalists he would take a diplomatic approach – dialogue with appropriate authorities.
Mr Sogavare said he is determined to address things properly.
“I think the way to do this is to address it diplomatically, off course having a quiet session with the appropriate people and just put that question to them if this really happens. Now I don’t want this relationship to go down the drain anymore. I am determined to address things properly. If we have issues we don’t go out in the media like that, we talk to the relevant people, so that’s how we will address it.”
The Prime Minister was speaking at a Budget Reporting workshop in Honiara last week.