MAELANGA DISAPPOINTED OVER AUSTRALIAN IMMIGRATION OFFICIALS
Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga has registered his disappointment over Australian Immigration officials after he was asked to undergo an explosive body search at the Brisbane International Airport.
The deputy prime minister was questioned twice upon arrival from Nadi into Brisbane and also when he was on his way back from attending the SIDS conference in Samoa last week.
Mr Maelanaga adds, this is a disgrace and he is disappointed that Australian officials have no respect for the leader of a sovereign nation.
He says, leaders should be exempted to immigration checks and body searches in International Airports.
A protocol officer Kennedy Gwao who accompanied the deputy prime minister had to intervene to explain to the Australian officials, they were approaching the deputy prime minister of Solomon Islands.
A furious Mr Maelanga said he would formally write to the Australian High Commissioner in Honiara to register his disappointment over the disrespectful treatment he underwent in Brisbane.
He said he was not surprised that Australian immigration officers had chosen to search him because they also did the same to Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo last year and other pacific island leaders.
The Australian immigration officers said it was a normal procedure.