President Tsai leaves the Solomons amidst political turmoil
Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen has left the country after her three day state visit today as the future of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare hangs in the balance.
The president left this afternoon as Solomon Islands’ MPs head into a vote of no confidence, with the potential of a new prime minister.
Mr Sogavare is facing a motion of no confidence by parliament, but the current political turbulence did not affect the president’s visit.
President Tsai took time to visit the national art gallery today and also in the groundbreaking ceremony of a new handicraft centre to be built, which was co funded by Taiwan.
Numbers of Tourists who have arrived earlier in the day from a cruise ship also participated in the groundbreaking event , but were more intrigued by the local pan pipe music during the event.
The president did not present any formal speech. Speaking on her behalf was the Taiwanese Ambassador to Solomon Islands, Mr Roger Luo.
Mr Luo said the Solomon Islands had a rich culture in unique arts, and it was important to have proper facilities to showcase local artefacts and paintings to the outside world.
He said the craft center would serve as a venue for craft showcase in the upcoming Melanesian Arts festival next year in Honiara.
President Tsai also took time to visit the United States War Memorial at Skyline before leaving in the afternoon.
Scores of school children and members of the public lined up near the national airport, waving the Taiwanese flag as the presidential motorcade passed.
SIBC understands the president will visit Guam today, before leaving for Taiwan.