MY frame of reference for RAMSI always goes back to June 2003 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney, Australia, when I listened carefully to Minister Lawrey Chan described how bad things had become in Solomon Islands and especially how difficult it had been for government to rule because militants and criminals had basically taken over the treasury and compromised its ability to enforce the rule of law.
At that time, I was International Legal Adviser to the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and we were involved with the organisation of that meeting which was convened under the auspices of the Biketawa Declaration. It was the first time that a regional intervention under the Biketawa Declaration was invoked.
I could sympathise with much of what Minister Lawrey Chan said and could associate myself with his sentiments because I lived through those difficult times in Honiara, and had to deal with the insecurity of the environment including being unduly accused of having colluded with the militants, an accusation that I vehemently denied and denounced. I saw the undue influence of the militants and threats that they posed.
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