National parliament is set ablaze by angry protesters (video)-RT World News

Protesters set fire to the parliament building of the Solomon Islands because the island nation has criticized its relations with China.

According to media reports, on Wednesday, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse hundreds of people surrounding the country’s legislature. Reinforced police in riot gear eventually managed to drive the protesters out of the parliament grounds, but before they set fire to the hut where the legislators had a lunch break. The riots occurred during a meeting of members of Congress.

Most importantly, several other buildings in the country’s capital, Honiara, have been burnt down, including a police station and a shop in the local Chinatown. A police officer arrested at the police station told the Guardian that when the mob started throwing stones at them, law enforcement had to hide inside, but then they “Started to be choked by the smoke [the] fire. It was then that we realized that they had burned down the building.The police arrested several people and managed to stop several other arson attempts, but there were still some Chinese people whose property was looted.

Most of the protesters came from the province of Maleta, and they called on the country’s Prime Minister Manassiso Gavare to step down because they said they had failed to listen to the concerns of residents in the area.

For many years, the relationship between the central government and turbulent regions has been strained. However, the Solomon Islands government decided in 2019 to sever ties with Taiwan and instead support China, which further exacerbated the fire, as the Marletta regional authorities expressed strong opposition to it.

However, the conflict goes far beyond the country’s relations with Beijing and Taipei. Marletta residents and authorities have accused the central government of failing to provide the promised infrastructure to the most populous province of the Solomon Islands, whose economy is still largely dependent on Livelihood agriculture. In the past few years, there have been calls for independence in the region.

From 1999 to 2003, Solomon Islands was plagued by ethnic violence, with thousands of people killed, injured or forced to flee their homes. Peace was restored only when the International Solomon Islands Regional Assistance Mission (RAMSI) led by Australia and New Zealand intervened.

Following the riots in the capital on Wednesday, the Prime Minister of the country imposed a blockade on Honiara, effective from 7pm on Wednesday to 7am on Friday.

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