Solomon Islands

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Solomon Islands
Coat of arms of the Solomon Islands
Coat of arms
Motto: "To Lead is to Serve"
Anthem: God Save Our Solomon Islands
Location of the Solomon Islands
and largest city
Official languagesEnglish
Ethnic groups
Melanesian 94.5%
Polynesian 3%
Micronesian 1.2%
other 1.1%
unspecified 0.2%
Demonym(s)Solomon Islander
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy and parliamentary system
• Monarch
Charles III
David Vunagi
Manasseh Sogavare
• from the United Kingdom
7 July 1978
• Total
28,400 km2 (11,000 sq mi) (142nd)
• Water (%)
• 2009 estimate
523,000[1] (170th)
• Density
18.1/km2 (46.9/sq mi) (189th)
GDP (PPP)2009 estimate
• Total
$1.514 billion[2]
• Per capita
GDP (nominal)2009 estimate
• Total
$657 million[2]
• Per capita
HDI (2011)Steady 0.510
low · 142nd
CurrencySolomon Islands dollar (SBD)
Time zoneUTC+11
Driving sideleft
Calling code+677
ISO 3166 codeSB

The Solomon Islands (Pijin: Solomon Ailans) are a group of islands in the South Pacific that make up a country. They are known for their beauty and for the many languages spoken there. The capital of the Solomon Islands is Honiara.

History[change | change source]

In the 1890s the islands became a protectorate of the British Empire.

Empire of Japan forces arrived in early 1942 and the United States Marine Corps attacked them, starting the Guadalcanal Campaign.

Civil unrest[change | change source]

There was civil unrest between 1998 and 2003, commonly called the tensions or the ethnic tension; it included fighting between the Isatabu Freedom Movement (also known as the Guadalcanal Revolutionary Army) and the Malaita Eagle Force (as well as the Marau Eagle Force). (Although much of the conflict was between Guales and Malaitans, two research papers say that the 'ethnic conflict' label is an oversimplification.[3]

In 2006, riots broke out following the election of Snyder Rini as Prime Minister, destroying part of the capital's Chinatown and displacing more than 1,000 Chinese residents;[4] The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), the 16-country Pacific Islands Forum initiative set up in 2003 with assistance from Australia, intervened, sending in additional police and army officers to bring the situation under control. A motion of no confidence was passed against the Prime Minister. Following his resignation, a five-party Grand Coalition for Change Government was formed in May 2006, with Manasseh Sogavare as Prime Minister, quelling the riots and running the government. The army part of RAMSI was removed and rebuilding took shape.[5]

2007 change of Prime Minister[change | change source]

On 13 December 2007, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was toppled by a vote of no confidence in Parliament,[6] following the defection of five ministers to the opposition. It was the first time a prime minister had lost office in this way in Solomon Islands. On 20 December, Parliament elected the opposition's candidate (and former Minister for Education) Derek Sikua as Prime Minister, in a vote of 32 to 15.[7][8]

Earthquakes[change | change source]

On 2 April 2007 at 07:39:56 local time (UTC+11) an earthquake with magnitude 8.1 occurred at hypocenter S8.453 E156.957, 349 kilometres (217 miles) northwest of the island's capital, Honiara and south-east of the capital of Western Province, Gizo, at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles).[9] More than 44 aftershocks with magnitude 5.0 or greater occurred up until 22:00:00 UTC, Wednesday, 4 April 2007. A tsunami followed killing at least 52 people, destroying more than 900 homes and leaving thousands of people homeless.[10] Land upthrust extended the shoreline of one island, Ranongga, by up to 70 metres (230 ft) exposing many once pristine coral reefs.[11]

On February 6, 2013, an earthquake with magnitude of 8.0 occurred at epicentre S10.80 E165.11 in the Santa Cruz Islands followed by a tsunami up to 1.5 metres. At least nine people were killed and many houses demolished. The main quake was preceded by a sequence of earthquakes with a magnitude of up to 6.0.

Provinces[change | change source]

Provinces of the Solomon Islands, as of 1989 (click to enlarge).

The country is divided into nine provinces and the town of Honiara.

  1. Central
  2. Choiseul
  3. Guadalcanal
  4. Isabel
  5. Makira-Ulawa
  6. Malaita
  7. Rennell and Bellona
  8. Temotu
  9. Western
  10. Honiara City

References[change | change source]

  1. Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division (2009). "World Population Prospects, Table A.1" (PDF). 2008 revision. United Nations. Retrieved 2009-03-12. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Solomon Islands". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
  3. Kabutaulaka (2001)("Cap – Anu". 14 December 2012. Archived from the original on 28 July 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2014.) and Dinnen (2002)
  4. Spiller, Penny (21 April 2006). "Riots highlight Chinese tensions". BBC News. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  5. "Doing Business in the Solomon Islands" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 April 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
  6. Sireheti, Joanna., & Joy Basi, – "Solomon Islands PM Defeated in No-Confidence Motion", – Solomon Times, – 13 December 2007
  7. Tuhaika, Nina., – "New Prime Minister for Solomon Islands", – Solomon Times, – 20 December 2007
  8. "Solomon Islands parliament elects new PM", – ABC Radio Australia, – 20 December 2007
  9. "Solomon Islands earthquake and tsunami", Breaking Legal News – International, 4 March 2007
  10. "Aid reaches tsunami-hit Solomons", BBC News, 3 April 2007
  11. Quake lifts Solomons island metres from the sea Archived 17 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine