Top Asian News 4:58 a.m. GMT

·1-min read

Solomon Islands leader blames foreign powers for unrest

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on Friday blamed foreign interference over his government’s decision to switch alliances from Taiwan to Beijing for anti-government protests, arson and looting that have ravaged the capital Honiara in recent days. But critics also blamed the unrest on complaints of a lack of government services and accountability, corruption and Chinese businesses giving jobs to foreigners instead of locals. Honiara’s Chinatown and its downtown precinct have been focuses of rioters, looters and protesters who have demanded Sogavare, who has intermittently been prime minister since 2000, to resign. The National Parliament building, a police station and businesses have been set alight during two tumultuous days in which police failed to control the mob.

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