There is nothing new about organized political violence in Solomon Islands, an independent archipelagic nation of around half a million people in the South West Pacific. There, and elsewhere in the geographical and cultural area known as Island Melanesia, violent conflict formed an intrinsic part of the pre-colonial social and spiritual milieu, and the boundaries between ‘war’ and ‘peace’ have continued to be blurry. In a story replicated across the region, endemic patterns of traditional warfare faded in the face of colonial pacification, which was itself a frequently violent encounter. The hegemony of the British was resisted to varying extents in different parts of the islands, most famously on the densely populated island of Malaita, where the post-World War II Maasina Rule Movement united the island’s hitherto fragmented population under the banner of anti-colonialism. The post-colonial period has also seen periods of collective violence, most notably in the episodes of rioting, looting and ‘ethnic tensions’ that took place in the nation’s capital, Honiara, in 1989 and again in 1996.
|Title of host publication
|Diminishing Conflicts in Asia and the Pacific: Why some subside and others don't
|Edward Aspinall, Robin Jeffrey and Anthony J Regan
|Place of Publication
|Abingdon and New York
|Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
|Published - 2013