Protesters blew into tear gas as they called on Solomon Islands Prime Minister to resign

Police in the Solomon Islands have used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse large crowds that emerged this afternoon in the capital, Honiara, demanding the departure of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.

The demonstration was linked to an ongoing issue between the national government and a provincial government that has refused to recognize China.

Nearly 1,000 people gathered at the gate of the parliament, where MPs are currently sitting.

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Buildings were stoned and a traditional booth next to the Parliament building went up in flames.

They on the spot describe the situation as “tense”, and schools in the city closed early.

A small crowd watches as black smoke billows from a burning hut just visible behind trees.
Black smoke waves from a burning booth.(Twitter: @ginakekea)

The Solomon Islands Herald reported that protesters later looted and damaged shops in Honiaras Chinatown and marched to the Chinese embassy.

Beijing opened an embassy in Honiara in September last year after the Solomon Islands moved its diplomatic relations from Taiwan to mainland China.

ABC has been told that the Australian government is preparing to respond to any request for Solomon Islands support.

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force has been contacted for comment.

More on the way.

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