Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said the "recent events were well planned and orchestrated" to remove him as the premier "for unsubstantiated reasons."

Protesters have channelled their anger directly at Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and his government, with mobs attempting to torch parliament and Sogavare's private residence.
Protesters have channelled their anger directly at Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and his government, with mobs attempting to torch parliament and Sogavare's private residence. (AP Archive)

The prime minister of the Solomon Islands has defied pressure to resign, saying violent rioting that swept the capital had been orchestrated by a few people with "evil intention" to topple him.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said in an address broadcast to the Pacific island nation on Sunday that the "recent events were well planned and orchestrated" to remove him as the prime minister "for unsubstantiated reasons."

"I want to show the nation that the government is fully intent and nothing will move us. We must and will never bow down to the evil intention of a few people," Sogavare said.

Many residents of the Pacific island nation of 800,000 people believe their government is corrupt and beholden to Beijing and other foreign interests.

Protesters have channelled their anger directly at Sogavare and his government, with mobs attempting to torch parliament and the prime minister's private residence as police fired tear gas and warning shots.

READ MORE: Police arrest dozens amid unrest in Solomon Islands

Three days of violence

During the riot, protesters incinerated swathes of the capital before the unrest died down at the weekend.

Sogavare has previously blamed the three days of violence on an unscrupulous few leading others astray with false information.

"We must and will never bow down to the evil intention of a few people. We must stand up to intimidation, bullying and violence," the Solomon Islands leader said.

He also repeated a promise to hold the unidentified "instigators" responsible.

"Rest assured that they will face the full brunt of the law and arrests are already being made as investigations continue, with more arrests to follow," Sogavare said.

The prime minister said the violence, centred on the capital's Chinatown, had caused $25 million (200 million Solomon Islander dollars) in damage.

He said it had also destroyed 1,000 jobs in an economy already squeezed by the impact of the pandemic.

Sogavare said the government was working on a recovery package to help damaged businesses recover.

READ MORE: Solomon Islands' capital under curfew after three days of riots 

Source: AFP