Monday, 22 June 2009 4:07 PM

Isabel ready for statehood

Great comments!
What I gather from the discussion so far is that Drummond is immature to discuss real issues of concern or fail to understand the crux of the issues raised. From the beginning of his discussion he seems to be lost and beats around the bush. I guess he is not one of those who will fall victim of the "political theorists" syndrome. His discussion seems to be very shallow assuming to be the champion of the statehood issue, which in fact nothing other than baseless points. I find his discussions contradicting himself as he seems to be asking questions that he himself should answer or should research for the answers. I am pretty sure from his contributions that he is one that is yet to face the real world so that he can be realistic in his discussions and debates on issues of great concern. I am in the opinion that Drummond can make a good political analyst in future if he is quick to grasp issues which are realistic and quickly understand others views. There is no harm of throwing ideas from all sides but it's a waste of time to divulge in discussion with those who cannot make sense of what the core of the discussion. This sound more like of character assassination, but, in instances like this, there is room for such to get matters clarified. Pardon me if I am off sighted on the matter.

His response to my latest opinion again shows his ignorance and immaturity of critically analysing issues debated. Let me clearly explain to him what I meant. Drummond, my assertion for the past 30 years is not on the numerical figure (30 years); indirectly I was answering your question on your last posting. You asked what happened prior to Solomon Islands gaining independence, was there any economic development in place? And so in response to your question, I indirectly responded that have we learnt anything from the past 30 years then? The figure 30 yrs refers to what do we learn from what happened prior to gaining independence then? I thought, a so called academic like you will quickly grasp what I meant, which in fact not, this shows how immature you are in such discussions. Before coming to the core of my discussion as this would be my last contribution to the issue, I guess you might come from an area where your people are satisfied with what economic developments that is
development projects are pretty set and ready to kick off in preparation for statehood.

Your assertion of what happened prior to Solomon Islands gaining independent reveals someone who lacks knowledge of the past. Lest you forgot to sense out that, we should better off remaining with the British Protectorate until such time that we were economically viable before attaining independence. What lessons have we learnt from the past? Are we not one of the developing countries that rely mostly on Aid donors for our development projects? What does this means to us and our leaders and to you? Yet we talk of abundance of our natural resources that we can use for economic developments.

Drummond you are in Suva, and referring back to your earlier question on this discussion on what had happen before we gain independence, to answer your question, let's compare Fiji and the Solomon Islands. I guess you should dig more in depth about the history of Fiji prior to gaining independence, the same for NZ and Australia, Vanuatu. Look at New Caledonia and Tahiti, they still hold on to their colonial masters, but slowly moving on to autonomy, am not a history politics fellow but my interests in how these countries flourishes economically drives me to believe that without economic sustainability, the state, country would not function. You should see for yourself what development activities are going on there; if not take a foot walk to Vatuwaqa, Laucala bay industrial site and Lami industrial sites.

For purposes of clarifying your earlier question, let's take Fiji for example, Fiji was the host for the Western Pacific High Commissioner for the British protectorate and so there is no doubt that major focus of development during the colonial times was on Fiji, therefore, Fiji in terms of economic development activities prior to attaining independence could be better off than our case, eg. Sugar industry, by the time, they attain independence, there is at least economic backbone for them to rely on to sustain and supplement their budget in order to provide needed social services for the country, so by the time our colonial powers, UK withdraw funding, or lessen the funding in terms of monetary terms, they can sustain their budget to cater for needed social services for the people.

Thereafter, with proper economic policies, development frameworks etc which they move on to further strengthen their economic basis. In our case, this could be the opposite. Without such economic basis, we opted the other way round; we want political independent hoping that we will better manage our own affairs and better look after our own people and develop our own resources. Lest we forget that we do not have the capability, manpower, monetary resources etc during those times to pursue economic developments, though we have the natural resources to develop to sustain our economic basis at that time, and so no wonder we are faced with all these financial difficulties from day one when we attain independence till now (refer to Andrew Taumakos's view).

And so, as the population increases and the demand for social services increases, due to un proportional distribution of the resources (monetary), development activities, and no wonder we are faced with realities and again we want another system of governance. I have a strong opinion, that there is nothing wrong with what system of governance we are adopting, so long as the economic basis (distribution of resources) to sustain the state, province, country, is economically sustainable along with political stability and sound development policies are in place, we will be able to better serve our people. This is where I firmly believe that we in Isabel should not "rush into statehood" but rather during the "transition period" should develop our economic baseline by creating more economic development s (whichever and whatever form) that is sustainable such that job opportunities are created, prior to declaring our "readiness" for statehood, as we do not want to repeat what we have done prior to gaining independence. I have a strong opinion that our current political leaders should be proactive in proposing sustainable economic developments that could benefit the state in a long term now and don't wait until we declare statehood.

What is your view on this? Am I answering your question now? I was hoping that you make sense of this, that's why I do not answer your question directly but rather direct you to answer your own question. Does this answer your question now? My assertion of 60 years is not the figure 60 yrs either, what I meant is, what will happen to us (Isabel province) if we were to attain statehood next year or five years time without any economic basis? Who are we going to rely on to support us in terms of monetary wise? (refer to Teama's view of what statehood means in terms of economic sustainability). Given non existence of tangible economic development activities in place in Isabel at the moment? These are practical questions that we Isabelians, our political leaders and leaders of all sectors should critically analyse before declaring ourselves "ready" for statehood". Does this make sense to you? Knowing very well that we will be going through a transition period prior to adopting the statehood? The issue of blaming the national government of their failure in providing avenues to Isabel province attaining our wishes is a non issue, makes no sense knowing very well that the current government is serious about the matter and are working on the groundwork's to materialising the wishes of the people of Solomon Islands.

Again, I am picking on Noro or GPL as examples, if you have time during holidays, go down and have a look at these places for yourself, the proportion of young people by provinces hanging around these urban centres and places in search of jobs, hoping that opportunities will come their way. What does this mean to you? Do you have answers to their aspirations? We should learn from the lessons of the past. In conclusion, in whatever system of governance we may adopt there will always be pros and cons, but we have to draw some balance to maximise benefit for our people. Remember, that our people are at the centre of the discussion when we talk of any system of governance we want to adopt. These are my personal opinions and on the issue under discussion and then you come on with your view which is opposite of what I view. And then from the beginning of your discussion, you bit around the bush and not really addressing what I implied. You also fail to make sense of what I meant and so continue to make contradicting statements about yourself. I view Robert, Lisa and Teama's contributions more valuable and constructive in the debate for Isabel's province readiness for statehood than your "biting around the bush" contributions.
Nonetheless, I wish to acknowledge you for your time and your contributions to the discussion as we may go on to pour our views on the issue, but the way we view and analyse things could be from different perspectives. I guess the thread that follows our discussions will make sense of who is addressing the crux of the issue discussed or not. On the same note, if you are from Isabel then thumbs up to which part of the Island you are coming from, if you are not from Isabel, thanks for your contributions and wish you all the best in your provinces preparation for statehood. I know that there are lots of Isabel scholars out there who might follow our discussion who are more knowledgeable about what is currently happening in our province other than you and me. With these, I rest my case my good friend.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of Ernest Kolly and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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