Monday, 24 September 2012 8:13 AM

Gaining Parliametary support does not mean you can overlook the public's growing concerns Honorable Prime Minister!!!

Dear Editor,
The Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has insisted on leading a 16-member delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in New York next month. I would like to specifically address the Prime Minister himself and ask him to explain in detail, why he is taking 16 delegates along with him. The reason for such a request of detailed information about the trip is because of growing concerns from the public, from which the Prime Minister himself has chosen to ignore.

The honourable Prime Minister must understand that presenting a case before parliament will not cater for the growing concerns coming from the public about the original intent of this trip and why he chose 16 people. Although he may have already presented his case before parliament and won over the support of parliament for this trip, reflections upon the article itself, from the general public shows growing concerns regarding this large number. What has been said in the newspaper article does not fully reflect a transparent government that is willing to put the people's concerns first.

These growing concerns are based on the fact that there is simply no need for more than 16 delegates to attend the meeting in New York, when Solomon Islands have a High Commissioner there. Moreover it is also based on the fact that you do not need more than one person to present facts and opinions about your country to the United Nations General Assembly. In addition Solomon Islands will not be playing a large role at all in the meeting, thus the number of attendees from the state is just unnecessary. The honourable Prime Minister needs to be upfront with the people and provide extensive detail about this trip.

If we were to make this simple for the Prime minister to understand, then we can use the example of soccer. Just like soccer, the public demands the full names of those who will be playing soccer overseas representing Solomon Islands and the roles that they will be playing, the government also has to be transparent about the names of those going and for what reasons.

It is important to state that gone are the days when Prime Ministers can take trips overseas without fully informing the public of the decision to attend random meetings. In today's world, there are educated Solomon Islanders and there are those who are yet to be enlightened by education. Regardless of this, there is no room for inadequacy in information provided about government affairs overseas when resources are scarce and when growing demands for development outweighs the cost for a large delegation to such trips.

It must also be noted that this is not a letter targeted to politicize the honourable prime minister, (although we are all well aware of what he is capable off), rather, this is a letter to remind him that addressing parliament is not enough and to ignore the growing concerns of the people is in effect a direct violation of his role as Prime Minister.

The people should be the priority, not the leaders in parliament! That being said, If the prime minister believes that he can just easily sell a load of crap to parliament and have them support him on this trip without having the consent of the public, then the honourable prime minister has completely misunderstood his role as Prime Minister and has become completely dis attached to the concerns of his own people and for that regard, he might as well be removed from parliament. For what is the point of having a representative overseas when the head of the representative team himself, is ignorant to the concerns raised by those he seeks to accurately represent. This is insane. Hypocrisy to the max.

The Prime Minister must be made aware that Solomon Islands is becoming more politically active than the generations before, and this is an age where technology can reach your doorsteps where the educated can hold you accountable, regardless of your status, role in society or name. No one is above the law and the Prime Minister should never ignore the concerns of the masses nor underestimate them. You may have won over parliaments support for this trip, but you need to explain further why you chose 16 delegates in broad detail and provide adequate reasons for each person's involvement in this state adventure.

A press conference should be held in explaining this decision and a digital video recording of the Prime Minister explaining his decision to the press, is important to be recorded and aired out to those within Solomon Islands and overseas. Solomon Islands and the publics growing concerns must be thoroughly informed. Both the present and future government must realize that from now and onwards, decisions made in leading delegations overseas must always be cleared and aired out legitimately with the public rather than choosing simply to gain parliament support and dismiss public concerns.

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

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