Saturday, 7 July 2007 11:11 AM

Let Us Learn from the Past, says PM

In his speech to mark the Solomon Island's 29th Independence Anniversary, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has appealed to Solomon Islanders to learn from the past and move on.

Speaking yesterday during the 29th Independence Anniversary celebrations in Auki, Mr Sogavare said that the islands that make up the country were strong legitimate self governing units before it became a British Protectorate in 1893. Prime Minister Sogavare said when the country gained independence in 1978, it brought with it great challenges.

According to Mr Sogavare, the country didn't have the required level of skilled manpower to address key developmental issues such as policy issues and many of the decisions made were based on political inclination.

Mr Sogavare stated that as the country approaches its 30th independence anniversary next year, people must dwell less on what happened or what did not happen on July 1978, but whether the country remains independent enough to retain its statehood.

He said July the 7th must be the day when Solomon Islanders conduct their annual stock take of their continued claim of independence.

"This leads me to ask the following questions to all of us. How should we measure our independence? Are we less independent today than we were in July 1978? Why is our independence important to us and others? What have we done to make ourselves less independent? Can we do anything to reclaim our former independence? These are challenging and thought-provoking questions.

According to the Prime Minister, unless Solomon Islanders appreciate the real status of independence and the challenges associated with it, the people wouldn't care about what happens to this country.

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