Dear Editor, I would be grateful if you could publish this article.
I have been following the articles and various contributions on issues pertaining to the path the Sikua/Fono Government is setting the Solomon Islands on. The most noteworthy of postings dates' back to July independence celebrations, where an article in Solomon Star portrait; Solomon Islands image abroad has improved.
This article and Sikua's remarks, that accompanied the article; do not in any way speak well of the Solomon Islands Government's image In Country. I do not see the rational of the Prime Minister praising external standing, whilst little or no Government support for our people has held any tangible outcomes or true meaning to Government support and purpose.
The external obligations by countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and Japan etc are tied to their own commitments to the United Nations, and as such; hold more value and benefit to their own reporting and status. Note that percentages of GDP earnings for developing nations that sit on permanent bodies in the UN require that these countries provide aid in various forms or are obligated to pay funds into the UN coffer for aid assistance. Hence, the so called "boomerang effects" we in the Pacific feel. How else would a country that is seen to be assisting Solomon Islands report its aid package? No one would report as a failure, tax payers and the United Nations would hold these Governments and their aid agencies accountable as per their requirements on decision making powers in the various UN bodies they sit on. This is why Taiwan is using so much aid assistance into countries it holds friendly relations with; so as it can get to be recognised as a UN member country and will subsequently be able to join various bodies within the UN structure as an aid supporting country. Countries that sit on permanent influential UN bodies hold to benefit extremely.
Prime Minister Sikua further went on to say Solomon Islands is benefiting from its good image overseas after its relationship outside was restored. This is a classic reference to the Moti issue, does this then justify Sogovare's down fall in Government can also be attributed to Australian influence? Linked to money/aid channels?
The Sikua Government should start mending its relationship in country rather than focusing externally. It is true to say that; no country is an Island in our current global setting, however; to participate meaningfully in international debates and decision making also requires that internal factors and standards are up to par before you start to mingle externally with other countries; and set the scope of engagement you choose to take and participate in. How can we tell others to clean their houses when our own house is dirty?
The Solomon Islands Government also lacks the capacities to integrate and implement conventions, treaties and other international tools our Ministers have signed abroad into local law. Nor does the Government possess the human resources and financial capacities which allow implementation of such documents. Those signing also hold and set the standards for us meeting our Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) hence, we are setting ourselves up to fail. This means rather than being awarded funds to support systems and mechanisms our Government has set up, we will be branded as a Least Developing Country (LDC) and our award will be technical assistance, of which more advisors on big salaries will come in to help set up the systems our Government failed to do. This is so undermining to committed and hard working Solomon Islanders, but our Government is to blame, as this is how the UN award for good performance is rewarded.
The decisions made recently to most new bills and the amendments to existing acts in parliament are reflections of an uninformed or naïve character of most of our politicians. Politicians representation rights as enshrined in the Constitution; also holds responsibilities, least our politicians forget; politicians are liable for prosecution or public scrutiny regardless of time in politics/parliament lapsing, weather 10 (ten) or 20 (twenty) years later. I'm sure most of our current politicians will not be remembered in our history, but will be written down in history as examples of bad leadership and personal gains against the common interest of the country and its people. I know a lot of people who already want to write a master's thesis on this and are just waiting for the current Government to be out of power, as current Government still controls the ethics committee and will reject application by any thesis candidate if submitted now.
As elections near, we (all Solomon Islanders) that have been tirelessly voicing concerns through various forums, including our faithful "Solomon Times" column should start educating our follow relatives and Wantoks, through using basic and local examples of how decisions in parliament affect our everyday life, this way; during elections people can decide based on own choice, rather than short term financial gains or promises made by candidates.
Furthermore, some of our veteran politicians should call it quits, they have outlived their used-by-dates; we need some fresh blood in parliament who are; well informed on current development trends locally and internationally, know our limits and need for scarifies, able to make decisions that benefit all Solomon Islanders in the long term and have the country at heart. This may seem to be a rare and exotic breed, but I know we do have such people in country or currently abroad; it is just that none of them seem to want to join or participate in politics.
Let's hope 80 to 90 percent of current members of parliament don't get re-elected; or even end up on Government committees after 2010. Today, we can officially say that the Sikua/Fono Government has been the most corrupt in our thirty one year history.
Let's change and shape a better future for our children and generations to come.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of Jay Brown and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.
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