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Member of Parliament for East Honiara, Douglas Ete believes Solomon Islands does not have a common vision and identity following the ethnic conflict and political violence in the past.
Solomon Islands had gone through an ethnic conflict on Guadalcanal from 1988 to 2003.
This was followed by a riot in April 2006 where rioters forced former Prime Minister Snyder Rini to resign over allegations that his camp was supported by Chinese businessmen.
This same allegation popped up after the April 3 election where rioters stoned some Chinese buildings after the election of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.
Ete said this brings to mind the questions of:
1. What is our common vision for this country?
2. Do we have an identity?
He said it is good that Solomon Islands Broadcasting Cooperation (SIBC) has a Television and it must extend its coverage to all other provinces so to promote a united country.
“People in other provinces don’t know each other well but we call us Solomon Islanders.
“Iam happy that all political parties manifestos strive towards getting a united country together because identity of our people is the most practical way of knowing where we heading towards and the kinds of vision this country would need,” he said.
Ete said this country needs a strong leadership and good policy on national economy development.
He said the then British government left the country in 1978, the only tangible developments of agriculture sector was CDC, with 10,000 hectares of oil palm.
Ete said Solomon Islands used to have 2000 hectares of cattle by Levers but today Vanuatu have overtaken this country.
“We must be competitive in neighbouring country,” he said.
Ete said cocoa has fallen, 4,200 metric tonnes last year.
“Before 2000, it was 13,000 metric tonnes,” he said.
Ete said most reforms since 1980 on structural adjustment programmes of Government had downsized government sectors, privatisation, corporatisation on some of the Ministries have caused a little bit of problem in our country.
“What they do today is very expensive. Water bill is very expensive. Power energy is $100 (US$12) one night.
“People in urban areas cannot afford that. That’s why people in town want solars as well when Members of Parliament give to rural areas,” he said.
Ete said this country must be vibrant to finance part of Tina Hydro project and core finance the undersea cable.
Solomon Islands make up of different cultures, languages and are scattered islands.
SOURCE: ISLAND SUN/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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