Wed, 26 July 2017
Last Updated: Wed, 26 Jul 2017 2pm
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The surface and our traditional governance systems

The World’s biggest ship of its time the Titanic, was sent to the depths of the North Atlantic Ocean in April 1912 after it struck an ice-berg beneath the water surface.

The ice-berg did show its tip above the water surface. In the Solomon’s, the World Discoverer was sent to rest, half sunk at Rodrick Bay in Sandfly passage, Gela, Central Islands Province in April 2000 after it scratched a rock beneath the water surface.

The rock did show its tip above the water surface. 

Most Solomon Islanders have memories about an event travelling by sea. The most unforgotten trips are those that have tragedies attached to. You may have the details expressed in many ways, but one thing for sure, prior to such tragedies there are signals above the surface of our waters; unless we neglect to interpret or take responsible action as we proceed.

Such reflections can position MP’s and the public on board MV DCC or any Government of the day. If you don’t mind, we are heading towards something more sensitive than MP’s tax free salary and the early pension entitlements, currently in debate by the working class and Government.

The situation can only be a surface of many others in there. Hopefully the tune is not fading as reality unfolds. The precedence set is a tip of something above the surface; ie the decision is not community driven, but money driven.

There is an important group, who might have some broader views, but are unheard much; the Vilij Pipol who lived in the estimated 5,000 villages in the Solomon Islands, they sum up around 80% of the our population. This means they cast more ballot papers during any National General Elections. Village people need to know how tax affects them.

They deserve Governments serious attention, service and the care that do not take advantage over their simplicity and silence. The village setting is the core of this Nation.

If our political leaders conscious do not change direction from the current path there is something worth to be revisited. This is about our Traditional Governance Systems (TGS) that puts energy into the Nation’s powerhouse, the village setting.

Money is important, but it should not replace our TGS.

The World’s economic giants are aware about the uniqueness of our TGS’s and they penetrate into traditionally and naturally rich Nations through many means and modes, venues and situations worldwide as from history, now and into the future. Solomon Islands is not excluded in this global program.

Are we giving away our internal control mechanisms to external interveners? Nothing much we own naturally and traditionally other than those that are vested within our TGS. 

By putting on our TGS lens, it will help us interpret the signals, or the sirens provided by the tips above the surface in our social, environmental, spiritual and political frustrations. There is huge decline in these in our society.

To be part of the Global community doesn’t mean our TGS are not relevant. TGS can leverage the purpose of our sovereignty in this modern age. Merging TGS with our development aspirations can protect us from drowning. We’ll be able to maintain the pride of the Happy Isles, the land and the resource base that are held under customary tenure; home of our ancestors and the current generations.

People’s consent and meaningful engagement is important for National Unity and this is where TGS plays a crucial role. Worth selecting the meat from the bones for both systems (Modern & TGS), have the Nation informed before a compromise can be owned by the people to sustain the Nation. God Bless Solomon Islands. 

By Longden Manedika
Executive Director
Solomon Islands Development Trust

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