Dear Editor - Reading Mr Andrew Radclyffe’s “Wish List” on SS 7/7/2017,1 find his first wish, I quote - “Abandon the plans for federal government. They won’t work and we can’t afford it... “end quote, is very much colonialistic, lacks sensitivity and continues using the stereo type argument that Federal System of Government is too expensive.
The last 39 years of independence we have been under the unitary system of Government and this country is still experiencing unequal distribution of wealth, socio-economic developments and lacked full political participation from provinces.
The centralized governance we are experiencing up to now is far more expensive through political corruptions and selfish capitalistic practices in the country and those benefitting most are foreign businesses and cronies of the Central Government.
Resources in all provinces are plundered by foreign investors and revenues are enjoyed by “big man” politicians through one-man decision of the Central Government.
Depletion of forest resources is one good example. Now the Central Government is turning to minerals but dragging the provinces to comply with the Central Government centred regulations in mining.
Peoples livelihood in fish resources and marine products are controlled to the point where the owners become liable to imprisonment. Example, the bans on berchedemer, turtle, trochus, dolphins etc. For whose interests the restrictions to harvest and sell our resources? The central government or provinces? The excuse is for future generations. But what about present generations?
Sharing of power and finance is the future hope for Solomon Islands after the good position RAMSI is leaving for us with. Unitary System is enslaving majority of people in Solomon Islands.
I’m still positive that the Federal System of Government will allow the freedom for each state to decide how to best use its resources and revenues for its people and the development of the state. At present Provinces are becoming more and more of spectators today. It should not be a one -man show of the Central Government to govern and develop Solomon Islands and its people as it is today.
Allow the Constitutional Review process to complete its course (although is time consuming now!). Let the Draft Federal Constitution be table and decided in Parliament. Let’s wait and see if DCCG can deliver the new Solomon Islands we expect from the Federal System of Government.