DEAR EDITOR – I am elated as any Solomon Islander with the onset and formation of a new government under the leadership of Manasseh Sogavare, but not for political reasons I hasten to add.
I have been encouraged by the words of the newly elected Prime Minister in his acceptance speech, when he declared that his vision for a new administration wasn’t purely political rhetoric, but his government’s policies will be based on the need for reform and change.
I would hope the new administration will embrace the needs of the disabled in Solomon’s society because it is quite clear that disabled people, especially the youth and young children, have been forgotten in the past in terms of access to education and for older disabled people the opportunities of job opportunities have been sadly lacking.
The people with disability in the Solomons have real and challenging needs and this has led to a new policy document called the ‘Disability Inclusive Development Policy’ having been drawn up by the President of the People with Disability in the Solomon Islands, Casper Fa’asala.
Mr Fa’asala hopes the new government will seek to empower people with disability, young and old, and I fully endorse such ideals and hopes.
While a new government is in the process of forming, I would like to express my personal gratitude to the Lilo administration for the passing of the Family Protection Bill and for the more recent donation of some $34,000 to the local Christian Care Centre by Madam Bronwyn Lilo and the wives’ of the former government ministers.
The Melanesian Christian Care Centre (CCC) does tremendous work in providing shelter, refuge, care and assistance to the many women and young girls in the Solomons, who continue to suffer the consequences of family and domestic violence and the centre will continue to need the help of volunteers, sponsors and donors if it is to cope with the needs for its services and care.
I do urge, as I have in the past, for the ongoing support of the CCC and I trust the new government to quickly aid the plight of the disabled amongst the most unfortunate in Solomon’s society to-date.
Former RSIPF police commissioner