MALAITA Province will embark on a provincial-wide referendum this month on the subject of Malaita Independence.
The move is being proposed due to continuous pressure from the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) government for Malaita Province to accept China, a statement from Malaita Provincial Government said.
“This has triggered the Malaita Provincial Government to embark on a provincial wide referendum on Malaita independence,” the statement said.
Malaita Province has made it clear in the Auki communique that the province did not want anything to do with China after DCGA made a diplomatic switch from Taiwan to the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) one year ago, the statement added.
Malaita Premier Daniel Suidani announced yesterday that the province will soon conduct this referendum related to Malaita Independence because self-determination has been an issue of discussion for many years since the Maásina Ruru days.
He said one of the triggering factors for the upcoming referendum is the dictatorial style of leadership under DCGA led by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare which did not go down well with Malaita Province.
"As we know Malaita's independence or self-determination has been an issue of discussion since the Maásina Ruru Movement days.
"Therefore, the province would like to get a clear picture of how Malaitans feel about this issue today.
"It is time for Malaitans to see whether they are still willing to be part of a country that its leadership is becoming dictatorial,” he said.
Premier Suidani said the Malaita Auki Communique clearly outlines Malaita Province’s stand on issues related to leadership, development aspirations and the upholding of our fundamental rights, freedoms and beliefs.
"It is also clear from the communique that we reject the PRC and its formal systems,” he said.
He said the communique was further endorsed last week by Malaita traditional leaders as a mark of support from the people on the issues the province is pursuing.
"Self-determination is the core of human rights.
"No power can indefinitely prevent any group from eventually realizing its aspirations, regardless of how difficult it might be and how long it takes.
"With the current intimidating relationship with the DCGA Government, anybody in their right minds would feel the same way as Malaita Province is at the moment.
"Malaita as an island of indigenous communities have survived through millennia.
"We have been independent communities and have learnt to accept what is good for our place and our people.
"No one should think that they have any monopoly powers to exert their bad decisions upon us.
"We have rejected that in the past, we will reject any such thing today and I believe our children will continue to reject such attitudes towards them in the future.
"This is our resolve and we will stand by it.
"The referendum exercise will be conducted this month,” he said.
By WILSON SAENI
Auki News Bureau