Dear Editor – This is my assessment on the Malaita Dialogue which I attended and I wish to have it published in your paper.
It was a great privilege for me to attend the Malaita leaders’ dialogue held in Auki from the 23rd to the 25th.11.16.
It was an accident as in such occasions I found myself boarding the“MV Left Out Boat”.
However, I felt I am a party to the Malaita Dialogue /summit.
The first session was about Malaita being economically, Mentally, Socially, spiritually and physically sick.
As it is a sick province it is in desperate need of healing.
Some Malaitans do not agree on Malaita as a sick Province but some do.
Leslie Filiomea reiterated in the summit that without being healed Malaita will not prosper in all its dealing towards prosperity.
In the summit it was also presented why Malaita has the high number of mental cases.
The alarming increasing rate of mental cases is a great concern to everybody because in 10 years time if Malaita is not healed even in the villages it will not be a safer place to live in.
It was also learnt from the summit that most cases of mental sick people are self induced due to the increasing intake of alcohol, kwaso and marijuana.
Some cases are seen to be natural.
Peace and peace building should start within the family and home.
It is of the truth that many families however, are not home of peace but rather are centres of conflicts, arguments and tensions.
The main topic highlighted in the Malaita dialogue was the Land reform, which is intended to replace the current land tenure system adapted today, which is totally alienating the land rights from the ultimate right exercised under the customary land rights, and the traditional governance.
It is accepted by the chiefs and leaders of Malaita.
The time line is a concern to all. The land reform and traditional governance should be “Stand alone” Acts of parliament.
While on the Land Reform subject, It was shocking to some of us when in a sudden twist the Hon Premier suggested that we should anchor thetraditional governance model in the proposed Federal system.
He knew quite well that many Malaitans do not accept the proposed Federal system.
Malaita is still a sick society and no amount of constitution making will help us solve our problems.
Infact we will be piling up another huge problem on top of the many problems we now have.
We may now have peace but we have not been healed.
Let us not look far but let us concentrate on what we now have in just improving the current Provincial government instead.
What is wrong with the current Provincial government is that the past governments and Provincial Assemblies since independence have deliberately ignored it and labelled it as failure. Justice has not been done to the current system.
Again I wish to reiterate that no amount of constitution making with new glossy constitution will change our lives for better.
Rather the leaders and people must fully transform so that we have quality leaders. This is more important than having a new constitution.
I recommend that the National and the Provincial governments should conduct a referendum around the Malaita Province to get the true views from the people of Malaita on whether they prefer state government.
Also the opinion from the Malaita National Parliamentarians on the Federal system is needed.
The Malaita Premier and his executive should not forget that it is the vision of the past leaders that brought us to where we are today.
Since 1893 up to the ethnic tension, Malaita had indicate publicly its desire and will continue to do so until it’s’ desire is achieved.
The Premier of Malaita must bea confusedpremier to agree on the Federal state government.
The absence of the 16 Malaita MPs in the Malaita dialogue is very disappointing.
The Guadalcanal members of parliament did participate in the Guadalcanal dialogue, which reflects well of their great concern for their Province and people.
It may be that the Malaita MPs think very little about the status of the summit.
The UNDP, who facilitated the dialogue too, had also disgracefully organised summit in partnership with the National Peace and Reconciliation.
There were poor arrangements in terms of accommodation and transport for the participants from their various residential areas to and from Auki.
There were incurred unpaid accommodation bills as well as non reimbursement of the own paid tickets.
This is a total defeat of the theme“One people, one nation and one future” promoted in the summit.
On thenumerous irrelevant resolutions and recommendations, it was a big shopping list and was seen as only a mockery as most do not reflect the main subject which is the Land Reform.
I wonder how well it finds its way to be accommodated in the government system.
This is repeating the Malaita summit/conference held at Aligegeo in 2015.
I am appealing to the Malaita Premier and his executive to reconsider their position on the State government in accordance with the many past summits.
Your total negligence will lead Malaita into chaos on top of the already incurred chaos.