Dear Editor – It is now high time that every voting indigenous Solomon Islander rise up and use the ballot box to change direction and defend their every right to live in this land and be prosper rather than being sidelined like strangers in their own land.
Just look at the city of Honiara. With the exception to Benjamin Fa’amauri Building and maybe one or two more, every business building in Honiara is owned by foreigners.
Every store is owned by a foreigner. Foreigners everywhere, in the city centre, in every suburb, in every corner, in every street selling foreign made inferior goods, to selling of Mobile Top ups and betel nut and ‘leaf’.
They also own Taxis, buses, passenger boats, selling fish & chips, feeding poultry and engaging in everything.
Leaving nothing for the poor indigenous Solomon Islander to make business with.
They own every prime site in Honiara living comfortably in our own land with heaps of our own money while thousands of us eke out a living in and around the streets of Honiara everyday with no hope of having a better life.
Very soon these people are going to sell even the land that we call our own.
These foreigners are now entering our politics. Some of them own political parties dishing out heaps of money left and right and many aspiring and reigning indigenous politicians fall for this gimmick and as a result are powerless to do anything against these foreigners.
Some of them just came but yesterday and now become Parliamentary representatives in some of our constituencies; an unheard of thing except in Solomon Islands.
Why are we, as a people became as powerless as this, that we can easily be led astray by people with money, greed, people who do not have a care in world for us except to use us for their own benefit and allow them to enter our Parliament?
Maybe there might be some truth in the saying: BEGGARS HAVE NO CHOICE.
But to be fair there are no easy answers to this question, but it is a question that every indigenous Solomon Islander should be asking of them if they can think for themselves.
Our government too is not blameless; our 49 members of Parliament are powerless.
Many of them are interested more in what they can get out of us than what they can do for us especially in the area of legislation that could protect the indigenous interest.
One good example of doing this is to enact a law that prohibits an immigrant from entering politic unless he lives in Solomon Islands for 20 years.
Acquiring Solomon Islands citizenship should not be used as a benchmark to enter politics.
Protecting the indigenous interest should include economic interest; that means allocation of certain business areas that should only be for the original population and providing the financial resources to back this up.
On the other hand our people should be encouraged to own stores and be assisted by these foreigners.
Spaces should be made available to them, rather than having one group of people monopolizing this business sector.
I remembered the day when I went to a foreign person enquiring into the possibility of myself renting a room in his building for a store.
He asked me whether I experienced running a store before I said no. He replied that may be this was not a good idea for me.
I told him I have money to buy goods from overseas and also for the rent but still he did not think it was a good idea for me to run a store in his building.
You see he did not want any other race to enter the store running business in Solomon Islands. This particular group only want them to control the store business.
If they dominate this business, they control the price and therefore ensure that the profits they make are large and stable.
That is why all the ‘store’ buildings in Honiara are occupied by one group of people many owning more than one store, with all kinds of funny names.
It seems like they really enjoyed themselves and run wild so to speak in their pursuit of controlling the store running business in Honiara, Gizo and soon Auki.
Only Lata station in Temotu Province ‘is top’ no foreigner there. Keep it up. Do not allow them to come.
But the sad thing is that they are not interested in developing Solomon Islands. They are just using Solomon Islands as a stepping stone to enter Australia and New Zealand.
Look at some of these people who came before World War II only their children are still here, at least some of them, but where are the rest and the grand children? Gone. Fly away! So you see! They are using Solomon Islands for their own benefit.
Of course we might argue that these people are filling the gaps in our business world and that they do have the capital to operate so why complain.
That is true. My point is that this is our land and that all foreigners are welcomed but they should conduct themselves according to our rules, our policies and that means not entering the business areas that should only be reserved for Solomon Islands.
So what do we do? Heaps! Educate our people to be careful in their voting. Beware of parties that represent the interest of this group of people.
Do not vote for them. Do not vote for any party that has any foreign element in it however naturalized it might be. They are just wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Solomon Islands during this coming national elections vote for the party that promotes indigenous rights. 2014 is the year that is important for our own development.
We have travelled this same road for the last 36 years and look at where we are going. We the indigenous people are not going anywhere but in circles. Sad, our rights are being trodden under and going for extinction; we must do something.
Our hope is in the new federal constitution. Let us vote in a government that will hasten the day for its adoption.
That means we must be on our guard against selfishness, accepting bribes, bundles of money or payment in any form this coming 2014 general election. Our future is in our hands.
This is the time to act. God bless indigenous Solomon Islands.