Sunday marked the very day RAMSI set foot on our shores.
Thirteen years ago, our friends from the region came to our rescue.
Five years of civil unrest has left our nation at the bottom of a deep pit – a dysfunctional government system, a non-performing police force, and a collapsed economy.
The region heard our cry for help and responded with what is known today as RAMSI (Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands).
Led by Australia, who met the bulk of the expenses, RAMSI came and restored law and order, strengthen our government system and help rebuild the economy.
Without RAMSI, we would not be where we are today.
RAMSI has done a lot in getting our nation back on its feet.
The challenge now for every Solomon Islander is how to build on from here.
Sure, a lot has been done, but a lot more still needs to be done.
Corruption and how to tackle it remains an ever challenging task.
RAMSI has invested a lot in our police force. The force is now becoming a reputable force.
The Government needs to get its priorities right when it comes to spending.
RAMSI has given us the chance to get our acts right this time.
If leaders continue to squander resources and spend the public purse on things that don’t matter to the people, then you are inviting trouble again.
We certainly would not want to return to the dark days of the civil unrest again.
So let’s look back at where we were before RAMSI came, ponder on the sacrifices and help rendered by our regional friends and appreciate their achievements in order to work harder for a hopeful future.