WEST Fataleka Tribal Leaders have called for development, not divisive politics, saying the focus should be on development cooperation, inclusiveness and respectful dialogue.
The call was made at the “West Fataleka tribal land and resource owners’ summit” held at Rufoki Village on Friday 19th November.
The focus should be on development cooperation, inclusiveness and respectful dialogue between all parties particularly between tribes, the Malaita Provincial government and National (DCGA) Government instead of divisive politics,” Tribal leader, Leonard Suilala told the summit.
More than thirty senior representatives from tribes throughout Ward 5, including leaders of all primary land owning tribes came together in what was described as “a truly ecumenical spirit” – setting aside recent hostilities to pursue their mutual aspirations for development on their lands.”
The summit also decided by resolution to set up a formal elected tribal representative body with jurisdictions on matters of economic development and cooperation.
These resolutions express the core values, wishes and aspirations of the leaders and their people. They include:
- There shall be formed a representative body to be elected from all willing tribes within West Fataleka to legally represent their common interests in advancing inclusive and meaningful economic development with all stakeholders including Government of Solomon Islands and all its agencies (MPA, Fataleka MP, Provincial Government, and National Government); peoples and parties from Malaita and other parts of Solomon Islands; and foreign governments, entities, individuals and corporations;
- The West Fataleka tribes fully embrace the true spirit of “friends to all and enemy to none” by welcoming development cooperation and investment from0 China, the US and all other governments, institutions, corporations, individuals and organizations. This shall be on the condition of full and willing engagement with the representative body, tribes and people of West Fataleka;
- Openly welcomes truly inclusive development that benefits all parties including land-owning tribes, settler tribes, other Malaitans, Solomon Islanders and foreign entities and peoples on the principles of mutual respect, mutual benefit, fairness, respect for the rule of law and freedom of choice; and
- Abhor all forms of violence directed against the freedom of choice and association from any forces whether local, provincial, national or international. This includes force to exclude or include any tribe resident in West Fataleka from joining the representative body;
- The body welcomes constructive competition between all governments, local, national and international but categorically denounces destructive populist politics and geo-politics based on bigotry, intolerance, coercion, violence and anarchy; and
- Espouses the spirit of National Unity for all of Solomon Islands
“The summit also resolved to proceed with its agenda for the creation of the representative body and the pursuance of its aspirations regardless of the outcomes of any current or future provincial or national events, according to a statement issued after the summit.
“In the spirit of true co-operation, the participants extend an open invitation to all tribal leaders to attend the next summit to be convened to elect the executive.”
By Emeriko Ramo
Rufoki Village, Malaita