BY GEORGINA KEKEA
THE Member of Parliament (MP) for North East Guadalcanal is currently holding a workshop for Chiefs, Traditional leaders, women and youths of Tathiboko and Paripao.
Speaking to Island Sun yesterday, Dr Derek Sikua says what he is doing now is to bring to light the current Traditional Governance Bill to his people to get their views on the Bill.
He said the outcome of this workshop will form the basis for him to either go for or against the Bill in parliament.
“Also other Bills going before parliament now are the Reparation Bill, going through the ethnic crisis, as well as the Electoral Bill which has been passed already. We will also discuss these Bills and Act as well in our session here.”
He said it is important for him to seek his people’s views before they debate the said Bill in parliament.
At the same time, Sikua says women shouldn’t feel that they are being left out in the Traditional Governance bill.
He said the Bill is not gender specific but allows chiefs to exercise their duties.
“I don’t think the Bill restricted women to participate. Because the way I see it, it is not gender specific. But it does allow for the chiefs to make decisions whether they want a woman traditional leader not necessarily a chief. Especially for us in Guadalcanal, we are a matrilineal society. A traditional leader could be a woman too.”
Sikua said this is the first time for him to carry out such awareness for his people.
He said that he had not been able to carry out this sort of activity previously because most Bills passed and enacted already are too technical for the rural people to understand.
“These current bills before parliament are the ones directly affecting our people. Especially traditional governance, that deal with customary land, ethnic tension, those ones are the issues affecting my people.
“Thus I feel it important that I seek their mandate. Finance is another reason. This session I have to include in our constituency budget so that we can be able to carry out this workshop,” Sikua said.
He said consultation programs carried out by government on the Traditional Governance Bill does not include every chief from Tathiboko or Paripao.
More than 150 people from North East Guadalcanal attended the workshop.