CIVIL society characterises themselves as representing the critical mass.
However, over the past weeks civil society organisation and networks in Solomon Islands have been tested to its core when a bipartisan trip to Indonesia rocked its fundamental principles.
The work of the CS is critical in the sense where they represent interest groups with public’s interest that play a significant part in ensuring the country operates and function smoothly. They are made of community base organisations and Non-Government Organisation
While the government or public and private sector takes care of law and order, and businesses that offer goods and services, CS pride itself as driven by volunteerism, patriotism and not for profit undertakings.
The three fundamental civic principles are based on; participatory engagement, constitutional authority, and moral responsibility.
The fundamentals are therefore the kingpin of a successful CS organisation and movements, recognising the need to work together, adhere to constitutional requirements and of course the moral obligation to uplift our people and country from the snare of prevalent social upheavals.
I understand that upholding those principles is often challenge by our diverse approaches and strategies in tackling the issues of our communities and society.
In particular when it comes to political issues, CS network on many occasions been placed in wayward circumstances.
Despite that, it should not deter us from fulfilling our mandatory responsibilities in achieving the positive change we aspire for our country.
For instance, the bipartisan trip to Indonesia last month is a classic example that put to test our vibrancy and solidarity to say the least.
Observing the social media, commentators expressed diverse opinions perceived on the said trip.
Explosive as it may seem, lest we forget that we are a TEAM weaved and bonded by the principles that established that modality we uphold.
There are also times we did not see eye to eye on prevailing issues, but I believe, that is healthy for our movement if we need to create a stronger footing to counteract the societal issues we continuously face with in our modern society.
My point is this; we cannot allow ourselves to be divided, given the differences in opinions, convictions and ideals over issues that we need to explore the depth and width of it.
I have the feeling that commentators often employ reactive approaches, social media do have room for that however being knowledgeable and analytical is a good thing, hence the need to do proper research and analysis of any given issue; is a necessity.
The April Indonesian trip rocked the social and print media big time, shaking the CS Networks, creating room for disenfranchisement, although it may have impinged a little bit but that should not move our solidarity.
Now, let us reflect and gauge ourselves against the underlying principles we practise through our organisational values.
Shall we be able to rejuvenate that spirit of unity as one key variable to the principle of participatory engagement?
Note that we make up for the large sector, apart from the public and private sectors, hence our solidarity is of essence.
Therefore, I appeal to the leaders of the civil society in Solomon Islands to reconsider the values of our usefulness should we want to see the change in our Country.
Let us not allow our varying positions to jeopardise our cohesiveness as there is always a way to optimise conflicts for good rather than destructive.
Finally, I would presume we convene a meeting soon and harmonise the situation to ensure we revive the organic spirit as lessons learnt from the past experience through embracing CS fundamental principles.
For the good of our people and country, civil society shall always prevail.
REDLEY S RARAMO
Former President of FSII