Lack of nation-building sparks unrest: book

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Participants, who attended the launching of Sam Alasia’s book titled: ‘Healing a wounded people; rebellion, reconciliation and restoration - an account of the ethnic tension in the Solomons – 1998-2003’, at St Barnabas Cathedral last Friday.
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BY EDDIE OSIFELO

GUADALCANAL Province has agreed with one of the findings in Sam Alasia’s book launched in Honiara on Friday 18th November 2022.

The title of the book is ‘Healing a wounded people; rebellion, reconciliation and restoration- an account of the ethnic tension in the Solomons – 1998-2003’.

One of Alasia’s findings is, in some respects the ethnic tension was a conflict between the people of Malaita and Guadalcanal, however, due to some of the pre-colonial and colonial policies or mishaps, and lack of adequate nation building, both the Malaita and Guadalcanal people, become victims.

Deputy Premier, Lazarus Alfred Pinah, who stepped in for Premier Francis Sade who was sick, said this remains one of the big challenges; to be able to rectify the situation.

“In this regard, I repeat my earlier call for the national government to continue with the work of the Commission of Inquiry or a similar entity to look into land dealings on Guadalcanal.

“This was started in 2007 but it was never completed, “Rinah said.

Furthermore, Rinah said in terms of nation building, the new Institute of Solomon Islands Studies; a local private and independent entity should be tasked with carrying out research into this important subject of nation building which would involve know our cultures, our tribes/clans, traditional leadership structures, and land on Guadalcanal and Malaita.

“In other words, it is pivotal for us to actually know who we are. Yes, though we are separated by the sea, we are one people of one culture deeply rooted not only in our land but also in our blood as well,” he said.

Furthermore, Rinah suggests that report of this research, as well as another book on the ethnic tension by a number of Solomon Islanders to be prepared, and launched during the 25 years anniversary of the Townsville Peace Agreement in October 2025.

“Work on this must start soon.

“The Institute can take the lead on this and to collaborate with others on this important undertaking,” he added.

Moreover, Rinah said the Guadalcanal Province to request the reprint of the book for distribution to their schools and communities, because as George Santayana on his book – the Life of Reason, reminded us that those who cannot remember the negatives of the past, are condemned to repeat them.


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