Sogavare wants to see 11th Parl make a difference

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Solomon Islands National Parliament
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By EDDIE OSIFELO

PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare wants the 11th Parliament to make a difference to the people and not leave a bad legacy behind.

Sogavare stressed this when winding the debate on the Speech of the Throne delivered by Governor General David Vunagi in Parliament recently.

“We don’t want to leave 11th Parliament and people point to us that these are the people that spoil this country.

“That is the last thing I want people to talk about the 11th Parliament,” he said.

Sogavare’s advice came about after the debate on Solomon Islands independence and ethnic conflict on Guadalcanal from 1998 to 2003 continue to haunt the Parliament.

Former Prime Minister, late Solomon Mamaloni described Solomon Islands as a ‘nation conceived but never being born’ after she gained independence from Great Britain in 1978.

Some Members of Parliament described late Mamaloni’s quote as philosophical.

However, Sogavare believed it may be true because then British did not address alienated land which resulted in the conflict.

He said this was part of the load of demands submitted to the government in 1988 and 1990.

Further to that, Sogavare said the visionary policy of giving land to Levers at Lunga, Tasifangoro and Russells on 75 years lease for agriculture purposes had locked the government today from inviting foreign investors.

“Just look at us 41 years out, we become hopeless victims of that policy.

“Levers is selling good industrial land in Lunga, Henderson and Hell’s point left, right and centre in front of our very eyes,” he said.

Sogavare said foreigners are transacting Solomon Islands.

He said to add salt to injury, the sovereign government of Solomon Islands was evicted from Hell’s point land.

Sogavare recalled that in 2017, an investor from China was going to invest $100 million US dollar in manufacturing special sealant for road construction but had to withdraw because the government was not able to give them land.

“The hands of sovereign government are locked up.

“For any developing countries, attraction of goods direct investment is a strategic policy for sustainable economic growth,” he said.

However, Sogavare acknowledged the founders of leading this country into independence.

“This is not entirely the making of the founders of this nation.

“I raised my hearts to all the leaders that found this nation. Independent was forced on us by Great Britain so we have to do the best we can to cope with their needs,” he said.

Sogavare said it is easy to make this kind of statement 40 years back.

“It takes skills to sit down and come up with a vision.

“We are still a nation conceived but yet born. This is the statement that will keep coming up,” he said.

Sogavare said this statement is philosophical or whatever they can say.

He said the question is what are they doing about it?

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