Solomon Islands PM Calls On Country To ‘Embrace Peace’

Sogavare talks nation-building during Independence celebrations

By Eddie Osifelo

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, July 8, 2016) – Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has appealed to every Solomon Islanders to embrace the ‘gift of peace’ and rise up to take your place in the company of all wantoks, and help contribute towards the building of this country.

Mr Sogavare made this appeal during the country’s 38th Independence celebration at Lawson Tama on Thursday.

The theme for the event was ‘Embracing peace for nation building’.

Mr Sogavare said it is a personal and individual choice for anyone to ‘embrace peace’ whereas ‘nation building’ is a collective effort and responsibility shared by all Solomon Islanders.

“In the final analysis, choosing to live and experience peace within yourselves will enable you to live in peace with those around you, be it your family, friends, wantoks, neigbours and acquaintances.

“The ability to live well also will enable you to think well,” he said.

Mr Sogavare said when you are able to think well, it will enable you to contribute and participate well in the nation building of their country Solomon Islands.

“Lest we forget that throughout our country too at this time are those who are unwell, in bondage and disadvantaged.

“Our collective efforts, in particular for those who have given themselves the responsibility and duty to take care of the needy, are a testimony to a desire to live in peace and that their labour however, unrecognized and unrewarded are not in vain, but constitute their own contribution towards nation-building in our beloved country,” he said.

The last year’s theme is “Unity in Empowerment for a changing Solomon Islands’.

“It will be clear that from last year’s Independence speech, that it was made in the spirit of hope for our country and its future development.

“I believe, this year’s speech should follow from there, and offer a pathway to making that hope a reality. It is often said that ‘hope’ is not a plan and therefore, in the proper scheme of things, a plan is both necessary and important, as it helps to translate hope into future act on, and action – when the plan is implemented – transforms hope in reality,” he said.

The PM added with that objective in mind, the message that comes out powerfully during this week is, they cannot talk about positive hope and successful implementation of development plans without achieving lasting peace.

“That peace has to start with us and it must be a deliberate choice by all of us to achieve it.

“This is the action word embracing in the theme is trying to put across,” he said.

Sogavare said some people find it difficult to understand what that means.

“If you find it difficult to take part in peace activities, you are a stumbling block to peace because it must start with you.

“This is not time to make excuses,” he said.

Sogavare said it is attitude like this that keeps holding back this country from progressing.

“Having allowed this country to slip into anarchy, it must be a deliberate choice on our part to allow peace to once again reign in this country by the Grace of God because we are talking about the nature and character of God.

“I must call on all Solomon Islanders in all works of life and whatever responsibility you are entrusted with in our country to take a hard inward look and ask yourselves, am I a positive agent of peace in the way I conduct myself,” he said.

Sogavare said by the way things are going, it is people in leadership positive that must now wake up from their hibernation and come to terms with the fact that the country is determined to move forward.

“We could be left behind,” he added.

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