Tolerance for better social cohesion and the strengthening of sovereignty
A personal viewpoint. Social cohesion and tolerance are pre-requisites for all the people of the Solomon Islands, more especially for the future of our children and their children.
As one who personally witnessed, and was deeply distressed by the onset of civil conflict in the Solomon Islands in the first few months of 1999, prior to my leaving in July of that year, I have been keen in the years since to promote reconciliation and social justice in all my writings, including lending support to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission during the time the TRC conducted hearings.
I recent months I have again been concerned by certain occurrences and statements made by political actors in the Solomon Islands that to me, at least, seem to detract from the view of national unity and good citizenship demanded of a country needing to pull together and to forge a brighter and more prosperous upland for all its people.
My concerns came to a head yesterday, 16 November 2019, which was the day proclaimed by the United Nations as the ‘International Day of Tolerance.’ I had been searching for a word to best describe my concerns about the recent events in the Solomons and ‘tolerance’ best summed –up my feelings about social cohesion.
Putting the situation into context in line with democracy, the trends I have raised seem to work against the well-being and stability of a democracy, being dependent not only on the justice of its basic structures but also on the qualities and attitudes of its citizens.
If I had to make a wish for the coming New Year, I would hope for more tolerance by strengthening mutual understanding among all the people of the Solomon Islands by timely educating the public on issues of concern, by mobilizing political will and addressing, collectively, local problems and thereby further celebrating achievements of sovereignty.