Sunday, June 3, 2012

Whaling saga at its climax

The whaling issue in the Solomon Islands was at its peak. Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo in turn attacked the media for irresponsible handling the whaling saga. This following the public outcry on the issue which Lilo support Japan’s whaling scientific research programme in the country. Currently the issue has been a top debatable topic in the media where the public continue criticizing the proposed programme.
Lilo on his returned from  two weeks outing in Taiwan and Japan last week has accused the Opposition leader Dr Derrick Sikua for misleading the public and became angry at reporters who continue pressed on the topic. But Lilo continues reiterating that his government does not support commercial whaling by any country but will support Japan's scientific whaling programme. He said that it is important to find out more about the population of whales in the oceans and to devise appropriate conservation methods. Lilo stated that Solomon Islands was the first country in the Pacific to host the species and flora forum in Honiara. 

My comment is consistent with the comment recorded in the Species Commission and that is let a scientific research for an effective conservation can save the lives of endangered species. And the habit dwell of endangered species have been saved and we have seen them back at the Atlantic Ocean as a result of better conservation methods. Solomon Islands was a champion in the fight to protect endangered species as in 2010 it hosted a regional workshop on CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).

There are number of questions needs consideration here regarding Lilo’s attacked to the media and the Opposition Leader. Why attacking the media as it is playing its role to inform the people? Actually this is an important issue which the public should know hence the media has the right to report it. Is it media manipulation exist here? I think the Prime Minister should change his support to whaling scientific research because it shows that the majority of the citizens are opposing the move.  His stance on the issue of finding better conservation method is insane as Solomon Islands is not even posed any threat to whales.  Whales are not hunted or harvested for food or other purposes; hence I believe there is no need to conduct any conservation research for that matter. Whales continues live peacefully and harmless and they deserve it.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

'Scientific whaling' another controversial issue

Another controversial political issue has recently fueled further disagreement among the government leaders of Solomon Islands. This political row came after Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has declared his support to Japan’s Scientific Whaling Programme in the country. The issue has sparked concerns to the public. Again the row is versed between the Prime Minister and Opposition leader Dr Derrick Sikua. There seems to be unending political argument between these leaders adding to their continuing unresolved controversial issues.
The Opposition leader recently called the Prime Minister to honestly tell the nation whether the declaration on Japan’s Scientific Whaling Programme was based on a cabinet sanctioned decision or a personal decision.  In a media statement last week he asks for further explanation as to what and whose scientific research programme is the Prime Minister is referring to.  
                                                                                                                                                           Unless the Prime Minister is trying to mislead the public after realizing the likely repercussions of his announcement of his unprecedented move to support Japan’s Scientific Whaling Programme, his statement is a cause for embarrassment as it clearly displays his ignorance of the subject matter. The people of this nation need a clear and honest explanation from the Prime Minister as to whose ‘scientific research into whales’programme, he had declared his support for last week. If it was not Japan’s Scientific Whaling Programme that he was referring to, then whose ‘scientific research into  whales’ programme was he talking about.
                                                                                                                                                                         Prime Minister in response reiterated that Solomon Islands is against commercial whaling whilst it supports scientific research into whales in order to devise appropriate conservation methods. He said supporting scientific research is different from scientific whaling as the former allows for the use of non-lethal research techniques to obtaining statistically valid information on the population of whales.
However, Dr Sikua argues that Japan is the only country that carrying out whaling for scientific research and supporting it is effectively supporting Scientific Whaling Programme which involves the use of lethal techniques. He added it is ridiculous for the Prime Minister to keep reiterating his support for what he describes as ‘scientific research into whales’ without any definitive explanation. Dr Sikua said Solomon Islands has maintained a neutral position over the years and it has never impacted on the status of the moratorium imposed on commercial whaling by the International Whaling Commission in 1986.     
 Why supporting scientific research into Whales? Is it going to bring significant developments to the country? These are few questions undoubtedly ringing into people’s mind. Killing Whales purposely for scientific research is rather an absurd idea. Whales are peaceful mammals which have no threat to human being. It is a rare and special sea creature that should be conserved for attraction and for other purposes. Hence, supporting Japan who treats Whales as their favorite food is not the good idea.
We are not sure of Japan’s position here, is it to do with scientific research or just to discover the population of Whales for their personal interests. Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo should further critically analyzing the issue and asking the support of all citizens before supporting the move. Is it only his personal decision? I think he should continue stand neutral like other Prime Ministers did in the past years.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Who’s to trust?

Confusion is occupying our mind as who is to trust between the Opposition Leader and Prime Minister of Solomon Islands. The Opposition leader Dr Derrick Sikua continues raising fresh allegations with supported evidences against Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo. Gordon Darcy Lilo in response continues to deny these allegations. He previously stated that these allegations are all lies. One of the allegations previously raised by the Opposition leader is Lilo’s allegedly meddled with the change of shareholdings in China United by Austree a private company in Solomon Islands.
Dr. Sikua in his statement said that he has evidences; the very people who accompanied the Prime Minister to collect payments from the General Manager of Austree are prepared to make sworn affidavits against him (PM) in court if his private legal counsel wishes to proceed with their defamation suit.
In a statement, the Prime Minister hit back at Opposition Leader stating that he has no power to direct the Registrar of Companies to amend the shareholding arrangements over any private company, including China United.
He added that he even has no power to order the shareholders themselves on how they should deal with their own shares. The Prime Minister clarified that:
Under the Companies Act 2009, the changing of shareholders or shareholding is solely a matter for the shareholders. Neither, the Companies Act, nor the Rules under the Companies Act provide room for any Prime Minister or any private individual who is not a shareholder or director to dictate the affairs of a company.
Another allegation the Opposition leader and the Prime Minister continue firing at is Mr. Lilo’s continuing residing in Hotel (Honiara Hotel). Dr Sikua stated that this has totally ripped off Government’s fund to pay the Prime Minister’s rental expenses. He describes Lilo as a dishonest and arrogant leader, who wants to live a lavish life at the expense of the country’s taxpayers.

Recently Dr, Sikua exposed in the media the actual monthly cost of the Prime Minister’s accommodation at the Honiara Hotel.
He said the actual cost the state is paying is the hefty bill of $217,500.00 per month.

However Mr Lilo said the $217,500 per month bill exposed by the Dr Sikua was incorrect because there was an understanding with the Hotel Management
He said adjustments had been made to the cost as a result to the understanding and the cost was reduced. He maintained that the room he rented as a result of the understanding costs $15,000 per month.

The political row seems unstoppable. And who is to trust? Dr Sikua said he has all the evidences to support his said allegations against Lilo. While Prime Minister Lilo stand firm to his ground with his defending statements. The two stated allegations above shows how these two leaders accusing and how they expressed statements to defend themselves. This boils confusion to who is telling the truth. I believe the idea of lodging these allegations to court is the right path to find the truth.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Political twist; from political row to court.

The political war of words between the Prime Minister and Opposition leader of Solomon Islands is taking another twist. Their political row is now heading to court.                                                      
Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo last week has lodged a defamation case against Opposition leader Dr. Derrick Sikua. This was for the alleged defamatory statements by Dr Sikua against the Prime Minister which was published in the media. The Opposition leader in response also lodged a criminal complain against the Prime Minister. The Opposition leader in a media statement last week challenged the Prime Minister to face him in court.
Dr Sikua said he is prepared to provide to the court all evidences which showed the alleged involvement of the Prime Minister in the illegal change of shares in China United by Austree. The Opposition Leader alleged the people who were involved in the change of shares scandal admitted to have been subject to political pressure from the Prime Minister to carry out this alleged criminal act.

Prime Minister Lilo in response to Dr Sikua's lodging of criminal complain against him said the Opposition leader needs to produce facts in his public statements.
The twist has brought much uncertainty and lack of trust on the current Solomon Islands’ government. Why firing each other rather than working together to stabilize and progress the country forward? This indicates leaders of no vision. Corruptions engulf the government system. Many allegations against leaders unsolved. Who will solve these allegations when the very people who endorse and uphold laws are themselves involved.                                                                         
The current twist leading to lodging of cases to court indicates how the current leaders hardly solve their own problems. Hence a country cannot solve its problems when its own leaders are unable to solve their own or personal differences.                                                                                          
I believe, the two leaders are trying as much to gain trust and support from the people after much war of words and allegations stamped against their names. Both want to win for personal gain not for the country.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Solomon Islands’ Political turmoil.

Ongoing political row between the Solomon Islands’ Prime Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo and the Opposition Leader, Derrick Sikua has engulfed everyone’s mind with confusion.
Opposition leader, Dr. Derrick Sikua has occasionally accused Lilo on various allegations since taking up the Prime Minister’s post last year. So far total of six allegations has been raised by the Opposition Leader against Prime Minister Lilo. One of the most controversial allegations that spark concerns to Solomon Islands citizens is the Prime Minister continues residing in one of the Expensive Hotel in Honiara ( The Honiara Hotel) since his election.  The Prime Minister’s excuse is, he is still waiting for the Official Prime Minister’s residence which is still under renovation. To date nothing has been done.
The Opposition Leader in his earlier statement revealed the monthly rental payment of $190,000 the Solomon Islands' government spent to accommodate the Prime Minister, his family and his body guards. Prime Minister Lilo in response has denied this amount stating that the rental cost is $15,000 which is under the Parliamentary Entitlements Regulations (PER) as his entitlement.

The Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo in his defense to the hotel rental said that rental per month is $15,000. Opposition leader Dr Derek Sikua in his attack said rental for five rooms rented out to the Prime Minister and his close associates, is costing the state some $190,000 per month. According to the Honiara Hotel charges on rooms, $15,000 per month for the five rooms is far under par. Hotel Charges for the luxury wings the Prime Minister, his family and personal security officers occupy costs guests between $1,450 to $1,850 a night. Calculations based on those figures points to a monthly rental of between $43,500 and $55,500 per month for a single room. Five rooms would cost the state over $200,000 a month.
                                                                                                                                                                      These calculations obviously indicate confusions on the integrity of the Prime Minister. Another confusing thing is, the Government under the leadership of Mr.Lilo has rarely revealed to all citizens the nature of his continues residing in the Hotel likewise the cost that involved.             
Mr. Lilo has been staying in the hotel since he was a Minister of the crown since 2006. And taking up the PM’s title since November 2011 up to now, is approximately five months.
Five months is adequately enough for the Prime Minister’s residence to be completed. However, since last year work is still moving at a slow pace. It is also alleged that his close associates has involved in the repair work.                                                                                               
It is also known that the owner of the Honiara Hotel Sir Tommy Chan is the long time friend of Prime Minister Lilo. No doubt Mr. Lilo has directly appointed his son Laurie Chan as a Solomon Islands Ambassador to Taiwan last year (2011).
Prime Minister Lilo in response to these corruption allegations against him never at anytime gives a concrete answer to satisfy the people. 
Reading and analyzing this information about Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo, one can say that corruption is hiding behind the curtain in the political system of Solomon Islands. A particular government cannot stable when its own very leaders are labelled with corruption allegations.