Guadalcanal Premier condemns four Guadalcanal Proposed Bills
Guadalcanal Province Premier, Hon. Francis Sade, and the Guadalcanal Provincial Government condemn and totally reject the Central Government’s proposed “Guadalcanal Affairs Bill 2021”, “Guadalcanal Customary Land Commission Bill 2021”, “Guadalcanal Customary Land Bill 2021 and “Guadalcanal Customary Land Trust Board Bill 2021”.
Drafts of the proposed Bills were distributed via social media on Monday, 20 September 2021. The Bills angered many Guadalcanal people who demanded explanations from Central Government.
Premier Sade called a meeting of the Guadalcanal Provincial Executive on Thursday, 22 September to discuss the issue.
In a statement released after the meeting, Premier Sade says the, “Guadalcanal Provincial Government, on behalf of the chiefs, church leaders, women, youth and children of Guadalcanal vehemently rejects the proposed Guadalcanal Affairs Bill 2021, the Guadalcanal Customary Land Commission Bill 2021, Guadalcanal Customary Land Bill 2021, and the Guadalcanal Customary Land Trust Board Bill 2021.”
He urges the Central Government to immediately stop the proposed Bills and other related Bills that focus on Guadalcanal.
Premier Sade says “it is troubling that the Guadalcanal Provincial Government and its people were not consulted about such socially transformative exercise that could potentially have negative impacts on Guadalcanal people’s livelihoods”.
The Premier acknowledges the Special Secretary to the Prime Minister (SSPM) Mr. Albert Kabui’s statement that “officially, the Government Caucus and Cabinet did not receive anything about the said Bill”, but says the SPPM’s statement raised more questions than answers.
Premier Sade says “the Guadalcanal Provincial Government is surprised that the Central Government claimed to be unaware of the proposed Bills, especially given the extensive processes and involvement of various government entities from the conception to the drafting of Bills.
One would therefore assume that the existence of this draft was the result of those processes and with the knowledge and initiative of the Central Government.”
“Whilst the Bills might not yet have been tabled in Caucus and Cabinet, it is unlikely that people in the inner circles of government did not know about them. They must have participated in the conception and drafting of these Bills,” the Premier says.
Premier Sade says the Central Government should focus on the establishment of a federal system of government.
“The wishes of Guadalcanal people are clear. We want a Federal Government system that creates a Guadalcanal state with greater autonomy. We do not want another act to centralize and exploit our land, our natural resources, our cultures and our people,” says Premier Sade.
He says “there have been nation-wide consultations on a Federal System of Government and a constitution was already drafted.
Furthermore, in 2016 Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and nine provincial premiers signed an agreement to pursue the adoption of the Federal Constitution.”
Premier Sade requests the Central Government to follow that 2016 agreement and establish the Federal System of Government.
– GP Media