Christmas Message from the Solomon Islands Prime Minister in Honiara

CHRISTMAS MESSAGE.

BY THE PRIME MINISTER, HONOURABLE RICK HOUENIPWELA.

My fellow Solomon Islanders, let me on behalf of the Government extend warm Christmas greetings to you all.
I also convey greetings from my family to all of you: men, women, boys and girls throughout this country, Solomon Islands, as well as those of you living abroad.

My good people, as we approach the end of 2017, and upon reflection, the year has been a very challenging one. Indeed it has been a difficult year for many of you.

You may have lost a loved one, you may have lost valuable property, or lost a job, or could not find one, and for our Youths perhaps you many have not got a government scholarship your were looking for, or for a businessperson, you have not got that business deal that you were looking for, or in the family a relationship may have ended up badly, or a terrible accident has happened in the family and for many you are still struggling daily trying to make ends meet.

As you know, the Government has had its share of challenges as well. There are many pressing issues that could not be attended to. Government finances have been in bad shape it could not deliver on its intended development goals. The country had experienced a long period of political instability. The economy has been going through trying times. And of course these challenges have not gone away.

At the same time, with the benefit of hindsight, we can say that despite these circumstances the year has been conquered. Despite the obstacles, you have soldiered on, you continue to persevere, you keep walking, you have taken these hard times as a stepping stone in life – you keep moving on, you just walk on, and on.

My dear people, in times like these we give thanks to God. We should acknowledge his daily provisions.

I would like to encourage all of us to remain steadfast, strong and positive. Let us not dwell on the past, but be positive about tomorrow and the future. To have the spirit that keeps out the negativity and embrace positivity.

I encourage us all to maintain that positive spirit – about our families, communities and about our nation.

Good citizens, Christmas is a time to spend with families and loved ones. This is the time we exchange gifts, share laughter and enjoy the festivities. It is a time for celebrations. However, in our celebrations, we must also take time to remember the hungry, the sick, the needy, the marginalized, and those that are suffering among us.

It is a time when we must act out of love towards our neighbor. The weak and the disadvantaged. It is a time to do good works in our neighborhood, in our families, in our tribal groups, and in our communities.
In that spirit we remember the sick and the blind, the lame, including those of us with ‘special needs’ and especially not forgetting our children.

Let us remember our elderly and those who have lost their loved ones. It is time we must demonstrate God’s love in action this Christmas.

God’s Love – the Christmas Theme

But above all, my fellow Citizens, Christmas is about the birthday of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the time we stop, reflect and acknowledge God’s intervention in our affairs. This is the time we should acknowledge that without God, humankind is lost.

My dear people, God’s love for us is the central theme of Christmas. This is the reason for our celebrations. We are hereby challenged to love like God loved us.

Indeed, we are called to love our neighbors just as Christ loved us. In that spirit each of us is called to serve our family, our village, our community and ultimately our Nation.

In that regard I wish to leave with you a few thoughts on why the story of Christmas is the good news.

My good people, the first Christmas was perfectly timed by God, happening just when He wanted it. We find in Paul’s letter to the Galatians in chapter 4 verse 4 which reads,
“When the right time came, God sent His son…”

So what time is Christmas this year? You find the answer in four statements the angel said to the shepherds at the first Christmas in the Gospel of (Luke 2:10-14).

1. it’s time to release your fears! The first thing the angel said was, “Do not be afraid!” Fear is your greatest barrier to knowing God and fulfilling his purposes for your life. Fear is a self-imposed prison that keeps you from living the life God intends for you. So whatever you are afraid of – Christmas is the time to let it go.

2. it’s time to renew your faith! The angel said “I bring you good news with great joy, and it is for everyone!” The Good News of Jesus keeps getting better because the bad news of the world keeps getting worse. The Good News is that God loves you, he created you for a purpose. God has really long range plans for your life! Christmas is time to come back to God.

3. it’s time to receive forgiveness! Next the angel said, “Today a Saviour has been born for you; He is Christ the Lord!” If our greatest need was education, God would have sent a teacher. If our greatest need was health, he would have sent a doctor. If our greatest need was financial, he would have sent an economist. But our greatest need is forgiveness, so God sent a Saviour. It doesn’t matter what wrong you’ve done, you can receive forgiveness through Jesus

4. it’s time to rebuild relationships! Finally the angel said, “Peace on earth, and goodwill to all people.” Once you haveve accepted God’s forgiveness, He wants you to forgive everyone else. Who do you need to offer forgiveness to this Christmas? It’s time to make peace! Time to rebuild relationships.
My fellow citizens, I believe that is the greatest news, and challenge about this Christmas.

Before I conclude, let me remind all of us that there are also many who will be unable to join in our celebrations. We should pay particular tribute to our men and women who will be maintaining normal and essential services throughout the holiday period. Most especially those serving in the clinics and hospitals, as well as those helping to maintain safety and security.

As well we thank the dedicated men and women in the emergency services. There are many in public service as well as in the private sector who are engaged in ensuring essential services continue to function during the holiday season.

So as you celebrate the festivities with family and friends, let us acknowledge and appreciate these folks who will not be able to do so due to their call of duties.

In conclusion, allow me again to now wish you all the best of this Christmas.
On this note I want to express Christmas greetings and sincere best wishes from my family to:
• The Governor General and his family
• The Speaker of the National Parliament and his family
• The Chief Justice and his family
• Cabinet Ministers and backbenchers & their families
• Leader of the Official Opposition Group and his family
• Leader of the Independent Group and his family
• The Churches and Faith-based organizations
• Government Ministries, Departments and other Public Offices
• Provincial Premiers, Members of Provincial Governments, Chiefs and Village Elders
• The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF)
• The Judiciary and Legal Services and the Legal Fraternity
• Members of the Diplomatic Corps
• Our Development Partners and Friends
• The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and their members;
• Our Farmers and Fishermen in our Rural Areas;
• Our Shipping Operators, and other Transport Services Providers
• Management and Staff of State-Owned Enterprises (SOE’s) and Authorities
• Non-Government Organizations
• Media Organizations
• Our Pensioners and Retirees
• All the men and women, boys and girls throughout Solomon Islands.
On behalf of the Solomon Islands Government I express our profound gratitude for your support and cooperation in helping to build this country.
I sincerely hope and pray that your experience during this Christmas and New Year festive season will be one of PEACE, LOVE and JOY.
Wherever you celebrate Christmas this year, it is my hope and prayer that you have a joyful and peaceful Christmas.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS AND MAY GOD BLESS SOLOMON ISLANDS.

Members of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) have conveyed congratulatory message to newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, MP Ralph Regenvanu.

In a letter addressed to Minister Regenvanu, Spokesperson for ULMWP, Jacob Rumbiak stated,

“On behalf of Benny Wenda, Executive Chairman, United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) and the newly elected executive (2018—2021), I write to congratulate you on your appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“We would also like to express our thanks for your government’s generous and thoughtful gift of land and office in Port Vila.

“We believe that as 2017 comes to an end God is preparing a new and better hope for the people of West Papua and the nation of Vanuatu.

“This future holds great hope in giving a voice to the voiceless of the Papuan people in the United Nations.

“A reshuffle of the Vanuatu Government’s cabinet arrangements by the Prime Minister as the head of the Vanuatu Government at present is certainly a very effective state policy closely linked to the direction of the effective support of the state of Vanuatu for the West Papuan independence struggle.

“We wish you and the people of Vanuatu Merry Christmas December 25, 2017 and Happy New Year January 1, 2018 full of blessing from our Almighty God.”

Minister Regenvanu is one of the Vanuatu leaders who is always intrumental in negitiations towards the struggle for West Papua freedom from Indonesia.

Maintain Melanesian identity: Chief Tirsupe

“Despite foreign influences and world modernization, Vanuatu continues to maintain its Melanesian traditional and cultural identity and values, through its many languages, traditional ways of living, custom dances, traditional marriage and death ceremonies and many other daily traditional way of life, particularly in the islands and villages,” says Malvatumauri President, Chief Senimao Tirsupe.

“As we come to celebrate Christmas 2017, and prepare to welcome the new year 2018, I wish to remind every citizen of our country of the fundamental principles of our constitution which states that our constitution is ‘founded on Melanesian Traditional Values and Christian Principles’.

“Parents and heads of families as well as community leaders should take a moment over Christmas and New Year to reflect on these constitutional fundamental principles.

“The parents should take a moment to explain to their children these fundamental constitutional principles,” Chief Tirsupe appeals to Vanuatu citizens.

While Chief Tirsupe took the opportunity to wish all Chiefs at all levels of Vanuatu communities and the citizens, the residents and visitors to Vanuatu’s shores a Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year 2018, at the same time he reminded the people of Vanuatu to safeguard the many rich and important cultural and custom values that are basis of the national identity.

“Vanuatu is facing many challenges in our society with fast growing technological advancement that is having adverse impact on our rich and varied cultural ways of life.

“And unless the today’s generation is serious about protecting our Melanesian traditional values, tomorrow’s generation will lose their rich and varied customs and cultures and become less appreciative of what our customs and cultures mean as our true and only living Melanesian Identity,” Chief Tirsupe warns.

In congratulating the national Government as well as all provincial governments, the chiefs and all community leaders for the many economic and social developments that has advanced Vanuatu to take its rightful place amongst the nations of the world, the Malvatumauri President is at the same time wishing the national leaders, the Prime Minister and State Ministers, the Chief Justice of Vanuatu, the Leader of the Opposition, the Speaker of Parliament, all Members of Parliament ( MPs) and the population of Vanuatu a Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year 2018.

“In God we Stand, our customs and cultures are our identity and Vanuatu stands out as unique cultural nation in the Pacific region and one in the world- long live customs and cultures of Vanuatu and may God protect our cultural identity here on.”

 Source: http://dailypost.vu/