Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Failed State, i don't think so

The solomons is officially listed in the UNHCR dispatches as a fail state, which I thought meant that law and order had broken done... the government being unable to govern... These days you don't have to look far to see plenty of examples of place like that. And why do some western leaders hold such places up as new democratic successes...?

Yet Honiara or any of the towns and villages in this island archipelago, are quite peaceful places. Sure once, not so long ago, guys with guns came and just took stuff, but not too many people were shot because the culture here is to share what you have anyway. Thankfully those times seem to have passed.

In honiara there are taxis everywhere, they might be a little older in style and small... they are very reliable and cheap. The stores are becoming well enough stocked. People don't seem to be to frightened. The police station is not barricaded. The bureaucracy might not be very speedy but things eventually get done, and without any gifts of friendship and understanding...

So what has failed. Well the phones and power give you a big hint. They aren't so reliable, because the government is really struggling to pay for the fuel and international currency to foreign governments and companies. The bills for the UN observers and advisors have
probably gone unpaid as well... so they have stopped recommending aid and assistance... the solomon's main cash crop, foreign aid, has failed... that is my theory why the poor old solomons is still listed as a failed state.

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