To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Monday, May 08, 2006

To'abaita's relationship with Israel: should we build or destroy it?

Editor's note: We kindly refer all To'abaitans to the discussion forum for collective ideas and views on this initiated relationship.

Greetings to all To'abaita wantoks and others,

I think so much has been said about To'abaita’s relationship with Israel. Thus it is good that we post this brief to enlighten us on the relationship that To'abaita enjoys with the government of Israel.

Presentation of the official gift containing a replica of the final temple in Jerusalem from the Israeli Government to Leliana Firisua

At the beginning of this year, a Small and Medium Enterprise Incubation Centre was officially opened in Honiara by the Deputy Director of the Asia & Pacific Region based in Jerusalem. The centre initiator and director who received the official gift that contains a replica of the final temple in Jerusalem of the " Eastern Gate", is Mr Leliana Daowana Firisua. According to Mr Firisua, two official documents were signed during the openning which include technology transfer and small and medium enterprise development transfer. Representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem is Deputy Director of the Asia & Pacific Region, Mr Amos Nadai.
Mr Nadai cutting the ribbon at the openning of the SME Incubation Center in Honiara

During his Honiara trip, both Mr Nadai and Firisua made a courtesy visit to the Governor General and Ministers in the last government. They also visited the Solomon Islands' National Referral Hospital in Honiara and met Dr Judson Leafasia (the former permanent secretary of Health) and his advisor, Mr McNamara. It is noted that two medical doctors from Israel are currently serving at the National Hospital at the time of this official visit.

A visit to the National Referral Hospital (l-r):Firisua, McNamara, Nadai & Dr Leafasia

It is also understood that Mr Leliana Daowana Firisua is the Israeli advocator in Solomon Islands as Israeli Government is yet to appoint an official representative. As an Advocator, Mr Firisua has endorsement by the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Public Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem, State of Israel.

"In my capacity as an Advocator I receive all Israeli officials at the VIP and participate with our Department of Foreign Affairs in arranging their official programme in Solomon Islands. I have direct communications with the Ambassador to the region Dr Michael Ronen, Director Hagai, Deputy Director Mr Nadai (in Jerusalem) and ensure communication on a regular basis with Wendy Bateman and Mr Sharon Polishuk of the canberra office", said Mr Firisua.

The intention of the article is whether To'abaitans would view the state of Israel as a friend and seek future support in seeing that Israel's model of development can be adopted in the constituency (Development Approach). At present, the only programme that Israel have with us is in the health sector in the services of Doctors. Solomon Islands is expecting to receive three medical Doctors this year 2006, One for Honiara, Kilufi and Gizo.

The question for discussion is “whether To'abaitans feel that there is a hope in this direction for a stronger relationship?”.

Reports and photos by: Leliana Daowana Firisua (Honiara)


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