As disease continues to plague the galaxy, the issue of freedom vs. security continues to be hotly debated between Senators as well as Republic citizens. One of the most controversial decisions by the Senate was to impose a travel ban, preventing residents from infected worlds to travel to others. The hope was that this drastic step would stop the spread of disease, though as a result we have seen economies crumble, families go without food and the sick go without medicine as the ban has prevented interplanetary trade and stunted economic growth.
Today the Senate heard a fresh perspective on the issue. Wrennin Vae, a student of the Jedi Order, was elected by his peers to represent his Diplomacy class before the Senate to share their points of view on the travel ban as it relates to the services the Jedi Order provides.
“I extend my greeting to you all, senators of the Republic.
After this amount of time, I’m aware that any number of groups will have attempted to seek permission to bypass the travel ban within the quarantine zone in the Core worlds. They will have emphasised the loss of trade, or noted the potential loss to the economy, emphasising every possible avenue for disruption without once acknowledging those who are at this moment dying during this crisis.
Unlike these other groups, the Jedi Order has those affected by the plague as the priority. We aren’t interested in the credits that will be saved or the political mire. We, like the Republic, are focussed on efficiently and responsibly working towards bringing not only this crisis to an end, but additionally helping with efforts across the systems who have come to trust in our two organisations.
The first step towards this end? Giving the Jedi Order permission to bypass the travel ban within the quarantine zone in the Core Worlds.
The research of the Jedi Order in branches scattered at all corners of the galaxy is an invaluable asset that the Republic must recognise. Rather than endangering countless lives with fleets and crews, our self sufficient teams of one or two members are able to move to and from the infected systems with minimal risk of contagion. Moreover, our dedicated members have the training, facilities and strength of will to quarantine themselves should the unthinkable occur. Despite our small numbers, the work of just one of these teams will make a huge impact on the lives of those actually afflicted, whilst simultaneously providing some reprieve to the Republic forces already trying to help.
However, there is more to this issue than the worlds afflicted in the Core. The rest of the galaxy has not stopped moving during these years of crisis, as all of you will be aware. The Coruscant branch of the Jedi Order is the largest in the galaxy, with its members having been trapped here for a number of years. The collective expertise of the Jedi unable to leave this system is astronomical. Just as specialists from across the galaxy must come here to Coruscant to aid in the relief efforts, so must these Jedi – the ambassadors, enforcers, scholars, negotiators, rescue teams – be permitted to move to aid in the innumerable other disturbances and requests elsewhere.
It goes without saying that if the Jedi Order were able to stop this crisis alone, it would have been granted the permissions to do so by now. Our request to bypass the travel ban is not one based on arrogance or wild claims of a cure. It is simply a plea for cooperation between our two groups. By facilitating a candid and transparent agreement on this issue, we will together be able to show compassion to the people who have come to hold faith in the Republic and the Jedi Order to help them in their times of need. This agreement will require a give and take from both sides, of time, resources, people and even, at times, hope. Ultimately, the lifting of the travel ban will be the first step towards bringing this crisis to an end.
I might be young and the plights of those affected by this plague are far from what I know every day. But it is an event which has encompassed my entire time of training. I don’t want it to be something that frames the training of others either. Regardless of your opinion of the Order following this discussion, I hope that you don’t feel we are apathetic to the cause.”
The young Jedi was met with mixed reviews. Some referred to his points as childish ignorance, while other Senators hailed it as brilliant insight. Though his views were soley that of his own and those of his classmates and not necessarily the Order as a whole, his speech appears to have gotten many people thinking about these critical and controversial issues. Who knows? He might have even changed a mind or two out there. I know he changed mine.
Nik Carraway // GHN