Platform movement dwindling

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BY SAMIE WAIKORI

WHILST the Kingdom movement in Malaita province is heated, report reached this paper said the Platform movement in Makira Ulawa province is slowly declining.

The platform movement which can also be described as a cult movement now reach a point where members themselves decided to quit their membership.

In an interview with the Premier of Makira Ulawa province yesterday, Hon Stanley Siapu said “things are starting to be quiet with the movement.”

He said the province is now experiencing changes in the regime as compared to the past years when the movement was established.

Adding that the movement seems to be no longer influential and strong as was during its controversial stage.

Mr Siapu said his office never received any official information yet on the decline of the movement, but according to what he received from public, the movement is slowly dispersing.

He said the reason for that is still unknown, but one obvious reason is due to the members’ realisation of the practises involved in the movement.

However, he said that his government is committed to deregister the movement and they are working on possible measures towards the initiative.

The premier said currently his office is yet to finalise a report on the platform that will help them work with other responsible authorities on the initiative.

He stressed that the ultimate reason behind his government’s move to deregister the movement is to ensure people (platform members) return to be part of the community.

In an interview last year, Hon Siapu said the movement was a legally registered organization established with an idea to revive and promote the culture and tradition of the island of Makira.

However, the premier explained that along the way the members of the platform started to divert from the initial set up of the organization.

He said some of the leaders whom were the original architect of the organization were gone, hence new leaders came in and adopted different intentions to lead the organization.

Mr Siapu said some of the proposals the group is currently adopting is for the members of the platform to refrain from taking part in the country’s provincial and national elections.

Adding that other severe things they also adopt was to disallow their children to attend formal education and to deter members from accessing health services.

“So my government see this group as a body that will mislead people or lead them astray because of the actions they currently practise.

“Because their current actions are out of the normal life in the communities and the original idea of maintaining and reviving cultures of Makira.

“We see this as a threat to normal good community life, threat to security of the community, province and of course the country,” he said.

He said areas his government will work towards are, to ensure members of the group (platform) come back to normal community life and live cohesively with the people.

“Because since the people joined the platform they move from their communities and settled outside in remote areas they call it platform camps,” the premier said.

He said in their camps they practice things that are outside of the original cultures and traditions of Makira.

Adding that even their church beliefs have also gone astray since they adopted a collective new religious belief that are not normal Christine beliefs.

“These are the things we see the organization as misleading the people,” he said.

Mr Siapu said these are their fears and as a responsible government they are serious about the issue to ensure people in the province live in peaceful co-existence with each other rather than creating friction among each other.

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