BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
A Fellowship and Reconciliation program to breach the tense and hatred between inmate, Harold Keke and his followers has set a new approach.
Taking part in the Fellowship and Reconciliation programme were the Titige SSEC Mother Church and Samaritan Satellite Church.
The programme according to the Correctional Service Solomon Islands (CSSI) Press Release was made possible through the CSSI Programmes & Industry Department in collaboration with Titige Community and Christian families.
“From past to present time, CSSI Executive and Managements have endorsed and approved several external stake holders for religious programmes, reconciliation and spiritual fellowship within the provincial centres including our maximum facility at RCCC between victims and perpetrators (inmates).
“The idea is to bring about forgiveness, healings and restoration of relationship barriers and help them maintain their spiritual commitment with our almighty for a lasting peace as well as giving a second chance to offenders,” stated CSSI’s Press Release.
It is understood that this is one of the key policies of the current Solomon Islands Democratic Coalition for Change Government (SIDCCG) to rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates that is mandated as a priority area of CSSI.
According to a report by Pastor Ephraim, he said, there are prisoners of different backgrounds serving their time at correctional centres across the country.
“We know that amongst other brother and sister inmates from other provinces who are serving their convictions at RCCC, our brother Harold Keke and his followers (Guadalcanal Liberation Front (GLF)) are also serving their terms of Imprisonment for ethnic tension related issues which they are separated from the rest of our communities and are not accepted because of the crimes which they have committed against our people.”
“For this reason, the Mother Church and Samaritan Satellite Church of Titige do take a holistic approach in supporting other stakeholders within our Nation to come into the Prison and visit our Brother Harold and his followers with a genuine heart to share with them both on spiritual and physical fellowship”.
Speaking on behalf of the Perpetrators, Inmate Francis Lela acknowledged the Commissioner office, RCCC Management and Titige community leaders and elders who were present with them for praying and having fellowship together as one family.
“I express huge thanks for having this initiative and perspectives of togetherness in the spirit of the Lord for coming to witness this Holistic Reconciliation from the Heart.”
He said such Reconciliation is a first ever Reconciliation between them (GLF) and victims outside, being held in RCCC.
“Our coming together today signifies an important milestone Reconciliation between Titige community and for us who joined the group so called GLF during the dark hour of our communities and nation.
“From our inner hearts, we the grandfathers, fathers, uncles, brothers, nephews and sons whole heartedly apologise and say sorry for the problems and issues faced during the past which caused hatred and disunity amongst us.
“Today brothers and sisters, it’s time to forget the past problems and issues that happened between us and we plea for forgiveness to unite and build our relationship as one people of Guadalcanal and a nation as a whole,” said Francis on behalf of his brother inmates.
Meanwhile inmate Harold Keke also echoed the same sentiments and plea for forgiveness saying sorry to his Guadalcanal people and the nation for what he had done.
Speaking on behalf of the Commissioner Office and RCCC Management, Mr Derick Tenai acknowledged the Titige Community Elders, Pastors, Women’s Rep, Brother Inmates and Programs & Industry Department Staffs for making the programme successful.
“This is a way forward for the organisation as we progress to enhance the safety of the community by providing a safe, secure and humane containment through facilitating the rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners,” said Tenai.