TRC REPORT COMING UP

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National Parliament of Solomon Islands
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Sogavare intends to have it discussed in parliament

By EDDIE OSIFELO

THE five-volume report of Truth and Reconciliation Commission is among important businesses the Sogavare-led Government plans to discuss in the current 11th sitting of Parliament.

A Commission of five members mandated under Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act 2008 came up with the report after conducting public and closed hearings; collecting statements from victims, perpetrators, and other involved parties; facilitating focus group interviews with all sectors involved in the conflict; and organising research on issues related to the conflict from 2009-2011.

This was to discover the causes, details and effects of the country’s “ethnic tension” crisis of 1998-2003.

However, the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) is still to table the Bill in Parliament to extend the term from four to five years.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare confirmed this during the opening of Parliament meeting on Monday.

Sogavare said the report was handed to government in 2013, laid in Parliament and yet to be discussed fully by Parliament.

He said Caucus would like to have a meeting with relevant ministries to prepare the government for presentation of very important recommendations.

Furthermore, Sogavare said Caucus would like to meet with relevant ministries, especially Ministry of Finance because the Payment System bill is before Parliament.

However, the Opposition has asked the Prime Minister and his government to clarify a planned payment of $300,000 to ex-militants.

Former police officers and others categorised under Essential Services that worked during the ethnic conflict from 1998-2003 have also submitted their claims to the Government.

However, members of Guadalcanal Post -Conflict Reconciliation, Rehabilitation and Restoration Association for Western Region are not aware of the $300.000 payments.

Association Secretary, George Hilly said they are only aware of the Re-integration and Rehabilitation for ex-combatants and victims of the conflict.

Hilly said from information relayed by Prime Minister Office to him, a Commission funded by United Nations will be set up to run the programme.

He said the Commission will identify genuine applicants and submit to the 34-line ministries to implement the programs.

Both Guadalcanal Post -Conflict Reconciliation, Rehabilitation and Restoration Association and Malaita Solomon Islands Post-Conflict Rehabilitation and Restoration Association will have offices to work with the Government in the implementation of the programmes.

Island Sun contacted Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Traditional Governance, Peace and Ecclesiastical Affairs, Peter Mae yesterday but he declined to comment.

The Parliament meeting resumes on Monday 25th July 2022.


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