Have we not learned the lesson? - Solomon Star News

Have we not learned the lesson?

16 June 2016

RECENT rumours of another tension have reportedly forced a number of families to leave Honiara for their home province.

This is despite denial by authorities on Guadalcanal, as well as the police, of another uprising.

The fact that these families left shows the severity the rumours have had on the community.

At one of the settlements on the outskirts of Honiara, a former militant reportedly organised a meeting one Sunday to warn its residents of an impending tension.

He claimed some people of Guadalcanal are again preparing to attack Malaitans living in around Honiara.

This former militant also displayed electronic pictures of men brandishing high-powered weapons and claimed these are the men preparing to stage the war.

It was these pictures that run fear through the spine of many families in Honiara.

The pictures however, were in fact those of the tension days, some 16 years ago.

They were not recent pictures.

But some families, as our report in today’s paper showed, are not taking any chances.

They believed in the rumour, packed their belongings, and head straight back to their home province.

This incident showed how fragile our peace process is, and how a rumour could spark fear and tension amongst our people.

Police must deal with rumour mongers because they are a threat to our peace and co-existence.

On another note, the government needs to seriously look at the rapid rise of illegal settlements around Honiara.

Most of the settlers are Malaitans who left Guadalcanal at the height of the tension in early 2000 and returned home.

In Malaita, they found life difficult and unbearable due to the lack of economic opportunities in the province.

They ended up returning to Honiara and settled illegally on the outskirts of the city.

A lot of them encroached into traditional Guadalcanal land and built makeshift homes there.

Definitely, Guadalcanal people will not be happy.

This is their land and no stranger should just come in and live there.

Government failure to develop the provinces is allowing situations like this to fester.

And if it continues, the possibility of another tension cannot be ruled out.

It seems our national leaders have not learned anything from the past tension.