The TRC Report and Reconciliation - Solomon Star News

The TRC Report and Reconciliation

04 February 2015

DEAR EDITOR – The Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) Government, through its spokesman the Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, said in the last few days the Truth and Reconciliation Report will be tabled in parliament during the government's four-year term.

It is noted that substantial budgetary provisions will need to be made to address the issues raised in the TRC Final Report.

The member of  parliament for North Malaita, Jimmy Lusibea, commenting on the news relating to the release of the TRC report is reported to have said, ''the government is responsible for addressing outstanding issues of the armed conflict between the people of Guadalcanal and Malaita provinces."

While essentially true what Mr Lusibea said, there are real practical steps that can be taken by the people themselves, as evidenced by past reconciliation ceremonies since the end of the tragic conflict.

In Solomon's society where custom is so essentially a part of everyday life then healing a split in the community should involve the two sides firstly, themselves, examining the root interventions on both sides that led to the split.

If those intentions were seen to be malicious or dishonest, reconciliation between the sides should be quite possible and encouraged.

In my own mind the genuine concerns of the Guadalcanal people and long held, were used in a malicious way to sow dissent, destabilize the then Malaitan dominated Solomon Alliance for Change (SIAC) Government and, allegedly, wholly associated with failed politicians who pushed their own agendas but who lost control of the fire storm that ensued.

In the time since the end of the so-called ethnic conflict and with the widespread, but unauthorized, release of the TRC Final Report, society has known the real truth of the uprising and it is timely for a coming together in common with cultural tradition and await the new government's response to the wider issues, knowing that there are financial implication to overcome at a time of great economic hardship.

Let there be a return to amicability and a return to trust.   I believe this can happen by a willingness of the people to resorting to the Melanesian, customary way of resolving issues and problems.

Please try, for the sake of the 'Happy Isles."


Frank Short
Former Police Commissioner
Bangkok, Thailand