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Nation pays tribute to tsunami victims

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Guests who attended the remembrance ceremony for the tsunami victims.
TEN people who lost their lives in the February 6 tsunami that struck Santa Cruz in Temotu Province were remembered in a service held at the St Barnabas Cathedral yesterday.

Hundreds of people and leaders attended the service, which coincides with the half-day public holiday the Government declared for Wednesday.

Speaking at the service deputy prime minister and Minister for Homes Affairs Manasseh Maelanga said the remembrance service was a manifestation of the national solidarity that is enshrined in the national anthem.

He told relatives of those who lost their lives that they are not alone in this national tragedy.

Mr Maelanga said February 6 will go down in history as a sad day for Temotu, and in particular Santa Cruz, as on this day hundreds of properties, homes and lives were lost.

 He said the half-day public holiday was necessary to allow the nation pay tribute to the 10 people who lost their lives and many others who were affected.

Mr Maelanga said the Government is committed to assist those affected on Santa Cruz, recover and rebuild their livelihoods.

The deputy prime minister also thanked those who contributed relief supplies, including donors, to the victims.

The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) is coordinating the relief efforts on Santa Cruz in cooperation with NGOs.

Amongst those who attended yesterday remembrance service were Governor General Sir Frank Kabui, heads of diplomatic missions, public servants and school children.

Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo was not present as he was on a trip to Choiseul Province.

By Elliot Dawea