Speaking out on the issue James Tatau said it was unfair that government had not honored its obligation under the Townsville Peace Agreement to rehabilitate militants and yet it can dish out such a large amount of money to one community.
“I was one of the people who went to Townsville to sign the peace agreement and I am not happy with what this government has done because in the Townsville Peace Agreement it talks about rehabilitation of militants.
“We have been waiting up until today no
rehabilitation has been paid. So it comes as a big surprise to us that the
Prime Minister can take a bag of money and goes and gives it to the people of
the Moro movement. How is it that he is unable to rehabilitate those of us
labeled as ex-militants and yet he can go and make such a payment?
“What he has done is like taking a needle
and poking in our eye, it is like he has taken needles and stuck them in all
our eyes, that is all I want to say to our current Prime Minister.”
This latest outcry against the $1million
dollar payment follows a condemnation from the Leader of the opposition, complaints
from Teachers, The Malaita Maasina Forum, concerned citizens from other
cultural communities in the country and various individuals.
And all of these complaints have arisen
despite it being published in the media that Parliament last year approved $1m to
the Gaena’alu Movement under its 2013 budget as part of empowering of
even with Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo’s published statements in addressing
the leaders of the Gaena’alu movement at Komuvaolu Village on Friday the 15th
of February saying,
we begin the process of empowering the Gaena’alu movement on Guadalcanal so
that we can contextualize developments on Guadalcanal.”
I offer to you today (Friday) is what I believe will empower you so that you
can begin to take on the leadership role to lead our people on every
development discussion on the island of Guadalcanal,”
spite of all these explanations it would seem the wider Solomon Island
community is not satisfied and as the list of questions
raised lengthens, as the number of disgruntled voices increases and as
complaints grow louder someone sooner or later will have to come forward to
talk more about this massive cash handout to a single rural community.
It will be most interesting to see who will
step up to defend the payment and justify the motive behind it.
By Koroi Hawkins
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