LEADERS of Solomon Islands Post Conflict Rehabilitation and Restoration Association (SIPCRRA) Guadalcanal Desk have condemned the opposing statements by Dr Derek Sikua against the $3 million payment government made to ex-combatant of former Malaita Eagle Force last Christmas.
The Parliamentary leader of the Independent group, Dr.Sikua had earlier condemned the payment as significantly deplorable as it did not have legal basis for disbursement of tax-payers money.
But contrarily to the opposing views by Dr.Sikua, Chairman and deputy chairman of Guadalcanal SIPCRRA Joseph Sangu and Andrew Te’e have ridiculed Dr.Sikua’s views as uncalled for.
Mr Sango and Mr Te’e both of whom were former leaders of Guadalcanal ex-militia group Isatabu Freedom Movement (IFM) strongly support government action in awarding what they described as rehabilitation of former ex-combatants.
Both men said SIPCRRA was not happy with the position taken by the parliamentary representative of North East Guadalcanal arguing Dr.Sikua was indulging into a very sensitive area which affects the lives of many Guadalcanal people.
Mr Te’e stressed it takes a wise leaders like the current Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare to bring to light the core issues of the ethnic conflict which succeeding governments have failed to address.
He argued that addressing and resolving such outstanding issues is prerequisite to successful development.
In an exclusive interview with the Solomon Star at the Airport Motel east Honiara yesterday Mr Te’e said, Guadalcanal leaders who opposed this ex-combatants project must sit down with former commanders of Isatabu Freedom Movement (IFM) to further discuss the matter.
He said, these are big issues that need consultations among Guadalcanal leaders and the former militants from Guadalcanal, so that the matter could be better addressed in a manner that will breed mutual understanding and enhance peaceful development for this nation.
Mr Te’e claimed that Dr. Sikua’s constituency was the main home to most of the criminal activities involving roadblocks, demanding money with threats on passing vehicles during the ethnic crises.
He said one way of resolving such criminal activities is to rehabilitate ex-militants thus this rehabilitation project by the government is seen as a step in the right direction.
Hence, Dr.Sikua should be supportive of this rehabilitation program, he added.
The vice president of Guadalcanal SIPCRRA said this rehabilitation program by the Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) government must be supported by all leaders of Solomon Islands, in order for us to build a better country for all.
By AATAI JOHN