Dear Editor – If I were to be a judge on the arguments between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Independent Group in Parliament over the $3million given out to the ex-combatants by the National Government, I would conclude it this way:
The Prime Minister & his Government paid out the $3million with good intention.
The National Government had taken the immediate action to address an issue stated in the DCCG policy on Peace & Reconciliation for the nation.
The Leader of Independent Group also had equally valid reasons to point to the need to address rehabilitation through the recommendation stated in the Truth and Reconciliation Report.
This is the long-term process to bring peace & reconciliation for the nation.
Now the conflict of opinions resulted largely from the method of direct payment of the $3million to the ex-combatants.
If the National Government had paid the rehabilitation money to the ex-combatants registered body, the Solomon Islands Post Conflict Rehabilitation and Restoration Association (SIPCRRA) the Government won’t be criticized too much.
How the money was used is the responsibility of the Association to implement its objectives.
Meanwhile, the Leader of Independent’s concern to action the Truth and Reconciliation Report is being noted by the National Government and the process is starting with the consultative meeting made last Friday.
I suggest the National Government to “wash its hands” and channel through SIPCRRA its next ex-combatant rehabilitation payment and Leader of Independents to take time and assess how the Prime Minister is implementing the TRC Report.
In conclusion I urge the three leaders of this nation, the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition and Leader of Independent Group to work hard and fill the national coffer.
We are going to need a lot of money to spend this year and more so next year.