A TRAUMA and counselling team sent by the National Government to affected families of MV Taimareho sea tragedy was not allowed to carry out their program in West Are’are area.
The team that took off to West Are’are to visit affected families over the weekend were turned back at Uhu village after the community chief refused to allow them to carry out their program for the reason that the government failed to pay compensation for the 27 lost lives.
The team, which consisted of representatives from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS), Commission Justice, Reconciliation, and Peace, Empower Pacific, Diocese of Melanesia, and Social Welfare returned back to Auki on Monday this week.
According to Leslie Filiomea, who is part of the team, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has promised to give some money to affected families during the trip, which was not on.
Filiomea said the first thing that the Chief asked them at Uhu was, “Do you bring our compensation demand from the government.”
Upon knowing that the team did not bring any form of commendation to the affected families, the chief told them to abolish their mission and go back.
According to information received, the people demanded the government must compensate 27 lost lives before sending any team to do trauma counselling for the people.
The Solomon Star Auki understands that Malaita Provincial Premier Daniel Suidani led a team to visit the affected families and attended burials of some of the victims which was widely welcomed by the people from the Southern region.
When asked to comment on the failed trip, Premier Suidani said: “This is sad”.
The Premier said it is important to observe and have respect for the culture of the affected people when visiting them, adding this sentiment must have been missing during the visit, which triggered the bold stand by the villagers not to allow the team to complete their mission.
By WILSON SAENI