Customarily, compensation is a bridge, a form of punishment which attracts reconciliation that is normally made to mend any problem between two people or parties.
A person or party that committed wrong always pays a very reasonable amount to reinstate normalcy once enjoyed by those two people or parties.
In Malaita, one shell money and a life pig is the basic compensation for basic offences such as adultery, offensive swearing, or harming anyone. Killing someone might be higher.
These days, people do not follow that. A lot of factors are involved, but demanding large amounts of money for as compensation must be stopped.
People seem to take advantage of this compensation culture and distorted it. When a fault involves someone of higher status or a businessman, the compensation demand would hit the ceiling.
This had been happening and it even affects fellow Solomon Islanders from other Islands whose customs might be different from that of Malaita.
Recently, the Solomon Star was a victim of this uncalled for attitude. Multitudes arrived to demand compensation ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.
Although The Solomon Star told the people that legally and customarily, there should be no compensation paid, the mob insisted abusively.
That was total ignorance of our laws and custom. The Solomon Star takes into account custom but largely based its daily decisions on legal grounds.
Compensation is not something we do to make us rich, rather it is to maintain a peaceful coexistence when applied properly.
Demanding thousands of dollars is not making peace, but a show of no care attitude for custom and the laws of the land.
The Solomon Star, as an informer and messenger for the people of this country, stand its grounds and will never bow to extortionists.
We say, demanding of huge amount of compensation from other people or parties must stop.
Let’s uphold respect for each other which is the fundamental principle of any peaceful and vibrant society.