A MOTHER and son meet two inmates that are responsible for the death of a family member after 26 years and accepted their apology plea in a reconciliation ceremony.
The mother of the victim and the victim’s younger brother met the two offenders for the first time during a reconciliation ceremony held at the Auki Correctional Center (ACC) in Malaita Province on Friday.
The reconciliation ceremony happened after the two inmates who are now adults submitted a request through the ACC commandant John Yates to meet with the immediate family of the victim and plea their apology for their involvement in the murder case.
The request of the two inmates John Sale and Ben was channeled through a relatives in Auki where they communicated the request to the immediate family of the victim.
The mother of the victim and the victim’s younger brother responded politely to the request and humbly accepted the request and attended the reconciliation ceremony.
During the emotional reconciliation ceremony, the family of the victim came face to face with the two murders the first time.
Eight shell money were given with a sum of SBD$5000.00 for the victim’s family.
The victim’s younger brother during the reconciliation ceremony said, its time to come together, reconcile and leave the past behind as they move forward for a better future.
Growing up he said, this is one of the areas that he wants to see sorted out adding, he is now a satisfied person after seeing the case solved between the two parties.
He said, his family and tribe have accepted the apology plea from the two inmates.
“The reconciliation is the way forward for tribes who still have grievances towards each other because of past murder case.”
John Sale and Ben were only 15 when they both played a role in the murder of the victim back in 1992 in Baegu Asifola.
Police arrested the two as juveniles then, and sentenced them to life imprisonment for the murder of the victim who was also a juvenile.
The inmates grew up together behind bars over the past 26 years and are now adults and felt it was appropriate to say sorry for the wrong they did in the past and make peace with the victim’s family.
The late father of the victim already collected 12-shell money from Masu tribe in the past.
The reconciliation ceremony also allowed tribesmen of the victim to witness and accept the fact that they no longer have grievances towards each other.
Chief Eleazar Asilauwa from Langane tribe in Baegu who played a crucial role in the arrangement of the reconciliation ceremony thanked the two parties for coming together.
Chief Asilauwa appealed for the two parties to respect the reconciliation ceremony and work together in the years to come.
The two parties signed two certificates, one from the Sycamore tree group and the other from the Ministry of Peace and Reconciliation in recognition of the reconciliation.
Two provincial members Rose Liata and Malcolm Moli, rep from the Ministry of Peace and Reconciliation, members of ACC, and member from both parties witnessed the reconciliation from both parties.
The two inmates were sent back behind bars after they reconciled with the victim’s family as they continue to serve their jail terms not knowing when they will be released from jail.
Reconciling with the immediate family of the victim is what John and Ben have been looking forward to since the day they entered prison.
Both parties welcomed and respect the reconciliation ceremony.
By BIRA’AU WILSON SAENI