Shipping companies servicing Malaita Province through the Honiara-Auki route are being asked to abide by the Malaita Provincial Executive decision and policy when it comes to transporting dead bodies on ships to Malaita.
According to the Malaita Provincial Executive decision, shipping companies operating the route should only charge $500 for a deceased body.
The executive has passed the policy early this year and the Malaita Provincial Government is expecting shipping companies to abide by this policy.
For ships that travelled around the island, the price for a deceased body is $1000.
Speaking to this paper yesterday, Premier Daniel Suidani confirmed this saying his executive had already passed this and they expect all the shipping companies to abide by this policy and not over charged families.
“We learned that ships operating the Honiara-Auki route have overcharged the cost of transporting deceased bodies back to Malaita.
“As a result of the huge cost imposed by ships some families were forced to bury their deceased loved ones on a foreign soil which is a difficult thing to do and accept according to our culture.
“We value our dead relatives and we always want to give them a proper funeral and burial back in our home land.
“MARA government sees death as an important value observed in our culture so we decided that ships servicing the Honiara-Auki route should abide by these new amounts agreed upon by the MARA executive to allow our people living in Honiara to transport the body of our dead relatives back to Malaita,” he said.
The premier warned any ship that refuses to transport any Malaita dead body back home on the amount agreed upon by the MARA executive will have their business licence canceled.
“Any business operating in Malaita province must not ignore the culture of the people of Malaita,” he warned.
By WILSON SAENI