The Parliamentary Opposition Leader has not been invited to yesterday’s official opening ceremony of the weeklong reconciliation event.
The Office of the Opposition group issued a statement saying Jeremiah Manele was not formally invited to join the event.
The statement said that although a formal program was given late on Friday evening to the Leader, there was no formal invitation letter.
The Opposition Office said such program of national importance should be accorded with protocol and proper procedures.
“On that basis, the Opposition Leader will not attend any of the six days program,” the Parliamentary Opposition Office stated.
The Opposition also added that the failure by the organizers to carry out such a simple but very important administrative work as writing a formal invitation letter indicates that the program is not properly organized and executed and reflect very badly on the Prime Minister’s Office.
“Let us be honest that this planned nationwide reconciliation is poorly organized to say the least.
“It is plain and clear that the government had been hiding this program only to surprise everyone at the last minute.
“Why the government had taken this approach is something only the government knows. But by any scale, this is utterly a very irresponsible action by the government.
“The lack of a nation- wide consultation about the planned six days of national reconciliation further demonstrates government’s little regard for the overall national healing process,” the Parliamentary Opposition Office stressed.
The Parliamentary Opposition Office strongly reminded the government that a meaningful reconciliation is one that involves consultation, dialogue and brokering of understanding.
“We are dealing with the most sensitive issue in our history and this is how we do it?” the opposition office questioned.
“This is an issue that touches the core being of many Solomon Islanders who have been affected by the ethnic tension therefore, we must treat it with utmost respect and dignity.”
The Opposition Office further stated that if it’s the intention of the government to implement the reconciliation ceremony for purpose of ticking off one of its policies, then that would be a grave mistake on their part.
“The process of reconciliation should not be politicized in anyway, after all reconciliation is a process that comes from the heart of a perpetrator and a victim on the other hand,” the Office emphasized.
The statement added that a reconciliation ceremony is only a ceremonial event and does not provide the redress to the causes of the ethnic conflict.
“A national reconciliation ceremony should only occur once all issues pertaining to the eruption of the tension are fully addressed by the government, otherwise any ceremony organized now is meaningless and it’s a waste of resources,” the Opposition Office stated.
The Parliamentary Opposition Office also reminds the government that in future any undertaking that is of national level must be pursued in a manner that all Solomon Islanders are made aware and made contributions to it.