Relatives of the 27 people who died in the MV Taimahero ill-fated tragedy demanded their Member of Parliament (MP) for West Are’are and the government to compensate the lives of their loved ones.
Speaking to the Solomon Star at the Honiara Central Police Office on Thursday Chairman and Spokesperson of the community said they cannot wait any longer.
The Chairman led a group of relatives to Honiara police station yesterday in the hope to meet their MP John Maneniaru.
But their MP did not turn up as requested.
“We cannot hold our grieving heart and sorrow any longer while waiting for our MP and the government to respond to our peaceful call.
“We all have culture and customs on how to settle such issues and today as you can see mothers, father and other relatives of our missing loved ones want to see that both our leader and the government to do what our cultures demand of us,” the spokesperson said.
On 2 April the MV Taimahero embarked on an inter-island crossing despite maritime warnings advising vessels not to take to sea because Cyclone Harold was in the area.
Also, it was also understood that at that time the government came up with a repatriation plan amid fears of the COVID-19.
A total of 27 people, mostly high school students perished in the tragedy which occurred early on Friday morning 03rd April this year.
Most of the deceased allegedly fell overboard when the passenger ferry reportedly carrying more than 700 passengers was hit by rough seas in the crossing between Guadalcanal and Malaita Provinces
“It was a horrible experience for us the relatives since then we cannot overcome the situation until our MP and the government compensate the lives of our loved ones.
“Remember the government and our MP are partly blamed for this horrific tragedy,” the spokesperson emotionally told the Solomon Star yesterday.
When asked if they are aware of an inquiry into the tragedy by the government and an investigation is ongoing.
The spokesperson said they are very much aware of the inquiry and the investigation but that does not mean our culture must be overlooked.
“This is a very sensitive issue that we the families and relatives of our loved will not remain silent about it now,” the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, the police advice the committee yesterday that they can facilitate any meeting they want to hold with their MP.
The Solomon Star understands that a preliminary report was already submitted to the Minister for Infrastructure Development (MID) on this matter while the police investigation is ongoing.
By ANDREW FANASIA