The Leader of the Independent Group in Parliament, Hon Dr. Derek Sikua has described comments made by Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Manasseh Maelanga over the weekend as immature and narrow minded.
In a statement last night in response to the front page article in the Solomon Star Newspaper No. 6334 on Saturday 16 July, 2016 entitled “MAELANGA TELLS CRITICS TO ‘SHUT UP’” Dr Sikua said, such comments speaks volumes about the leadership qualities of the country’s Deputy Prime Minister.
“In displaying such outbursts and arrogant attitude in the media, he has become somewhat of a joke, and a laughing stock.
“Often, if one has nothing better to say, it is more honourable to stay quiet! A good leader listens and is not narrow-minded.
“He possesses knowledge and understanding and does not impose his own immaturity and inexperience on very important matters that affect the lives of our people such as the search for lasting and sustainable peace.”
Dr Sikua said, the DPM must be suffering from severe memory loss to say that he fail to address ethnic tension issues during his term as PM.
“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was established under the Truth and Reconciliation Act passed by Parliament in September, 2008 which was a mere eight months into my Government’s tenure.
“The Commission of five members worked from 2009 through 2011 to discover the causes, details and effects of the country’s “ethnic tension” crisis of 1998 – 2003, which nearly destroyed the country, killed at least 200 persons, and adversely affected the lives of many thousands more.”
He said, the DPM and his PM must be reminded again that the recent National Healing and Apology Program was a gimmick and a total waste of public funds.
“What exactly have you achieved in hosting it? Absolutely Nothing! The manner in which the DCCG is handling reconciliation issues will never bring about true and lasting peace for Solomon Islands and Solomon Islanders.”
He added the PM, his Deputy and their supporters must not be astounded by my bringing back memories of the past because as someone once said: “Remembering is not easy, but forgetting may be impossible.”
“The DPM has rightly pointed out that the tension related issues still haunts many of our people but I cannot see how the DCCG policies will solve all tension related issues.
“All the DCCG has is a policy to facilitate payment of extortion claims.
“I believe that the sensible and long-term answer to bringing about lasting and sustainable peace to Solomon Islands is to implement the Recommendations of the TRC Report.
“This is all I have been asking the PM and his Government since the beginning of the year. Tell me, why is it so hard to do this?” Dr. Sikua asked.