Saturday, 25 April 2009 3:32 PM

Custom Abused

I won't differentiate between any situation of abuse of compensation and the recent Kwaio claims. For one thing, they all bear the same hallmark. So long as cash is the bottom-line, then it's anybody's guess. One may even start to wonder if true reconciliation is finally achieved after almost 80 odd years with a huge payout by SIG or perhaps Gordon Brown.

Rexy raised the important legal issue of time bar. Unfortunately, as per advice I've got from a friend, the law only applies to civil claims pursued through court processes. In other words, it only applies if the victims lodged their claim through a civil case. But the court is not the only avenue for the resolution of such matters, isn't it? Why didn't the victims pursue their grievances with the British Govt at least on the eve of independence? At least there's a national Kwaio leader (J.Fifii) in the Legislative Assembly back then. That same leader was also involved in the negotiation for independence with the British Govt. Could that be the ideal opportunity to revisit the 1927 massacre before the Union Jack leave our shores for good?

It is now 80 odd year on, and here we are Malaitans still steadfastly holding on to a custom that draws the great divide between us and other fellow Solomon Islanders. When will we ever stop ripping Govt coffers of much needed funds for service delivery - all in the name of customary compensation?? Common sense would tell us that the independent Government of SI Is is NOT responsible whatsoever for what happened in 1927. SIG bears not a single ounce of legal obligation to pay the Kwaio claims.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of Marata and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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