Monday, 2 June 2008 7:25 AM

Guadalcanal Unprepared for National Reconciliation: Shanel

The people of Guadalcanal are not prepared for the Government's planned national reconciliation because of failures by successive governments to address the Guadalcanal bona fide demands.

The statement, largely directed at the government, was made by the Leader of the National Parliamentary Official Independent Group and Central Guadalcanal MP, Peter Shanel.

In a recent interview Shanel said that he does not see how a national reconciliation would be achieved when key issues on both sides of the conflict are still to be addressed by successive governments.

"The Guadalcanal people are not ready for the national reconciliation because they are still waiting on the Government to address their demands which have been ignored by previous governments and the current government," he said.

Shanel said that the Guadalcanal bona fide demands included the introduction of a State Government system, equal distribution of wealth, and for the Central Government to share with Guadalcanal people the rentals it has collected from the use of Honiara land.

Shanel said that reconciliation and peace is very crucial for the country's progress but without serious efforts by the central government to address outstanding issues such as the bona fide demands, this country would not go forward.

He said that other important land issues include the need for the Government to hand back the Lungga and Tenaru land to the people of Guadalcanal.

Before departing for the Vila Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) meeting, Prime Minister Sikua postponed the planned national reconciliation that was meant to coincide with the country's independence celebrations.

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