Saturday, 4 August 2007 10:32 AM

Kira Kira Residents Awaiting 'Mystery Army'

A cargo cult is growing in Kira Kira, the provincial capital of Makira-Ulawa Province. The township is awaiting the appearance of a mystery military platoon.

It has been reported that the residents of Kira Kira town have been waiting, for the past few days, for the appearance of a platoon believed to be a secret army trained in the jungles of Makira by specialized Western military personnels. Sources from Kira Kira told the SIBC that the army was to have been part of celebrations to mark the provinces Second Appointed Day.

The source from Kira Kira stated that the belief of a secret provincial army has been actively promoted by senior citizens of the provincial town, including Provincial Assembly Members. He said the provincial town is currently quite tense and at the same time confused as residents await the appearance of the secret provincial army.

Makira Ulawa Province has been, over the past few years, calling for independence from the rest of Solomon Islands. It is still unclear whether this idea of a secret army has anything to do with its desire to secede.

Western sociologists specializing in Melanesian religions say most, if not all, cargo cults are based on a curious mixture of native and Christian beliefs and rituals. The cultists often believe that certain deities will send them ready-made goods just like those used by the military forces that came from far away. It is believed that their arrival will usher in a wonderful new era when the believers will have their identity, dignity, and honor restored.

It is still unclear whether a cargo cult is truly on the rise in Kira Kira, but one thing is for sure, the residents are eagerly anticipating the arrival of the secret platoon, which is said to be on the 17th of August. The 17th of August is also the Province's "Chiefs Empowerment Day". The Makira-Ulawa provincial government has moved the celebrations of its Second Appointed Day to August 17th to coincide with the event.