Wednesday, 26 May 2010 8:07 AM

TRC Urges Victims to Come Forward

A Truth and Reconciliation Commission Counselor says counseling is an important part of the healing process for victims of the recent ethnic tension.

Martha Horiwapu says that it has taken a whole week to go through the counseling process as victims on Malaita prepare to come before the commission and nation to testify or talk about their experiences.

Mrs Horiwapu says victims are always traumatized and therefore must go through counseling.

She says truth-telling is vital for any reconciliation to be effective.

Mrs Horiwapu says coming out publicly to share ones experiences would mean that the victims on Malaita are enhancing the process of reconciliation.

Meanwhile, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's first regional public hearing begins in Malaita Province tomorrow with more than 30 victims expected to testify.

The public hearing will take place at Airahu, the Anglican Church of Melanesians' pastoral and vocational training centre.

TRC Chairman, Father Sam Ata says just under 30 people were initially listed to testify.

He however says a lot more people have expressed their interest to testify to the commission, and so the commission is expecting more than 30 victims coming forward to give accounts of their experiences of the recent ethnic tension.

Father Ata calls on all citizens, churches, government, communities and traditional leaders to support the work of TRC.

The TRC public hearing on Malaita, expected to be broadcast live on SIBC, will end on Friday.