Monday, 1 September 2008 8:55 AM

Truth and Reconciliation Commission to be Established

Solomon Islands have now borrowed the South African model to set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in a bid to address people's traumatic experiences during the five year ethnic conflict on Guadalcanal.

The establishment of the TRC is now a step closer, following the passage of the TRC Bill introduced by the Minister for Peace and Reconciliation Sam Iduri, last week.

Minister Iduri said that the TRC Bill has resulted from the work of a taskforce set up by the government, which studied TRCs in other parts of the world and conducted wide consultation within Solomon Islands.

He said that the Government believes that the TRC provides the only way forward to address the wrongs of the ethnic conflict and to help the country to move forward.

A successful Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) process will liberate people to participate more fully and constructively in the constitutional reform process.

He said that the TRC concept based on the South African experience following the traumatic and inhuman experiences during the repressive years of South Africa's apartheid system.

Minister Iduri said that the concept was first brought up by the Solomon Islands Christian Association (SICA) and the Civil Society Groups.

One of the first advocators, Hon. Mathew Wale, now MP for Aoke/Langa Langa told Parliament during the debate on the Truth and Reconciliation Bill that it was the only way that could possibly get those who were affected and the perpetrators to deal with the past.

"The TRC process can help to address the underlying issues that were the initial drivers and catalyst for the ethnic conflict and the broad reform agenda and this will pave the nation to the way of truth, reconciliation and a lasting peace," Wale said.

He added that the TRC would motivate the people to embrace the path of truth, forgiveness, repentance, restitution and reconciliation over and against the temptation to harbour hatred and revenge.


SOLOMONTIMES.COM WITH NATIONAL EXPRESS

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