As one who has advocated for a very long time the need to establish a Truth and Reconcilitation Commission (TRC) in the Solomon Islands, I am very pleased to learn that it will begin on 29 April 2009.
I have not yet seen any information regarding the procedure for the submission of written testimony to the Commission, but I would like to suggest that the Commissioners' read the many reports that I have submitted, since leaving the Solomons, as preparation for a TRC, to the Pacific Islands Report, the Solomon Times, the Solomon Islands Broacasting Corporation and to the Solomon Times on Line dealing with the onset and post inter-island ethnic conflict.
I, too, was unfairly victimised as the then Commissioner of Police in the Solomons by those who filed inaccurate, misleading, racist stories, especially by two well known Pacific journalists; by those in the government at the time who failed to heed early warnings; by regional governments who failed, also, to act on advice given and to help when requested, and by those who sought to protect themselves from being exposed in their criminal actions fostering inter-island hatred and violence. There were those, too, who simply could not accept the radical steps I was beginning to make in reforming the RSIP by enforcing higher standards of efficiency, accountability and professionalism, including some of my own senior officers at the time and their politician allies. All of this against a backdrop of utilizing my own salary to bring about the reforms due to a critical shortgage of funding from the government.
I would like to suggest, too, that the Commissioners' be given access to the professional, independent, Bungana Report which was written by two detectives of the New Zealand Police following my initial investigation of the shooting incident which occurred on the island. The report has never been made public but clearly dispels the false accusations that were levelled against myself at the time. The report also highlights the fact that I was strongly guided by the principles of human rights and all my orders and instructions to the police were in accordance with acceptable, international standards of policing.
I very much hope all those appearing before the Commission will have the truthfulness and the courage to relate their stories in the belief that reconciliation, based on the truth, will help in promoting lasting healing in a nation that has undergone too much conflict and social and economic disruption.
Testimony Before The Truth And Reconciliation Commission (TRC)
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