Dear Editor

An article published in last Saturday's edition of the Solomon Star newspaper said the work of the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission is being delayed by a lack of funds.

According to David Tuhanuku, the Commission's deputy executive secretary, funding for the Commission is being delivered too slowly by the government, and the United Nations Development Programme, which is administrating funds from the European Union, AusAid and NZAID

The Commission has held just one public hearing in March this year since it was formally launched by His Grace, Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 2009. Seven more public hearings are scheduled to be held in 2010 but the Commission has been set a limited time frame to complete its work and the lack of funds is not only impeding progress, but adding to the perception that justice delayed is justice being denied.

As evidenced by the sufferings of many of those who have managed to testify, reconciliation and national healing are factors of paramount importance if the Solomons is to move forward by the adoption of a federal system of government in the future, but also to ease the pain of the many victims who are still waiting to have the opportunity to recount their injustices and terrible experiences.

I would hope that the various donor countries and agencies who have so generously supported and encouraged the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, including the Solomon Islands Government, the Australian and New Zealand Governments, the European Union, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the International Centre for Transitional Justice, will take urgent steps, independently or collectively, to urge the Office of the United Nations Development Programme to release the necessary funds as a matter of priority."

Yours sincerely

Frank Short