Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu from South Africa will today arrive on a historic visit to the Solomon Islands.Archbishop Tutu's visit is historic and, to a certain extent, symbolic. Historic because this is probably the first time a prominent leader of the African continent has made the journey to the shores of the Solomon Islands.
It is also partly symbolic as Archbishop Tutu personifies peace and hope for many in the World. A man of immense moral authority, Archbishop Tutu has been one of the leading figures in the fight against apartheid in South Africa.
Archbishop Tutu will officially launch the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) tomorrow at the Lawson Tama Stadium. In attendance will be the Governor General, Speaker of Parliament, Prime Minister, Ministers of the Crown, Chief Justice, Lord Mayor and senior government dignitaries.
Also expected to attend are thousands of ordinary Solomon Islanders, making it one of the biggest peace building initiatives for the country since the unfortunate events of the ethnic tension.
Many are looking forward to the launching of the TRC, hoping that this would mark a turning point in the search for true and lasting peace in the Solomon Islands. Archbishop Tutu once said that true reconciliation is never cheap, for it is based on forgiveness, which is costly.
If Solomon Islanders are to learn something from this great man of peace, it is that we must be sincere with ourselves. We must be truly sincere in our search for lasting peace in this country we all call home.