21 Oct 2003

Public holiday to honour slain Melanesian Brothers

5:15 pm on 21 October 2003

The Solomon Islands Government is declaring this Friday a public holiday to honour the seven members of the religious group, the Melanesian Brotherhood, murdered on the Weather Coast of Guadalcanal.

They are to be buried this Friday at the Brotherhood's Guadalcanal headquarters.

The Brothers had been taken hostage early this year by members of the Guadalcanal Liberation Front, which was headed by Harold Keke.

Earlier this month, the Regional Assistance Mission, or RAMSI, exhumed their bodies on the Weather Coast.

The Deputy police commissioner Ben McDevitt says they arrested all six of the people involved in the killings, after they had made full confessions.

Keke had claimed the Brothers were sent by the government to spy on him.

Both the Church of Melanesia and the government deny this.