4 Sep 2008

Solomon Islands moves closer to establishing truth and reconciliation commission

3:33 pm on 4 September 2008

Three commissioners should be appointed in the next few days to head the Solomon Islands' Truth and Reconciliation Commission or TRC.

The Minister for Peace and Reconciliation Sam Iduri introduced the TRC Bill last week in a bid to address people's traumatic experiences during the five year ethnic conflict on Guadalcanal.

Minister Iduri said the TRC Bill came out of a government taskforce which studied TRCs around the world.

Solomon Islands have borrowed the South African model following its repressive years of apartheid.

But concerns remain about the question of amnesty and whether Solomon Islands is ready for TRC.

Our correspondent in Honiara Dorothy Wickham says borrowing an overseas model may carry its own risks.

"It might work for South Africa, it might not work for here. We are totally two different parts of the world with different issues. While we all say it's all ethnically based these issues but culturally, traditionally, we have different ways of solving these issues. It's not going to be an easy task to try and achieve and it could have an opposite effect to what they want."

Dorothy Wickham