3 May 2010

Delay in funding threatens Solomons Reconciliation Commission progress

3:40 pm on 3 May 2010

A former Solomon Islands Police Commissioner says delays in funding for the country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission may be forcing many people to have to wait to testify.

The Commission into the ethnic tensions was due to hold its first provincial hearing at the end of April, but its deputy executive secretary says it's had to postpone it until the end of May.

David Tuhanuku says the Commission's not receiving funding quickly enough from the government and the United Nations Development Programme, which is administering funds from other donors.

Frank Short, who was police commissioner from 1997 to 1999, says he's concerned the Commission appears unlikely to complete its work by its end of year deadline.

"So many people in the Solomons are waiting to testify about the horrible experiences that they endured during the ethnic tensions period, and the gross violation of human rights has to be exposed."

Frank Short says there needs to be true reconcilation before the Solomon Islands can move towards a new constitution and a federal system of government.