18 Mar 2013

Head of Solomons truth and reconciliation body wants reasons for report delay

6:44 am on 18 March 2013

The head of the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission has added his voice to mounting calls for the report on the ethnic tensions to be debated and its recommendations implemented.

Ethnic unrest on Guadalcanal between 1998 and 2003 resulted in the deaths of about 100 people and the displacement of up to 20,000.

Many others, including women and children, were targets of brutality and sexual violence.

Father Sam Ata says the Commission was asked to complete its report on the conflict by February last year in order for it be tabled in parliament in March.

He says the tabling was then deferred till October but it has still not been discussed.

"I did make an appointment with the Prime Minister to have an audience with him to find out from him, from the mind of the government, why the report was delayed for more than a year. And I have not had any response from the office of the Prime Minister."

Father Sam Ata says he has been threatened and intimidated by former combatants on either side of the conflict as well as by members of government.