9 Mar 2010

Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission opens today

8:19 am on 9 March 2010

The first public hearing by the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission is being held today.

The public hearing gives the victims and witnesses of crimes committed during the years of tensions in Solomon Islands the chance to give testimony on their experiences.

The tensions claimed 100 lives and displaced about 20,000 persons in Solomon Islands between 1998 and 2003.

Today and tomorrow, victims and witnesses from Guadalcanal, Malaita, Western Province and Choiseul are expected to appear at the hearing, being held in the offices of the Forum Fisheries Agency in Honiara.

The Commission's primary function is to promote national unity and reconciliation.

It's an independent body, comprised of three national and two international commissioners.

They are Solomon Islanders Sam Ata, who is the chair, George Kejoa and Carolyn Laore who are joined by Sofia Macher of Peru and former Fiji vice president, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi.