28 Jul 2009

TI Solomon Islands says proposed Bill may damage healing process

5:35 am on 28 July 2009

Transparency Solomon Islands says the proposed Forgiveness Bill may damage the country's healing process.

The bill will provide amnesty for those giving evidence to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission later this year, about the civil war between 1998 and 2003 which left 100 people dead and 20-thousand displaced.

Transparency's chair, Bob Pollard says that's the wrong approach.

"The government has to realise that they are not a dispenser of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a personal matter which can only be given by the person who is a victim to the offender. And it is best done in a situation when the offender is saying, yes this is what I have done, and I am sorry about it."

Bob Pollard says the Forgiveness Bill is unnecessary because the Truth and Reconciliation Commission already provides a form of amnesty.