30 Apr 2013

Solomons TRC report editor says too much govt focus on forgiveness

4:30 am on 30 April 2013

The final editor of the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission's report on the ethnic tensions says a government focus on forgiveness has been at the expense of a full recognition of victims' suffering.

The report is the product of extensive consultations with those on all sides of what happened between the late 1990s and 2003.

It was presented to the Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo well over a year ago and was widely expected to be made public within a few months.

But Dr Terry Brown, a former bishop of the Church of Melanesia, says he feared the report would fade into obscurity and so is releasing digital copies of it as well as having it posted on a website.

He says many people who were harmed have not felt properly recognised or compensated and the great suspicion is that it was too dangerous politically for Mr Lilo to release the report.

"In many cases people who were responsible for what happened have become prosperous or they've become political leaders or the tendency has been to promote forgiveness rather than real recognition of some of the terrible human rights abuses that happened."

Dr Terry Brown says the report's recommendations include incorporating learning about the tensions into school curricula.