10 Dec 2013

Solomons Govt led Weather Coast reconciliation welcomed

11:23 am on 10 December 2013

The Solomon Islands government is to hold a reconciliation ceremony with villagers on Guadalcanal's Weather Coast today.

The government sponsored ceremony at the village of Peochokuri is to try and make amends for an attack on the area by the police patrol boat more than a decade ago during the ethnic tensions.

The vessel was being used by the so called Joint Operation, involving Solomon Islands para- military police and the militant group the Malaita Eagle Force, which was hunting for the Guadalcanal rebel leader, Harold Keke.

Our correspondent, Dorothy Wickham, says it is not known if people died during the attack but there was widespread damage caused.

She says it is a good thing the prime minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo, will be there today.

"There have been other reconciliations between communities - church groups, womens groups, youth. There have been attempts by individual Solomon Islanders and also there is genuineness on the ground to get this solved. It is the political level that now needs to show its hand and I think it is a good thing that the Prime Minister is going."

Dorothy Wickham reporting from Solomon Islands.