Thursday, August 20, 2009

Commission of Inquiry into Land Transactions on Guadalcanal to start soon

Dear Readers,

I think you will agree with me in support of the CNURA government's move to appoint the Commission of Inquiry into Land Transactions on Guadalcanal. Reading from the Commission is expected to start soon, its Members having been appointed by the Prime Minister, Dr. Derek Sikua.
On the composition of the Commission, I think the decision by the Prime Minister to appoint members from various Melanesian countries is wise as they may have experiences relevant to our case. For instance, Fiji has a very comprehensive land tenure system in place administered by the Native Land Trust Board (NLTB), thus the inclusion of Pastor Manua Rabuka is encouraging. Other members include Stephen Tahi from Vanuatu and Mr Brenton from Papua New Guinea who is the current chair of the Commission and former Chair of the Commission of Inquiry into the April rioting in Honiara in 2006.

Land issues in Solomon Islands, especially in Guadalcanal are complex, especially when dealing with alienated lands and customary land issues within or around the Honiara town boundary. I recalled in mid 2008 when the then Leader of Independent Group, Hon. Peter Shanel, moved a private members motion in parliament to look into the same issue. However his motion was defeated, as the government voted against it on the grounds that that issue if land is a sensitive issue. Now that the Commission is established we do hope and pray that outstanding issues related to land and settlements will be resolved.

The Commission of Inquiry is part of national reconciliation policy to resolve problems which are perceived as causes to the ethnic crisis. It is part of the current peace rebuilding process which includes the establishment of the Truth And Reconciliation Commission.

No comments:

Post a Comment