$3 million payment questioned

FORMER Guadalcanal militants from the Weathercoast in South Guadalcanal are questioning the real intention of the government paying $3 million to ex-militants from Malaita.

A spokesman, who wants his name withheld, told the Sunday Star that his group of ex-combatants also demand a similar payment to be made to them.

He said whilst it is appropriate for such payment be paid under rehabilitation as stated, it is important also to note that it is the entire country and not just a few  people that were victimized.

“Everyone else including us has gone back and re-adjusted to our normal lives accepting the fact that what had happened must be forgotten through true forgiveness,” he said.

“Or what else do we need more as though truth, reconciliation and forgiveness is not enough?” he questioned.

He said what has been paid out could ignite many misinterpretations and sets bad precedence since it fuels similar expectations from not only former militants but other civil society groups who may feel obliged to lodge similar claims.

He claimed his group of ex-combatants from Guadalcanal Weathercast was falsely informed to travel to Honiara to provide their names for similar payment.

He said upon arrival, they were told only ex-combatant who provide certificates issued by the Peace Monitoring Council would be considered for similar rehabilitation package.

He warned this so called rehabilitation package is more like reviving old wounds as it poses the danger and risk of regrouping of illegal disbanded groups seeking recourse for similar payments.

Source: Sunday Star

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