GUADALCANAL PROVINCE RECEIVES GOVERNMENT COMPENSATION

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (May 20, 1999 – Radio Australia)---The Guadalcanal Provincial Assembly reports it has accepted $500,000 compensation from the National Government as a goodwill gesture following negotiations on the province's demands.

Among other matters, provincial leaders have demanded payment for hosting the nation’s capital.

Guadalcanal Premier Ezekiel Alebua said the gesture should be accepted and respected.

Mr. Alebua also called on the people of Guadalcanal to meet members of the Peace Committee who are touring the Island.

He stressed a peaceful atmosphere is necessary for further constructive and realistic negotiations.

Recent ethnic tension between the people of Malaita and Guadalcanal provinces has resulted in a number of deaths, the destruction of villages and the closure of several schools on Guadalcanal.

RECONCILIATION CEREMONY IN SOLOMON ISLANDS

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (May 20, 1999 – Radio Australia)---A reconciliation ceremony has been held in the Solomon Islands between two groups of people recently involved in torching each other's houses on North Guadalcanal.

The ceremony was held at Kaotave School, which is near their burned villages.

The ceremony was initiated by the paramount chief of the area, former National Parliamentarian David Thuguvoda.

The incident, over a land boundary dispute, involved a Malaita family that had settled on North Guadalcanal.

The ceremony was held ahead of a major reconciliation ceremony organized for Sunday by national and provincial leaders of Malaita and Guadalcanal. The ceremony is intended to help resolve recent ethnic tension between the two peoples living in Guadalcanal Province.

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