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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (PFnet News, May 6) – Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza has reassured residents of Choiseul and the Shortland Islands that the Solomon Islands government will honor their claims for compensation.

He said the revenue would come from planned exports of teak from Shortland Islands forests.

The claims stem from killings in the Shortland Islands by Papua New Guinea military forces at the peak of the Bougainville crisis.

The Papua New Guinea government granted compensation to the Solomons victims but the money, paid to the Solomons government, was never distributed to the claimants.

Solomons policy advisor George Lepping is currently visiting Choiseul and Shortlands to explain plans to pay the claims.

Kemakeza said money for the compensation would partly come from the export of teak wood harvested from forest plantations in the Shortland Islands.

Kemakeza’s decision to divert funds received from Papua New Guinea to compensate Choiseul and Shortlands people for what they'd been through during the Bougainville crisis on education, security and forestry sectors has been criticized over the past few days.

May 7, 2004

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