TRUTH COMMISSION CHAIR WANTS TO UNCOVER ‘ROOT CAUSES’

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Father Ata says lack of justice for past wrongs one cause

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Times, April 30, 2009) – Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Dean of the Saint Barnabas Cathedral in Honiara, Father Sam Ata, has said he joins other Solomon Islanders who have been calling on government to investigate the root causes of the ethnic tension.

Father Ata says this will enable people to develop a shared understanding of the failures of the past and call for a fair minded pursuit of what actually happened to find the best way to move forward.

He said the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission is a good example of the search to cleverly approach the issues of balancing the need for immoral responsibilities and the truth and reconciliation process.

Father Ata said without justice and respect for human rights, peace, stability and development are difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.

He said the lack of justice remains one of the root causes of conflict and instability in the world today.

The TRC chairman said he is aware of the difficulties societies in transition are faced with, "particularly in the importance of balancing the need to seek justice with the need for peace."

He however said without truth and justice, there can be no peace in reconciliation.

Father Ata said with God's help, members of the TRC will discharge their duties to the best of their abilities.

He thanked the government for setting up the commission, and for Archbishop Tutu to have graced the launch of the commission with his presence.

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