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Cool heads prevent retaliation in Ranonggah

By Moffat Mamu

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, April 12, 2010) - THE people of Ranonggah on Friday reconciled with the immediate family members of late Rachel Kio from Reef Islands who was alleged stabbed by her partner in Gizo early last month.

The incident which took place on March 3rd this year shocked the Gizo community and the Ranonggah people.

Ms Kio was at that time working with UNICEF as an engineer on tsunami rehabilitation projects.

The partner who is from Ranonggah and known as Roybee Danny is still in police custody.

Member of Parliament for Simbo/Ranonggah Francis Billy Hilly hosted the ceremony at his residence at Lengakiki.

The ceremony saw representatives from Ranonggah in Honiara, including church leaders and chiefs witnessing the ceremony.

From the Reef islands, both the parents of Ms Kio, her sister, brother, uncle and other leaders turned up for the ceremony.

The parents were flown in from Temotu to witness the ceremony.

Speaking at the occasion Chief Dwen Tigulu representing the Ranonggah Community said the incident had brought sadness and anger to the people of Ranonggah.

He said its the first time for such thing to have happened where a man from Ranonggah is involved in such action.

"We are peaceful and simple people whom you don't normally hear being involved in such act. Therefore we are really sad, shocked and angry for what one of our young man had done," he said.

He expressed sorrow for the action and begged for forgiveness from Ms Kio's family.

Fr. Francis Tolei representing late Ms Kio said the incident was shocking for them when the news arrived.

He recalled that when the news reached them, the next thing most of the relative looked was their traditional arms which included bow and arrow.

However he said hard work to reach such reconciliation ceremony, had solved everything.

He said over the past weeks, they have ensured that no retaliation had taken place as they worked with the Ranonggah leaders to sort out the issue.

"And its good that we finally have this important ceremony," he said.

Uncle of late Ms Kio Dick Tavake said since the incident there were lots of pressure being given to the MP Hilly and the Ranonggah leaders in Honiara.

He also asked for forgiveness for giving too much pressure.

Mr Tavake said the hosting of the ceremony means they now lay down their bows and arrows.

George Kio, the father of the deceased said, it was a sad moment to loose a daughter but as a Christian man of God, he has no grudges about the people of Ranonggah and is still happy.

MP Billy Hilly said the ceremony is very important to iron out the differences which may have existed between the two group since the incident.

He said there are alot of Ranonggah and Reef people moving around the country due to marriage and work.

"Therefore we need to solve this issue to once again enjoy the relationships which we have," he said.

He also mentioned that it was sad thing to know that Mr Kio had helped to develop the western province during his younger days when he used to work in New Georgia only to have his daughter killed in the western province.

On behalf of the Ranonggah people, Hilly and Chief Tigulu presented money and food which included pigs, rice, noodle, biscuit, taiyo sugar, potatoes, betel nut, and coconut to the family.

Minister Hilly said the money is not a compensation to the loss of life but as a token of supporting the parents who have lost a daughter who was also their source of income.

The uncle Mr Tavake in response said they accepted the presentation of the items.

There were handshakes and hugs being exchanged before the closing prayer which successfully completed the one hour program.

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