Solomons Opposition MP Blames Report Release On Lilo

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Wale: Law states that PM must present report without delay

By Daniel Namosuaia

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, May 2, 2013) – Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has been the person acting unlawfully on the Truth and Reconciliation Report (TRC), according to the Opposition’s Mathew Wale.

In his response to the Prime Minister’s statement yesterday, which accused editor of the report Bishop Terry Brown, Wale said Lilo acted unlawfully by delaying the report.

The Prime Minister yesterday described Bishop Terry Brown’s action as irresponsible and unlawful.

Bishop Brown from Canada who served on Malaita in the past years was the editor of the report.

He leaked the report on Sunday to media outlets and other social network members via email.

But Mr. Wale said the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Act stated very clearly that upon receiving the TRC report, the PM must present the report to parliament without any delay.

"The Act does not give the PM anytime to withhold the report for any longer but to present it to the Clerk of Parliament without further delay. What the PM did was already unlawful because the Act does not give the PM any power to delay or summarize the report."

The report was handed over to the Prime Minister by Chairman of the TRC Fr. Sam Ata, in February last year.

The Prime Minister has been repeatedly urged by the public to release the report without any delay, but he refused on grounds the report was too large and sensitive.

"But what he failed to understand was that parliament knew this at the first place that was why it passed the TRC Act," Mr. Wale said.

He said the responsibility of the government was only to act upon the recommendations and not to withhold, delay or summarize it.

He stressed the consequences that the PM has been talking about in the report, is something that everyone including individuals, families, churches, communities, NGOs, government the public and everyone will have to deal with.

The Aoke Langalanga MP said the TRC report is a milestone for the people of this country and that the public has the right to it, to know the truth about the tension and build from there to move this country forward.

"When he was questioned in parliament about the report, the PM said everyone have to wait another six months. What will he do with the report then? The Act does not give him any discretion to make any amendment to the report."

Meanwhile, he told Mr. Lilo to humble himself and stop accusing Bishop Terry Brown for acting illegally "because he acted illegally at the first place."

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