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Recording the truth

DEAR EDITOR, the Honourable Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, spoke last week at a high-level symposium on the legacy of RAMSI.

The PM said it was important that future generations are fed the right information about what actually happened during the period of the country’s ethnic tensions, because as he said, “This is going to be referred to by people who are yet born.”

Prime Minister Sogavare said the existence of academic and written records reflected a personal insult to his integrity as a leader.

I understand the Prime Minister’s remarks to have referred particularly to the events leading up to the 2000 coup but I am unable to comment specifically as I left the Solomon Islands in July 1999.

In respect of the PM’s reference to personal insult to one’s integrity and reputation as a leader I can understand his depth of his feelings for I also suffered injustices as the Commissioner of Police; injustices never corrected or apologies made.

In early 1999, I was told by a very senior figure of the National Parliament to ‘pack my bags’ as I was only in the country for the money.

I was also publically defamed and subject to racial slurs by two foreign based journalists contrary to all norms of journalistic and professional standards.

To set the record straight, I wrote a true account of what happened during my time in office and titled by book, ‘Policing a Clash of Cultures.’

Serialized chapters from that book were published by the Solomon Star newspaper and the Solomon Times on line publication.

I have recently re-produced extracts from my earlier book in my autobiography, ‘Cometh the Hour.’

It is 18 years this month since I left the Solomon Islands and during all that time I have truly done my best to voluntary support and aid the Solomon Islands, helping the MOHMS, the NRH, in particular, and creating and funding a personal website to further aid the Solomon Islands, its people, its arts and crafts, its tourism potential, diversity, culture and, above all, the need for peace and lasting reconciliation following the tragic years of the ethnic crisis.

It is not too late to set the record straight and, in support of the words of the Prime Minister, let the truth be known and the lasting hurt of injustices be ended.

Yours sincerely