Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has sincerely accepted an apology from a former hardline Malaita leader for his past actions against the Prime Minister and the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA).
Moses Su’ u who is now a community leader at Gilbert Camp settlement, East of Honiara requested a reconciliation ceremony with Prime Minister Sogavare and his Deputy Manasseh Maelanga this morning (August 16).
Speaking at the ceremony, Su’u who is an influential leader amongst the Kwara’ae ethnic group in Honiara said he has realized that peaceful coexistence between leaders and ordinary citizens is a prerequisite for moving the country forward.
“Today Mr Prime Minister, I come with a new heart and mind to say I am very sorry for what I did in the past against you and leaders of the Government. Please accept my apology,” Su’u said at the brief but moving ceremony.
Su’u said he has now realized that dialogue is now more important than initiating violence to pursue people’s interest.
“I have realized that some people are using people like us to push their own agendas against the Government, which I believe will not benefit the majority of people. They will be held accountable for their actions soon,” Su’u said.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare openly welcomed Su’u for his initiative saying he was heartened by the gesture of sorrow and healing from such an influential leader like Su’u.
“My brother, thank you very much for coming forward today with a new heart. Let us not dwell on the past. We need to move forward together for the good of our country. Let God be our leader and guide in our endeavors to build our nation.” Sogavare said.
Sogavare made reference to the country’s national motto “To Lead is To Serve” as an important reminder to leaders across the country.
“Leadership is not an easy thing. We leaders will always go through difficult situations but let us always bear in mind that our national motto should be our constant reminder to serve our people,” Sogavare said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga said he was happy with the reconciliation initiative by Su’u and his group.
“I want to congratulate you as a Malaitan leader for coming out to propose a way forward for cooperation and peaceful dialogue as we work to move a country forward together,” Maelanga said.
Su’u presented two strings of Tafuli’a (Shell Money) each to Prime Minister Sogavare and Mr Maelanga to signify his remorse and to ask for forgiveness from the two leaders.
Last week Su’u distanced himself from a so-called planned peaceful protest by a faction of Honiara-based Malaitans to present a petition to the Prime Minister.
He was instrumental in convincing his ethnic supporters not to take part in the protest and to allow leaders to sort out the matter in proper ways.
Su’u assured the Prime Minister and his Deputy that his group would support the Government, especially; the Police to ensure law and order is maintained in Honiara city.