The Prime Minister has not breached the Truth and Reconciliation Act, says the Attorney General Billy Titiulu.
Mr Titiulu made the statement yesterday, in answer to questions from the Opposition on if the Prime Minister’s continuous refusal to table the Truth and Reconciliation Report in Parliament is in breach of the Act.
He told Parliament, the Prime Minister has an obligation to table the report when he receives the Act, but the Act does not state a time frame.
“In my reading, if for some reason it is unduly being held back without any good reason, then it would be, I’d say a breach of Section 17 (1) of the Act. But like I said I think it’s a matter for the Prime Minister. I think he has explained the reasons why he has taken necessary steps to have it laid before Parliament, but it appears to him to need a bit more time to have the report laid before Parliament. But that is the requirement; that on receiving the report the Prime Minister shall cause it to be laid before Parliament. It falls short of saying ‘immediately’ to have it laid before Parliament.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo says some recommendations in the Truth and Reconciliation Report will allow people to ransack the country and this is why he is still ‘taking steps’ to have it tabled in Parliament.
Prime Minister Lilo made the statement yesterday, to explain why he has delayed tabling the report in Parliament.
He also told Parliament, the Act allows him to ‘take the steps’ to table the report.
“Sir the way that the law has stated is clear that the Prime Minister on receiving the report of the Commission shall cause the report to be laid before Parliament. The word “cause” I take it that the Prime Minister must take the steps to bring this report to Parliament. As you know Parliament is not yet over, we still have a few more days to go so, I think less than two weeks before it dissolves. That’s what it says in Section 17 (1)
Prime Minister Lilo also explained, there are some recommendations in the report that will allow people to ransack the country.
“The implications of the implementation for instance two of them said that we have to go back to see the 1927 massacre. We have to go back and look at the Bougainville crisis and how it affected the Western and Choiseul Provinces. Seeing these three recommendations makes me afraid. Our budget is very small, our people have the tendency to find anything like this to create all sorts of reasons to ransack the country.”
SIBC News understands, Prime Minister Lilo had officially received the Truth and Reconciliation Report in February 2012.