[Source: SIBC News, 28 October 2010] - Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Father Sam Ata has declared the start of the two days regional public hearing for the eastern region of the country.
The region includes Makira and Temotu Provinces.
In his opening remarks, Father Sam Ata acknowledged the participation of these victims in the nation’s Truth seeking and healing process.
He said that while it is difficult to testify to audience around the country and to the world, the process is an important moment which gives an opportunity to victims to speak about their suffering for the first time.
The Chairman said that stories told in the hearing are not for public debate or comparison and confirmed that there is no conclusion that the Commission would take to determine a verdict on the cases presented.
But Father Ata said that it gives the perpetrators an opportunity to recognize and recover their own humanity.
He said the state will also have the opportunity to explore their role during the years of the ethnic tension.
Father Ata reminds the nation not to forget the past.