ferry disaster

Kiribati MPs yet to see report on ferry tragedy

The president was responding to a question by Sir Ieremia Tabai, the MP of Nonouti, from where the vessel had departed.

More than 80 people died when the ferry sank at the end of January this year.

Sir Ieremia said MPs had previously been told the report should be ready before the current sitting of parliament.

President Taneti said the delay was due to the sudden illness of the commission's chairman, and he now expected the report before the next parliament meeting in December.

Kiribati government hits out at 'irresponsible' foreign journalists

The Butiraoi sunk near the island of Nonouti last month, and is estimated to have killed anywhere between 80 and 100 people. Only seven people survived.

Two organisations, the ABC and New Zealand's Newshub, attempted to send journalists to cover the aftermath and the investigations, but they were prevented from doing so.

The Kiribati government says the journalists were not banned, but had permit issues.

The government said the ABC had applied for a special permit, but this was on hold because the government was reviewing and finalising its permit guidelines.

Kiribati announces Commission of Inquiry into ferry tragedy

The nation is in three days of mourning for those thought to have perished at sea after the ferry left on a journey from the island of Nonouti to the capital Tarawa three weeks ago.

President Taneti Maamau declared a public holiday "as a solemn day of remembrance and to honour those who have lost their lives in this tragedy."

The official mourning period started yesterday.

The Kiribati government said the inquiry would carry out "fact-finding missions" and "comprehensive investigations".

Kiribati in shock as search for missing ferry continues

The MV Butiraoi has been missing for 11 days, after initially departing from Nonouti Island to the capital Tarawa - a journey that normally takes two days.

Eight survivors were located drifting on a dinghy on Sunday.

An international search is continuing to scour more than 300,000 square kilometres of ocean for more survivors.

On Monday Kiribati’s President Taneti Maamau said the boat was unseaworthy and shouldn't have been operating.

Radio Kiribati Editor Rikamati Naare said the incident represented one of the worst disasters to occur in the country.