A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said the funding would assist the movement in ‘tourism, cultural heritage and conservation heritage development programmes in the region and on the island’.
“The Darcy Lilo regime’s apparent unfairness in choosing to fund only the Gaena’alu Movement despite the existence of many other cultural groups in the country and its apparent non adherence to the conventional lengthy government funding process in making the $1 million payment raises the question as to whether the funding was genuinely intended for the purpose trumpeted by the Prime Minister or some other sinister deals,” Opposition leader Dr Derek Sikua said.
“The Darcy Lilo regime’s sincerity about the intention of this funding is highly questionable especially in light of its proposed partnership with the Gaena’alu Movement and the sudden interest the Prime Minister developed for the group that prompted him to visit it for the second time last week.
“Amazingly the two visits by the Prime Minister were made only within a span of four weeks,” Dr Sikua said.
The Opposition leader said he hopes the assistance and the proposed partnership with the Gaena’alu Movement were not part of a ploy by the NCRA government to defraud the people of East Guadalcanal of their mineral resources for peanuts.
“I hope this cash payout and the proposed partnership are not connected to the MP for East Guadalcanal and Minister for Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology’s trip to Macau last year, the government’s granting of a minerals prospecting license to a Chinese company, China Jin Bang Limited, to carry out minerals prospecting on Guadalcanal and the Prime Minister’s proposed establishment of a Mining Development Authority.
“If they are all but part of a ploy to buy the approval of the resource owners of East Guadalcanal to allow some unscrupulous foreign investors to carry out mining in their land then the people of East Guadalcanal are bound to be defrauded of their mineral resources for peanuts by the Darcy Lilo-led NCRA Government and their crony foreign investors.
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