AN outspoken man from Russell Islands has called on the government to take the lead in any reconciliation program amongst tribes in Russell islands.
Simon Geataven said this after a group of foreign investor – Land Economic Management & Conservation (LEMCO) with locals have visited the islands and organized a reconciliation ceremony with tribes Keruval, Sevev and Kaiselen at Marulaon in West Russell last weekend.
He said such reconciliation was supposed to be organized by the government not investors or stakeholders.
He urged the government to go down to the people and organize consultations to settle all differences among landowners, stakeholders, workers, Central provincial government and indigenous people in Russell islands.
“If you go down to Russell islands you will see that their no unity amongst landowners, indigenous people and former workers.
“So the government must take the lead on any development in reviving RIPEL operations .”
He added that before any development can take place, government needs to consider priorities such peace building amongst people living in Russell islands.
“Bring in peace first before any development can take place” Mr Geatavem said.
Meanwhile he suggested that the government needs to form a research team consisting of government responsible authorities, provincial government, representative from stakeholders, literate indigenous of Russell islands and chiefs to create solution and way forward to revive the operation of RIPEL.
By SOLOMON LOFANA