Dear Editor – I am a bit out of date, due to my outing of Honiara for a while but interesting issues had occurred and so I refer to the Star No 6339 of Friday 22, 2016 view point column on the above subject by TSI of corrupt practices which seem to permeate the entire society but especially the police and the Forestry Department which are supposed to be promoters of justice.
However, on the outset I must commend the Royal Solomon Islands Police Officers working under Guadalcanal Province for recently charging the Honiara City Major, Alfrence Fatai on attempted bribery, not long after the same RSIPF reported their superior to the authorities just before the Lord mayor’s case which resulted in his suspension for allegedly attempting to share with them the money received from an Asian businessman.
Whilst the DCCG is merely talking about elimination and control of corruption, but doing nothing about it as yet, Guadalcanal Police are already confronting head on, this evil in our society and other Provincial Police should emulate, but the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force serving under Malaita Province seem to be doing the opposite.
For example on December 29, 2015 before 12 mid-day the High Court of Solomon Islands being satisfied with the evidence before the court by claimants/applicants issued an EX Parte Court Order which ordered that logging operations in Suramane/Horanamae customary owned lands in Are’are hinterland by the first defendants/respondent, Taiare Resources Management Company and Rite Trade Pacific Limited are restrained from entering and/or carrying out any developments including logging on the claimants/applicants’ customary lands.
Moreover, the first and second defendants/respondents are restrained from removing and /or selling the round logs marked “AH” they felled and extracted from the disputed lands but even to this day these logging operators continue to defy this High Court Order.
This High Court Order was passed on to the Acting Commissioner of Crime in Rove Police Headquarters and Commissioner of Forests but there was no response whatsoever.
On December 29, 2015 Auki police were informed straightaway through fax by ANH Lawyers of the Order and a copy was hand delivered to the CEO of Rite Trade Pacific Ltd, Ranadi office, the same day.
I also received the same order by phone at Waisisi, in West Are;are and personally reported the Order to police officers and a company employee, Pascal Oritaimae who were at Waisisi Rite Trade Pacific Ltd logging camp.
The CEO of Rite Trade Pacific Ltd in Honiara refused the receipt of the Order when it was hand delivered to him.
His action resonated through RSIPF at Auki and rippled down as far as the Waisisi log pond and the MV Guo Shun left the harbor with the disputed logs in defiance of the High Court Order and so too the police officers at the logging camp.
I later received a letter attached to the same High Court from Auki police signed by the deputy commanding officer that the police would be neutral in as far as execution of this High Court Order is concerned.
In the week beginning January 10,2016 MV Guo Shun arrived back at Waisisi again to take the remaining logs and so too the appearance of the Royal Solomon Islands Police from Auki again to make sure that what they may have been remunerated for by the company was fulfilled.
I gave a copy of the same High Order yet gain at Kopo village Waisisi to the police but they did not take any action.
Their appearance during this particular week coincided with an arranged hearing by the company employee for Namo Araha Council of Chief to determine the disputes over the land matters and such appearance of the RSIPF was actually a mere smoke screen in the name of regular police patrol for law and order purposes.
Monday July 4, 2016, six months after the above experience with the police, I left Honiara and went through Auki to West Are’Are especially to Waisisi due to the continuous disharmony caused by the logging activities through Suramane/Horanamae tribal lands but especially so that the disputing parties, Suramane and Anaato Tribal Groups may refrain from taking each other to court but instead to resort to restorative justice as the way forward.
I spent two weeks, 4th-21st July 2016 in West Are’Are, especially in between Wairaha and Waisisi areas but there is no police patrol because their remunerators, the logging operators did not deploy them.
But, West Are’Are today is riddled with another big problem, that of increase in marijuana sales and usage.
The sale of marijuana is prevalent in the logging camps from Wairaha to Wairokai,and may be beyond in other logging camps because of the influx of foreigners and the cash made available by logging operations.
The source of marijuana supply in West Are’Are is from north Malaita through Auki.
These marijuana traffickers come as timber buyers and may be known to the police but the experience I had with Malaita police made me hesitant to report such cases.
I have substantial evidences and know these people and who send them.
It does not amaze me that such illegal activities such increase in marijuana could be bypassed by the police because if they could condemn a High Court Order then reporting a case such as this to them is of no use.
Already Malaita Provincial Developments aspirations is marred by a lot of issues and for the Malaita RSIPF to masquerade as angel of light yet actually manifesting the opposite, would indeed undermine efforts already put forth so far and will nothelp to attract genuine investors except legal crooks such as logging operators who prey on illiterate land owners, dividing them and ruling them all for their own gains.
Guadalcanal Royal Solomon Islands Police Force is leading the fight against corruption and their actions speak louder than words and we must all emulate them.
Will Malaita Royal Solomon Islands Police Force follow that example?
Only then can we stop the corruption avalanche that is covering our beloved nation