Landowners call for respect from miner - Solomon Star News

Landowners call for respect from miner

19 July 2019
Janet Voda

BUNGUSULE Customary Landowner Trustees on San Jorge in Isabel Province have reinforced their position as the rightful owners of Tenement G7 and urged Bintan Mining Company and its associates to respect the court decisions upholding their ownership over the land.

A spokesperson for the trustees Janet Voda said there was a lot of misinformation in the papers on Wednesday by Bintan’s paid representatives regarding the ownership of Tenement G7.

Voda said the Bungusule Customary Landowner Trustees are the rightful owners of Tenement G7 on San Jorge and its ownership status is recognised by both the Chiefs’ Court in 2003 and the recent CLAC Timber Rights Hearing.

She explained that Maena after the determination of the Chiefs Court which was not in his favour, decided to further take the matter to the Timber Rights for determination instead of going to the Local Court as advised by the Bugotu House of Chiefs.

“The case did not end up at the Timber Rights hearing at our making or wish but that of Maena,” Voda said.

“We only went to the Timber Rights hearing to defend our land rights over Tenement G7 and the court after hearing the case ruled in our-Bungusule Customary Landowner Trustees- favour,” she added.

 “In due respect to  these court decisions, on behalf of the Bungusule Customary Landowner Trustees, I call on Bintan and its associates, including Maena to stop trespassing into Tenement G7 and also stop issuing misleading information,” she said.

 “I and my tribesmen have met with the Director of Mines Nicholas Biliki on Tuesday this week and he knows very well our landowning rights because he has the court judgement with him. 

“With that, I demand the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification (MMERE) to also respect our landowning rights and stop giving our land to Bintan.”

 “I am now putting the Police Commissioner on notice to ensure our rightful ownership over Tenement G7 is respected and that any issues of disrespect and trespass will be addressed accordingly by the police,” she further added.