A woman landowner from Star Harbour in East Makira, Makira Ulawa Province has called on police and courts to respect owners of forests and land resources.
Eunice Ruku Kamurisigea also calls on forestry authorities and foreign logging companies to render the same respect for owners of forests and land resources in the same area of Makira.
Mrs Kamurisigea who made the call on March 23 in an interview in Kira Kira claimed the police and the courts favour more foreign logging companies operating in Star Harbour namely Elite Solomon Islands Enterprises Limited and Bestwood Resources Limited than; “us the landowners and resource owners”.
She claimed the foreign logging companies had carried out massive extracting of logs from “our Kakera Land, and have logged our tribal/customary lands at Pangu and Narawano, but have yet to pay us a cent.”
Mrs Kamurisigea had reported her concerns and the matter to the Police, Public Solicitor’s, Forestry Offices and the Provincial Government in Kira Kira.
Meanwhile, the Department of Commerce and Investment of the Makira Ulawa Provincial Government had confirmed the concerns of the landowners about Elite (SI) Enterprises Ltd and Bestwood Resources Ltd illegally trespassing and extracting round logs.
Senior Provincial Investment Officer, Selwyn Aharo has said in Kira Kira that all logging activities including all round logs illegally extracted from the land belonging to the concerned tribal landowners should be stopped from further shipment or export until proper consultation is made.
But the Provincial Police Commander, Peter Sitai said in Kira Kira that after a police initiative to mediate between the landowners and the logging camp managers, the impasse between them had been resolved.
He said the logging companies had paid royalty payments they have been holding because of the impasse.
Eunice Ruku Kumurisigea and two police officers left Kira Kira for Star Harbour on March 24 to witness the handover of about 130-thousand-dollars to the landowners by the logging companies.
By George Atkin
Kira Kira Correspondent