A LOCAL resident and landowner at the gold ridge area expressed disappointment over the manner RSIPF responded to the incidents at the Gold Ridge area.
John Kuvi said police reacted promptly whilst bigger crimes such as the burning of houses at White River in Honiara during the last month have drawn little attention.
“It surprises me to see local newspapers flagged headlines about arrests at Gold Ridge, whilst bigger crimes committed by others seemed nothing to the police and media,” Mr Kuvi said.
He said the situation at Gold Ridge is normal, and is the same as any other communities, where youths consumed alcohol resulting in social disorders.
“It is no worse than the youths who sit daily along the streets of Honiara and harassed and terrorized innocent people walking on the streets.
“The situation here is no worse than the youths who engaged in lighting up houses, leaving innocent children and women to suffer during the past months in Honiara communities.
“Correct me but I still haven’t read about any arrests being made by Police. A strong message and penalty must be imposed on criminals and this has to be done fairly without any favor.
“I am surprised police opted to use its limited resources in the name of curbing crime in the Gold Ridge area.”
He said the media versions of the incidents at Gold Ridge were extreme and in some instances exaggerated.
“The worse thing about the media campaign is that it will only scare away potential investors who may be interested in taking over the operation.
“We are the ones who will be affected by someone’s propaganda for their own agenda,” he said.
The landowner said headlines such as “lawlessness and more arrests” portrayed that gold ridge has been home of thugs and criminals but this is not true, Kuvi argued.
“We are peace loving people. We have been caring and showed respect to company properties and assets all alone since GRML suspended its operations last April,” he added.
Meanwhile Kuvi invited the media to visit the Gold Ridge communities to provide a fair and balance reporting, rather than depending on one-sided reporting which only benefits certain people’s hidden agenda.
Police recently announced that it will beef up security and has implemented strategic policing at the mining lease area.
Nela Moses, Assistant Deputy Police Commissioner announced in a meeting with Landowners last Friday that limited arms will be used by police at the mine-site.
Gold ridge leaders expressed concerns and told the police boss that events of the tensions are still fresh in the minds of their people.
They said the visibility of weapons will bring back bad memories of how police allegedly used guns to terrorize and killed their people during the tensions.
Mr. Nela Moses however assured the leaders that the weapons will not be carried in the public, but stored safely and can only be used as and when the need arises.
In another development, Mr Kuvi questioned the government about its investigations into the Gold Ridge landowners’ royalties’ misappropriations.
“We have been told that the case has been referred to the Police for investigations but since that news, we heard nothing about its progress and do not know whether charges have been laid.
He called on the PM’s office and police to inform the people of Gold Ridge about the progress of this investigation.
“Our money has been stolen by some of your responsible and respected officers, therefore justice must be done.
“We want them charged and allow the justice to take its course.”