APID seeks to remove 11 firms
ASIA Pacific Investment Development (APID) mining company is now spreading its tentacles in Rennell under mining and is seeking legal order to remove 11 logging and timber companies from lands it is claiming on Rennell.
In what looks like the twist of Solomon Islands Forestry Act, Minerals & Mining Act and Lands & Titles Act, APID’s controversial land acquisition is the founding base for the legal action to remove both international and local logging firms.
APID is filing a civil case (case number 371) against the following defendants: Samlimsan (SI) Ltd, Springhill Ltd, Green Hill Enterprise Ltd, Pacific Crest Enterprise Ltd, Tropical Frontier Development Co. Ltd, Amos Company, Mugihenua Investment Co Ltd, Isles Tropical Timbers Ltd, Mugaba Atol Resources Company, Mugaba Timber Company and Macranka Timber Enterprise Ltd.
Earlier, APID assured landowning firms (locals) that they will not be removed but the civil case number 371 is showing attempts to bulldoze all logging firms that currently hold licenses and rights to operate on the land concern (parcel number 298-005-1), based on APID’s land acquisition which is being questioned.
Samlimsan confirmed it is a total mockery of the Solomon Islands laws.
“Our company just received a claim for a total removal of our company presence in our License Concession Area in West Rennell.
“There has been a lot of skeptical thoughts and unlawful process that seemingly right but underlay gross negligence to the laws of this country.
“The landowners must be aware of APID tress fold approach and what might be said in any of our daily newspaper by Ray Chin cannot be taken as whole truth, because the customary land remains in the ownership of the rightful people of West Rennell,” a spokesperson said.
He said now in the latest twist of Law, on HCSI-CC No. 371/2015, all companies including landowner companies and Landowners themselves has been given this claim under Category C (r2.2) seeking an order to declare all company presence in the areas of APID Tenement seeking permanent injunction to any operations, development and other landowners activities.
“Any development activity to be done by landowners must get an approval from APID.
“What a sad state of affair to see that our people from West Rennell losing their total rights over their land.”
The Samlimsan spokesperson said they are a logging company and cannot be diverted to any other activity apart from logging.
“Any logging operation in any concession area within Solomon Islands must follow the rule of law, the Forestry Act must be fully satisfied, Company Haus Registration must be adhered to and Provincial Government processes must be fulfilled, landowners’ aspiration, Consent and approval must be granted in order to allow smooth operation by any logging company.
“Our company has overwhelmingly fulfilled these processes and it takes most of our time and huge financial spending to achieve this development; and we know it is worthwhile spending for development.
“Our company’s presence for more than 10 years in RENBEL province speaks of itself, our presence means, infrastructure development, SIG tax on logging exports, NPF contributions and PAYE and human resource development.
“We are a legal operating company in West Rennell and thus to be reprimanded under APID circumstances in running one act over the other under the laws of this country and to be manipulated through political interference is a total slap to any investor who has genuine intention for development in this country.
“Who are we supposed to serve in this country and what is our purpose for investment?
“The answer is simply straight forward, all of us we are serving the interest of Solomon Islanders specifically for us the people of West Rennell.”
Samlimsan said the “twist of law to fulfill one’s desire is the greatest danger for any developing country today.
“One act of law cannot go above the other.
“These laws supposed to harmonise and complement each other for a purpose of one objective for the good of its intention; detoured from this one intention collapse the purpose of the objective.
“The classical example is now happening in West Rennell, when these Laws; the Forestry Act, Mineral and Mining Act and Lands and Title Act cannot fulfill the one purpose of the objective.
“These three Ministries have three separate Acts that establishes them but it seems that the Ministry of Lands and Ministry of Mines Act are above the Ministry of Forest Acts.”
The spokesperson for Samlimsan said it is now a wakeup call to the current political Government to seriously look into the dilemma.
“DCCG must act wisely to protect its people and well established investors in this country, as derailing from this destroys good intentions, and when good intentions are destroyed, we fail all Solomon Islanders.
“If this issue continues, this will incur huge cost to all stakeholders involved in this real time show, when the Laws of this country cannot harmonize people and Investors in this country.
“We urge the Government to quickly step in and fix this impasse in an amicable manner as soon as practicable.”