Dear Editor – The recent cancellation of Renbel Province second appointed day for reasons based on the mining controversy in West Rennell is a disgrace and a mockery to Rennell/Bellona people.
Premier and his executive have many ways to deal with the mining saga and that should not disturbed the much awaited provincial day, which our people looked forward to celebrate and acknowledged the birth of the two southern islands as a province in Solomon Islands.
The issue of land acquisition as the bases of the cancellation does not affect East Rennell and Bellona people, thus the cancellation of the Second Appointed Day can be seen as a cover up mission.
I understand that a sum of $600,000.00 was given by the government and some business houses for the celebration of the province’s anniversary, so the premier needs to explain to the people how these funds were used, since the event was postponed.
The good people of Renbel have all the rights in the world to know about how this $600,000 was spent, in this case the money should be refunded back to the funding agencies if the intended purpose is cancelled.
Furthermore, the move taken by the premier to challenge the Land Acquisition proceedings on behalf of certain landowners who are allegedly affected by this registration is out of the procedure.
Premier should know that APID’s mining operation is a National Government Project and it is mandatory requirement for Commissioner of Lands to acquire the land for the purpose of carrying out such mining activities.
Renbel province is an agent of the National Government and for the premier to challenge the interest of the Government in court is wrong.
As the agent of the government you cannot bite the hands that feed you all the time or else you might have some repercussions.
Hence, it is proper for the premier and his executive to mediate the situation between the Government and the landowners regarding the issues.
Moreover, the issue of the provincial site where the province’s headquarters is located is an outstanding matter for the reigning premier to address, since landowners to where province built their facilities never receive any royalty or lease payment over the land till today.
Premier and his executive failed to resolve this matter but become very vocal with the Land registration issue.
Once again, we called on Premier Collin Singamoana not to cancel our second appointed day next time, by covering up on the mining issue as an excuse, rather explain to the Rennell/Bellona people and donors of this $600,000 on how the money was spent.
God Bless Renbel Province!