The Malaita Provincial Premier says although an injunction against a number of loggers have been lifted they still have a case to answer.
Daniel Suidani was responding to an article authored by Alfred Sasako and published by the Island Sun newspaper this week.
Premier Suidani told this paper that the article by Mr.Sasako is not only misleading but also far from reality.
He said the loggers haven’t won against Malaita Province as stated in Sasako’s article.
“The reality is simple which is that loggers still have a case to answer. They are yet to fulfill their obligation under the existing business licence,” he said.
The Premier also in his reply labeled Sasako as someone who made a career out of falsehood and misrepresentation and said his latest article on the subject matter is totally wrong.
The premier further claimed Sasako used hidden sources to advance his own interest in the article and people should not take such misleading articles seriously.
“Alfred Sasako has made a career out of falsehood and misrepresentation but his latest article is even more wrong than usual.
“Unlike his report in the Island Sun front page this week, the loggers have not won their case against Malaita Province.
“The High Court has lifted the injunction orders previously obtained by Malaita Provincial Government on an exparte against the four logging contractors, but they still need to answer the case that Malaita Province has brought against them.
“The case surrounds whether loggers are supposed to pay the increased rate in business license enforced by Malaita Provincial Government under its Business Ordinance.
“Let us not forget these logging companies had been operating in Malaita province without either paying provincial business licenses on time or are in arrears for years,” the statement from the Malaita Province said.
Now that Malaita Province has decided to exercise its legal authority, they are trying to convince Solomon Islanders to forget their years of illegal and immoral activities in the past, the statement added.
“And they have Sasako helping them do this.
“Instead, the High Court has simply lifted the injunction that was placed on the four logging contractors for them to stop operations.
“Injunctions are a way to prevent further action while a legal case is proceeding.
“The High Court has lifted the injunction but the substantive case against the loggers is yet to be decided.
“The loggers will still need to fulfill their obligations under the existing business licensing arrangements before they can resume logging business in Malaita.
“So, the lifting of the injunction is not a “win” against Malaita province.
“The High Court is still going to hear the arguments that the Malaita Provincial Government and the loggers will be making. No matter what the supporters of loggers would like us to believe,” he said.