Dear Editor – As an elderly person and chief to Tokengau tribe of West Rennell I would like to raise my concern on the recent registration of massive hectares of land within our island by Penrose Palmer, APID and the Ministry of Lands.
It is obvious that Palmer produce a report, which was totally different from what actually happens on Rennell during his time there, as an acquisition officer conducting meetings to fulfill his assigned job.
The matter of concern to me is not about de-registration, rather who consented Rennell for different people to register.
We were not aware of these things going on after we strongly objected Penrose during the hearing and we shut him off to stop pursuing the acquisition.
Instead Penrose chose to continue with the process by producing a false report to the Ministry of Land to facilitate land registration.
I just flew in to Honiara last week and was surprise to learn that our home island which we have cherished for many generations has been registered without our knowledge.
West Rennell is the only land owned by the people of the province, considering the eastern part of the island is covered by water (lake) and neighbouring Bellona is small in size, thus left the future of Renbel people on West Rennell land, but now is given away.
So what are we trying to prove here? We want Rennell people to seek refuge in other islands, where a lot of social tensions will arise?
The island is the only place we called home, which holds our pride and identity, so is not for destructive activities such as mining.
The other thing is villages in West Rennell distantly located apart from each other, hence Penrose Palmer should conduct separate meeting for these isolated communities or provide transport to bring these people at one place for the meeting, but again he failed to do that.
The whole process to acquire west Rennell land is based on false and fraudulent practises breeds from Palmer’s report.