Dear Editor – allow me space in your editor’s column to register my response to a letter to the editor by Robert Luiramo in Saturday’s Solomon Star issue no. 5950.
I do not think the public is interested in this issue as it is not of a national interest but a mere tribal land issue that should be best dealt with amongst the tribal members. However, since Robert Luiramo wants to debate this in the media, I would not allow this to be bypassed but to put the story right.
William Gua I know has never done anything wrong as claimed by Robert Luiramo. What I know Willaim Gua has done was to put our tribal lands in order so that no one like Robert Luiramo and his cohorts can manipulate them for their own gains.
Defensive moves taken by William Gua in the past on our customary lands were for the interest of our tribes to avoid people like Robert Luiramo from stealing our resources.
Robert Luiramo might not know but William Gua was given the Power of Attorney by our grandfathers to administer our tribal lands.
They know that no one including Robert can best administer our tribal lands on our behalf. The role was seen in William Gua and the generation of today has witnessed the capability of William Gua in protecting our tribal lands.
In reference to Marvin Brothers, let me correct Mr. Robert Luiramo that the tribe who owns the land in which Marvin Brothers had operated in did not benefit from the logging operation and it is for this reason that the operation has to be closed.
Not only that, but also the conditions in a signed agreement carrying the interest of the tribe had not been met, so William Gua acted on the advice of the tribe to close the operation.
In terms of Evita, I want to tell Robert Luiramo that it is not William Gua who closes the operation. The correct version of the story is, Evita was operating illegally in Burara customary land.
It was the court that decides on the legality of Evita’s operation and not William Gua as stipulated by Mr Robert Luiramo.
Robert was also referring to the benefits generated from the logging operation carried out by Evita. I for one did not benefit from Evita’s operation on my land. If there is any money for Burara tribe somewhere, can I ask Mr. Robert to call Burara tribal members together to disclose how much money we have and what the money should be invested in.
My understanding about Evita is, it was supposed to be an agro-forestry activity and not logging.
Evita fail to live up to its agricultural plan and it is also for this reason that the government has seen it fit to put an end to this illegal operation.
In terms of labelling William Gua as a trouble maker, I do not see William Gua as a trouble maker. What William Gua has done was an attempt to save our limited forest on our land for the benefit of our children and grandchildren in the future.
To label William Gua as a trouble maker when he has done something good for our tribe is not correct.
What I know is Robert is the real trouble maker. He defames our tribe through his actions and behaviours.
He should not be named Luiramo because his actions were not welcomed by our tribal members.
In our custom, a person can be exiled for two reasons. First, by murdering someone in the tribe and second, by committing adultery or fornication with someone in the tribe.
Robert had done one of this and that permits him unworthy to be regarded as a member of the tribe. He should be ashamed of himself as the REAL TROUBLE MAKER in the family and the tribe.
To the DCC Government, thumps up for doing the right thing by closing down Evita’s illegal operation. This is not a genuine investor.
A genuine investor is someone who abides by the laws of this country. Any investor who wants to bypass the process like Evita is not a genuine investor.
Listen not to Robert’s call for the re-instatement of Evita’s operation but listen to the real landowners of Burara for the closure of Evita as it was operating illegally on our land.
May our forefathers listen to our struggles and be on our side as we strive to protect our tribal lands from being taken away by foreigners and Judas in our tribes whom in the name of development try to serve their own interests.