More hopeless excuses from the government on SABL
The Chief Secretary is back in the media [see below] offering more pathetic excuses for the government’s failure to cancel the unlawful SABL leases. Lets look line by line at what he has to say:
Manasupe: “And to be honest with them [vocal NGOs], I will ask them in so that I can explain to them”
So Manasupe, when and where is this meeting taking place? Date and venue please, enough of your vague and empty promises!
Manasupe: “It’s almost impossible for us to work on these in record time.”
Record time – it is now 28 months since the Commission of Inquiry reported! Why has nothing been done for all that time?
The only record this government is setting is a record for repeatedly lying and saying it will cancel the leases!
Manasupe: “What I see is that for us to succeed in revoking these SABLs, we must have a change in law”.
This is just another excuse. The courts have already declared five SABLs null and void. Why hasn’t the government asked the courts to cancel all the leases?
Why has it taken 26 months to decide you need to change the law?
Why hasn’t the govt supported landowners like those from Pomio and Turubu who, against all the odds and with minimal resources, are taking legal action against individual SABLs?
The simple truth is the government does not want to cancel the SABLs!
Manasupe: “We’re also worried about compensating those who will lose these SABLs”
But Manasupe, why are you not worried about compensating the landowners who have lost their land and forests? Surely you have a duty to protect and compensate your own people?
And why would you pay compensation to foreign companies who have made millions of dollars in profits from their logging operations in SABL areas?
Manasupe: “We can’t just evict them”
Why not just evict them? That is what the companies have done to the customary landowners – they just evicted them! It is what the government does all the time to people living in settlements. Why can’t companies who have acquired unlawful leases and set up illegal logging operations just be evicted?
Oh, sorry, we forgot. The companies pay millions in bribes to politicians and officials… now we understand! Why didn’t you just say that Manasupe!
Probe on SABL to take time
Source: The National (owned by Rimbunan Hijau, the SABL puppeteer – how ironic is that!)
CHIEF Secretary Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc says it will take more time to investigate the controversial Special Agriculture Business Leases.
Sir Manasupe reiterated yesterday that the SABLs needed to be worked on.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and the Government have been on the firing line, especially from non-government organisations and environmentalists, over the SABLs.
O’Neill had labelled SABLs as a “scam” and promised that they would be outlawed.
Sir Manasupe said NGOs had been vocal about the SABL issues.
“And to be honest with them, I will ask them in so that I can explain to them,” he said.
“It’s almost impossible for us to work on these in record time.
“What I see is that for us to succeed in revoking these SABLs, we must have a change in law.
“We’re also worried about compensating those who will lose these SABLs as we can’t just evict them.”
Last Saturday, he applauded the SABL Implementation Taskforce for the outstanding report to implement the recommendations found during the Commission of Inquiry into SABLs.
The special taskforce comprised Dr Laurence Sause (chairman and Government adviser) and two retired public servants – KuttPaonga (legal adviser) and Daniel Katakumb (land adviser).
Sir Manasupe said in 2011, the Government set up a Commission of Inquiry into SABLs, which found that many leases needed to be revoked.
Out of the 75 SABLs throughout the country, only 42 SABL reports were provided by only two members of the commission – Nicholas Mirou and John Numapo – who recommended that 30 be cancelled, 11 suspended and that only one SABL was in order.