Dr. Sikua wants govt to consider beche-de-mer petition

Opposition Leader Hon. Dr Derek Sikua has acknowledged the receipt of a petitition submitted by ‘Chief Ini Ngouma and Luaniuan House of Chiefs representatives’ on behalf of the people of Ontong Java Atoll to Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo and his cabinet dated the 10th of April 2012.

Hon. Dr Sikua said the petition expresses the Polynesian inhabitants’ frustration at the long delay by the NCRA Government in resolving the beche-de-mer issue thus jeopardizing their survival.

He said the people of Ontong Java Atoll depend entirely on this marine commodity to earn money to buy rice and other foodstuff for their daily survival due to the destruction of their gardens of swamp taro and other crops by sea-level rise.

The Opposition Leader said as the petition concerns are a matter of significance to the survival of a group of Solomon Islands citizens, he urges the Government to address the six requests contained in the petition as soon as possible.

These are as follows:

The Opposition Leader said given that precedence has been set in 2010 by Prime Minister Darcy Lilo in his capacity as the then Supervising Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources in allowing Zhang Tong Zhi to export 150 tonnes of beche-de-mer, this petition by the people of Ontong Java Atoll which is based on humanitarian grounds, is worth consideration by the Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources.

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