High Court orders stop to logging operations in Malaita

Aerial view of logging operation. PHOTO SUPPLIED.
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HIGH Court of Solomon Islands on 29th/05/2020 issued an order to cease all logging operations in Malaita province.

The High Court has ordered a halt to all logging operations in Malaita province.

The law institution gave its verdict on May 29 this year.

The decision is a result of the Malaita provincial government’s (MPG) campaign against logging companies following their continued failure to pay their business licence fees to the province.

In a statement obtained by this paper, the case (civil claim number 237 of 2020) was between premier of Malaita province (on behalf of MPG) and defendants/respondent (contractors) listed below:

Samlimsan (SI)co.ltd, Burwood Ltd, Chia Tai Enterprise (SI) ltd, Apple Green ltd, King Stat ltd, mega Enterprise ltd, Ngu Brothers Co.ltd, Jubilant Development ltd, Gallego Resources ltd, Pacific Everest Lumber ltd, Global (SI) ltd and Morning Star Co.ltd.

The High Court ruling statement said upon hearing Counsel Dalipanda for the Claimant/Applicants and upon considering the evidence in the sworn statement of Mr Fredrick Fa’abasua filed on May 27, 2020, it has ordered that: (1), the urgent application for interlocutory order is granted on the following terms.

(i), All defendants/respondents, their respective licensees, agents and employees to cease all logging operation business in Malaita forthwith.

(ii), All defendants/respondents, their respective licensees o pay their respective outstanding arrears in the form of business license fees for logging activities for financial year 2019/2020.

(iii), All defendants/respondents, their respective licensees to apply for business license if they wish to operate in the business of logging in Malaita for the financial year 2019/2020.

And (2) a panel notice is attached to the order for police to enforce should the defendants/respondents fail to comply with the order.

This paper understands that early this week Malaita provincial staffs and members of RSIPF in Auki had saved logging companies in the province.