Why is Patrick Wong here?  

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RUSSELL Islands’ outspoken tribesman, Mr Silas Selo, says he wants to know why Mr Patrick Wong, a man who has never invested a single penny in the country, is allowed to come back.

Wong who is seeking a court-awarded $50 million payout for the waste land at Alligator Creek east of Honiara, was expelled but he returned to the country about four weeks ago.

Immigration officials said former Minister for Immigration waived Wong’s ban to enable him to attend court cases.

“While that may be the case, I want to know whether he was allowed to engage in other activities, including holding meetings under the guise of the so-called Lavukal Trust Board,” Selo said.

“What needs to be understood is that except for the ministerial waiver, he remains a prohibited person. As such, he should not be involved in arranging and attending meetings relating to RIPEL,” Selo said.

“The man’s movement in and around Honiara should be monitored,” he said.

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Selo said Wong has organised or attended at least four meetings with the so-called members of the Lavukal Land Trust Board, chaired by Oliver Salepuka.

“Mr Salepuka cannot be the Chairman of the Lavukal Trust Board and at the same time be a director of RIPEL. Mr Salepuka cannot claim to represent the people of Russell in terms of his chairmanship of the Lavukal Trust Board and at the same time represent RIPEL interests as a director,” Selo said.

“It is a clear case of conflict of interest. The Lavukal Trust Board is a neutral body representing the interests of the Russell people.”

Last week Wong gave Mr John Whiteside, his right hand man, the boot, but Selo said “both men were wearing the same trousers when they arrived here so Mr Whiteside’s removal does not make sense.”

“If one goes, both of them must go,” he said.

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