SOLOMONS WOMEN WANT LOGGER’S LICENSE AXED

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, Aug 1) –Western Province's Council of Women has called on responsible national authorities to suspend the logging license of the company whose security officers had attacked six women from Vella La Vella.

The Council is currently meeting in Gizo for a strategic planning workshop.

In a press statement the province's Council of Women says responsible authorities should condemn and reconsider the logging operator's license because the company has not respected the women and mothers of the province.

The Women's Council describes the attack as cruel and inhumane.

It says the logging contractors should respect the women who are also mothers and have children to care for and nurture.

Meanwhile, Omex Limited which has logging operations in Boloboe land on Vella La Vella island has rejected news reports that its security guards were involved in the wounding of women protestors.

A statement from the company's lawyers in Honiara denies that Omex security guards were armed during the incident.

It says inquiries made by Omex officials with Gizo police reveal that although some women had been injured, such injuries were not caused by company security guards.

Omex also denies that its logging operation on Boloboa land is illegal.

The statement says Omex currently operates as contractor for Boloboe corporation, the licence holder in respect of Boloboe customary land.

It says Boloboe corporation had obtained its licence after having gone through processes set out by law and any challenge to the validity or legality of its operation should be taken to the High Court.

The statement says Omex in the past reported to police various illegal acts committed by those wanting to interfere in its operations on Boloboe.

It says such incidents include theft of company equipment, trespass to property, threats and intimidation to company workers by disgruntled people.

Omex says whilst it continues to abide by the laws of Solomon Islands, it will not hesitate to take legal action against those found to be spreading false information to damage its reputation.

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