14 Sep 2005

Solomon Islands Guadalcanal province to take action over trespassing

9:09 pm on 14 September 2005

The Guadcanal provincial government in Solomon Islands is to take action over what it calls trespassing on customary lands.

The deputy premier, Stephen Panga, says there have been outsiders who have frequently gone onto customary land without prior permission from landowners, and helped themselves by harvesting coconuts and cocoa, or fishing illegally.

There have been warnings this week from the provincial government that one of the main causes of the recent ethnic tension was the disrespect shown by outsiders to people of Guadalcanal.

Mr Panga would not name those thought to be responsible but he says they will attempt to stop it.

"To try and help landowners and to try to help everybody to respect, so they're not going to those areas, we will be trying to establish the use of our own provincial police. To try and patrol, with our officers, to try and monitor those people who actually carry out illegal fishing on those grounds."

The deputy premier of Guadalcanal province, Stephen Panga.