The Chairperson of the Russell Islands Lavukal Trust Board has described a recent media report which claimed the board has signed an agreement with RIPEL, as “false”.
Oliver Salopuka confirmed to SIBC News yesterday that what came out on the Island Sun paper on Thursday last week is false, adding, what they are referring to is still under review.
Mr Salopuka says there is only a draft agreement still under review by his board and is yet to be signed.
“It was just a draft and we are still reviewing it and as long as the Trust Board’s legal entity and the Trust Board reached an agreement, then it will convene a meeting, after which we will come down to Russell Islands, and we will meet with the council of chiefs as well as going through all the Leavers and RIPEL estates on Russell Islands to make it clear that we are thinking of taking over all RIPEL plantations on Russell Islands, as stipulated in the agreement that we are still reviewing.”
The Lavukal Chairperson also refuted claims his people prevented local copra producers from shipping their copra to Honiara as unfounded.
He explains, RIPEL and its former employees’ issue is different from the Lavukal Trust Board and the indigenous Russell Islanders issue.