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Ministry of Culture and Tourism urged to clarify stand on war relics

WW2 Japanese aircraft wrecks salvaged at Balalae Shortland islands.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Director of Culture have been urged to clarify their positions on the issue of war relics on Balalae island, Shortland Islands.

Chief Bernard Otuwana from Samanogo Village in Shortland Islands made the call saying they are left in the dark about the war relics.

Chief Otuwana said while he welcomes the suspension of the Balalae War Relics project, the authorities concerned should initiate a meeting.

SIBC stringer in Shortland Islands, John Kotaru sent this report.

“Up until now no talks have been convened but the people concerned are trying to ship out the war relics. Chief Bernard Otuwana calls on the authorities concerned saying they must understand that Balalae is situated on alienated land.

This means it is alienated from customary land where hundreds of beneficiaries in Shortland islands are still waiting for the authorities concern to come down and convene talks over the matter.”

Mr Kotaru said the island has more than forty Japanese aircrafts according to an autobiographer, Justine Taylor.

“The founder and director of Pacific Wrecks, a non-profit website studying World War II history and wreckage, stated that Balalae island has been left with more than forty Japanese aircrafts shot down by Australia and New Zealand and American marines during the war in 1942 and 1945”.

SIBC Online understands, the Balalae War Relics project was suspended in December 2018.

By: Rickson J Bau

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