WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO LIE AND INTIMIDATE?
A letter by one Jerry Nombri Garry of Sierra the other day to the other daily, headlined "Who has the right to hold and prosecute", suggests that Rimbunan Hijau detained six Papua New Guinean Greenpeace activists without authority or jurisdiction after they tried to present the group's "Gold en Chainsaw" award to the company for alleged forest destruction.
This statement is misleading and needs to be corrected.
On May 31, nine persons. including three foreigners, unlawfully trespassed the Rimbunan Hijau premises at Kennedy Road in Port Moresby using false pretence.
Once within the office perimeters, some of them removed their clothing to reveal their T-shirts underneath which bore anti-forestry slogans and identified them as Greenpeace activists.
At the same time, some persons started video filming.
Despite being told that video filming was not permitted, the persons continued and security per sonnel closed the gates until police arrived to take the offenders away for questioning.
No big deal.
However, the film was used to fabricate a story broadcasted on EMTV the same day and later displayed at one of Greenpeace's notorious anti-forestry websites.
Greenpeace is trying to imply that its members were harassed inside Rimbunan Hijau's compound and had to luck themselves in their cars for their own safety.
Of course the website does not disclose that it was not Rimbunan Hijau staff or security personnel harassing them but rather a large number of resource owners, the very people Greenpeace claims to be working for.
The resource owners' resentment towards Greenpeace during the incident speaks for itself.
Greenpeace has a proven track record of pursuing its objectives by issuing emotional messages without substantiating issues with rational, science based facts.
It feeds the media and internet with gross misrepresentations, opinion by phoney scientists and experts, outright lies, rumour mongering and negative reporting.
Greenpeace is interested in only one thing to advance its 'tco forestry" policy even though it can only exist with government and donor subsidies and does nothing to improve the people's standard of Living.
Greenpeace sensationalises is sues by using techniques of direct actions which frequently entail lawbreaking. This attracts media attention which publicises issues and supports Greenpeace's fundraising.
In a famous campaign against Shell over pollution of the North Sea, courts in Britain found Greenpeace in error, leaving it facing millions of pounds in costs.
An attempt to occupy the offices of ExxonMobil in Houston, Texas, has resulted in court in junctions against it.
A campaign against a chemical company in Melbourne for discharging dioxins into Port Phillip Bay proved groundless.
Unsubstantiated claims of forest crisis are not calculated to al low for rational answers. They are designed to advance a bias against sustainable, commercial forestry and conversion of land for agricultural production.
Both are essential activities to support growth in Papua New Guinea.
Jerry Nombri Garry's letter insinuates that Rimbunan Hijau is a government sanctioned kingdom of scavengers, manipulating, intimidating and humiliating him. He forgot to say where and when this occurred to him.
PNG was considered a high risk country but that did not deter Rimbunan Hijau from investing in it. Over the years, the company has increased the investment substantially because apart from comercial interests, it is committed to the future of the country.
It was this kind of foreign in vestment that rescued Papua New Guinea from its economic crisis in 2002 and restored economic stability until now.
Rimbunan Hijau employs more than 4.000 Papua New Guineans, many of whom are landowners dismissed by Jerry Nombri Garry as "cheap people".
There are many instances of important health, education and so cial services being provided where there were none prior to the operations of Rimbunan Hijau in the region.
Jerry Nombri Garry should visit some of the more remote areas in Papua New Guinea in order to face reality. Perhaps the sight of some remote villagers in dire need of medical attention but without hope of obtaining it will change his mind.
The bulk of the rural population does not agree to policies overwhelmingly slanted towards conservation at the expense of sustainable development and Papua New Guinea is simply not in a position to afford that.
Greenpeace's continuous attempts to intimidate legitimate businesses are beyond any standard of ethics. Its practices and intimidations must not be allowed to hijack the most important rural industry in Papua New Guinea.
Axel Stefan Wilhelm
Manager Corporate Cornmunicatioms
Rimbunan Hijau (PNG) Group