To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Dolphin calling project at Bita'ama threatened with raid on yacht

The Director of the National Musuem, Lawrence Foanaota says the raid by a group of men on a yacht recently has threatened a "Dolphin Calling Project" planned for North Malaita.

Police say that a French New Caledonian registered 40 foot catamaran yacht Kalim was anchored in Bita'ama Harbour in North Malaita when it was boarded by men brandishing a home made rifle and carrying knives.

Witnesses told police that three or four men wearing masks boarded the yacht and the owner was forced to hand over a sum of money.

The thieves also stole the boat’s Global Positioning Navigation System and other valuable items.

Mr Foanaota who is also a North Malaita leader says such incidents by few people spoils the country and communities that encourage people to visit and see their cultures.

He says if people continue to rob visitors, then nobody with visit their area.

Mr Foanaota calls on leaders in the Bita'ama area to cooperate with police investigate and apprehend those involved in the incident.

"My fear is that the "Calling of Dolphins Project" we try to initiate and which UNESCO has started to help provide some assistance will be cancelled. I am the coordinator of the project and if I say not, the project will be cancelled. We might as well look at areas where people are friendly to visitors. That's what I want say to wantoks and relatives at home."

Source: SIBC

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