Rest in Peace Chief John Kunikas, Chief Kunikas passed away yesterday in Wanigela, Oro Province.
Chief Kunikas seen here on my right with beard along with Chief Anslem Foremat are true Oro warriors who were unwavering in their stance against illegal logging in Oro Province especially against logging in Collingwood.
Chief Kunikas and Chief Foremat were both assaulted by the employees of the illegal logging company attempting to steal forest resources in Collingwood when they protested their trespassing on traditional and State land and the illegal construction of a jetty on traditional land.
Chief Kunikas was in fine health when I met him three weeks ago.
Chief Kunikas had reported that his life had been threatened by criminal elements supporting the illegal logging company.
He lived alone and was found dead in the morning.
Meanwhile Police have been informed but since there withdrawal and the suspension of the PPC and appointment of the new PPC there has been no Police presence at Wanigela.
Tension is rising. Meanwhile criminal elements who had illegal firearms and were manipulating the Digicel tower and had been threatening community that had fled when Police arrived have since returned embolded by recent changes.
I am deeply saddened at his passing and surely Oro and Wanigela will miss his staunch stance for what is JUST and RIGHT.
You may have passed on but be assured your son’s and daughters will take up where you left and the fight for what is JUST and RIGHT will continue.