Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Politics of landowners and extractive industry will worsen

By James Wanjik

Port Moresby, 19 August 2009



LAND is a way of life for people in PNG. No love is lost when landowners raise land rights with intruders on their land. Panguna landowners warned the miners and minders for little over nine years. Failure by the miner and minder saw landowner grievance turn into law and order and civil strife. We as a nation lost 20, 000 souls. Panguna mine remains closed.

The story, “Gas plant closed” (Post Courier, Tuesday, August 18, 2009 p.1) is a wake up call. Hides landowners have been voicing their concerns on the LNG project for a while now. Teaching us lesson was Panguna mine. The mine was forcefully developed because it was to underwrite PNG’s independence. It did. But it was unsustainable from intergenerational landowners’ perspective. Now LNG is being rushed to underpin 2050 National Strategic Plan. Total arrogant leadership is the beginning of destruction of our national unity.

Bougainville is now autonomous because leaders turned deaf when landowners called for review of Panguna deal. The Hides landowner leaders have been calling for the review of the LNG Gas Agreement of 22 May 2008 but the leaders are pushing on as if the LNG was a public investment program project. They are very powerless to stop to listen. Fear of losing popularity is the reason.

In Madang landowners of Ramu mine have taken out legal suits against the miner and minder. When ignorant and arrogant leaders come to their senses PNG would be powerless over China.

New Ireland Province has warned that they will not cooperate with minder of miners on New Ireland. The Governor is agitated by Puka Temu’s arrogance (The National, 17 August 2009, p.9).

Wafi landowners are very restless with the setting up of Land Titles Commission. Legal advice and role playing government business is working Wafi landowners to be agitated.

Porgera landowners are slowly coming to realise the lethal combination of miner and minder that moved Police without State of Emergency. While lawlessness is not tolerated, landowners will take on the Government as they inform international organisations such as, United Nations, Amnesty International, and Canadian shareholders of Barrick Gold.

Many similar landowner issues are simmering. Very soon some of these will hit the news. When they do PNG will be the loser. The reason is MRA. It has no duty to serve PNG for it is a counterfeit working for money only.

Tell our leaders to remove MRA now. It is the only right thing to do.

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