By MALUM NALU
Displaced Manam islanders in Madang province are partly to blame for the massive
social problems that have befallen them, according to Bogia kukurai (chief) Luimack Johnson.
Johnson, who is chairman and director of landowners from
He said landowners on the mainland had been very generous is allowing the displaced islanders to make gardens, fish in their sea and build schools for their children at the care centres.
“In return, some landowners’ children, girls and women get harassed by the displaced Manam islanders,” Johnson, who holds power-of-attorney over
“They make gardens further into other traditional land and get aggressive when it’s pointed out to them politely.
“Some of them tend to think that they have some kind of special government powers and are law unto themselves which enables them to do whatever they want, even illegal activities like homebrew, selling black market beer, creating social problems, defacing our sacred places, chopping down coconuts trees, harvesting our coconuts for copra and other undesirable activities.
“This sort of attitude/ other associated matters may have attributed to the clashes and recent killings in the care centres.”
Johnson said he had remained silent and kept his people calm for as long as possible so as not to encourage violence in settling land matters at Nubia and Potsdam plantations, but now felt compelled to speak for his people.
“My people need to paticipate in economic activities too,” he said.
“They need better water supply, rural power system, better transport system, better infrastructure like health clinics, women and youth resource centres, downstream processing of our coconuts and other products.
“I kindly request the two plantation titles be transferred back immediately to the genuine landowners as per the National Executive Council Decision No. 22/2007.
“It is common traditional knowledge who owns land where Potsdam Plantation is situated.
“I suggest that younger generation consult their older folk for accurate stories as to where their traditional borders/ land marks are rather then making spurious outrageous claims.
“I encourage those making these spurious outrageous claims to come to a scheduled meeting supervised by a neutral party like the customary lands board to sort the ownership issue out in a lawful, civilised manner.”