Home > Corruption, Human rights, Land, Papua New Guinea > Bishop blames Exxon Mobil for landslide deaths

Bishop blames Exxon Mobil for landslide deaths

January 27, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

By Elias Lari

A CHURCH leader has accused developer Exxon Mobil and the government for failing to resettle landowners resulting in the loss of lives at the project site, reports The National.

Rev Wai Tega is the chairman of the Hela council of churches and Bishop of the United Church in Hela. He said the landslide which buried scores of people on Tuesday morning was man-made disaster – not a natural disaster as many had claimed.

He said Hela had a relationship with nature and ExxonMobil, the developer of the multi-billion kina PNG LNG gas project, had totally destroyed the environment which was not right in the eyes of the landowners.

The developer and the state should be held responsible for the deaths because many issues regarding the project had not been solved. If the landowners had been relocated, lives and properties would not have been lost.

Tega said the Lai Tepo-Hides gas was a spiritual fire foretold by their prophets but the government and ExxonMobil did not show any respect for the customary faith the people had. He forecast it was a first warning of what would come later.

The churches are calling on the government and Exxon Mobil to treat people with respect.

  1. Hel'alli.
    January 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    A lot of coincidences in the law of chances makes the events happening now in PNG now move towards a probability of 1which is certainty (eg death has a probability of 1= certainty)

    Variable correlation.
    PNG LNG Project PNG Politics.
    1. Gas Agreement signed Somare Government
    ( State Solicitor had 24 hrs to review and comment on the K Billion impact PNG LNG Project – RUSHED SIGNING IN FEB 2008)
    2. UBBSA / LBBSA Somare Govt .. Arthur Somare/ Agiru/Potape spearheaded, Minister Duma (P&E) left in the dark….now O’Niell Govt.
    Landowner aggrieved .. Kandakasi ADR still pending – RUSHED UBBSA/LBBSA TO ACHIEVE FID (Final Investment Decision by 8th Dec 2009)
    Landowner Chiefs “Tuguba” still aggrieved awaiting ADR while PNG LNG project steamrolled by EHL.
    3. LNG First Delivery 2014 ?? when issues not resolved.. “Never put a roof over the house when water still in the house” – Hela saying…Tuguba Chiefs through ADR still waiting for all outstanding issues to be resolved first then project will move on schedule.. O’Niell Government knows that but cannot fast-track ADR because hands are tied..
    4. Natural Events..Komo rainfall/ landslide resulting in one foreign employee (Arab Origin) killed.. now this massive landslide …further delaying project.. Nature is saying (remember Avatar) DO NOT RUSH THE PNG LNG PROJECT AND DO IT PROPERLY !! God has blessed this country and has put all the resources for his children.. this is the last mother pig (PNG LNG Project worth $$ US 120 Billion) for PNG . Review the Agreement through ADR and do it properly /// LNG DELAYED / SOMARE GOVERNMENT OUSTED.. Definitely hands of God working (ie probability = 1)so Bishop is not wrong there…We borrowed the resources from our children and didn’t inherit them from our parents …so lets use it wisely…God bless PNG .

    • Produ Taip
      January 28, 2012 at 5:36 am

      Hel’alli, did you ever stop to think that maybe God is saying do not do this LNG project AT ALL? Why are you assuming that God thinks the project is good in any way or shape? Would Jesus approve a massive super-profit foreign company coming into a land with people who have no idea of the history of ExxonMobil and approve that massive multinational company taking away the wealth of poor village people under any circumstances? After all, money is at the root of all evil and the only reason why ExxonMobil even pokes its head into PNG is because they see big money in it.

      Shame on you, Hel’alli!

  2. Naiko
    January 28, 2012 at 5:36 am

    I am a professional earth scientist wanting eagerly to know the final outcomes & conclusions of the investigations by foreign experts.

    I have not been to the area since the nineties, but I believe they must have cut a big hole into the mountain side to dig out the karanas; thus under-cutting the mountain face. When the mountain face would not hold any longer, the recent rains just caused it to slide. Limestone does not hold water & thus only results in reels & loose rock falls; not the entire mountain as in this case……………..get the quarry operator to provide all designs & recent survey pick-up of quarry works just before the land slide; else they are at fault.

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