Home > Corruption, Human rights, Land, Logging, oil palm, Papua New Guinea > Land owners take action while decision pends in court

Land owners take action while decision pends in court

February 19, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

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Jimmy Kalebe | ACT NOW!

The logging operations in Turubu LLG in Wewak District and parts of Sausso LLG in Yangoru Saussia District, East Sepik Province are still going despite the lease being nullified by the national court last year.

During 6 years of massive logging and round log exporst, millions of Kina in damage have been done to the environment, affecting the livelihoods of local people.

To date, promises of improved infrastructure and other benefits as stated by the landowner company in the beginning have never materialized.

Many landowners have laid complaints with the company for damage done to property, sacred sites, fishing and hunting grounds and about the benefits that they are entitled to.

Most of these complaints have fallen on deaf ears, while police brutality at logging camp sites are an on-going thing to suppress the landowners’ rights and in order to drive the interest of the company.

The landowners though have mobilized and taken the matter up with the courts after learning that the claim by the landowner company to do oil palm was just a pretext to do logging.

Turubu landowners meeting with their lawyers to map out steps involved in taking legal actions relating to the damage done to the environment and properties.

Turubu landowners meeting with their lawyers to map out steps involved in taking legal actions relating to the damage done to the environment and properties.

On 4th of July last year, the landowners through their lawyer obtained a National Court order to stop all logging and oil palm operations on Portion 144c.

The landowners through this order went ahead and stopped all operations at the log pond area and stopped the loading of round logs onto a ship for shipment overseas.

The landowner company retaliated by taking a Supreme Court appeal over the issue which means the matter is still pending in court. It is due to be heard this month.

Regardless of the matter pending in court and the national court decision, the landowner company and its foreign partner are currently still pursuing their interests by luring landowners with money to surrender forested land for logging.

Meanwhile, the lawyer representing the landowners in an interview recently said the court case on SABL Portion 144c is progressing well.

He said with the national court decision nullifying the operations of oil palm and logging, the situation should clear to both parties, the landowners and the companies involved.

The lawyer said in the essence of law, SABL 144c does not exist anymore and adding the appellants have to patient and are not to trespass into customary land in breach of Sections 143, 144 and 145 of the Land Act.

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  1. Vaclav Havel
    May 10, 2015 at 5:10 am

    A government actively colluding with unscrupulous corporations to raid our country’s natural resources and using brutal force to quell any opposition that arises. If this isn’t the epitome of neoliberal totalitarian capitalism red in tooth and claw, then I don’t know what it is! Is this country a democracy or a corporatocracy? They are taking away our rights to our land and resources right under our noses. We have to stop them before they do so altogether.

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