Home > Corruption, Human rights, Land, Logging, oil palm, Papua New Guinea > O’Neill sells out to RH over SABL land grab on eve of election

O’Neill sells out to RH over SABL land grab on eve of election

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has signalled he is backtracking on four-years of promises to cancel the unlawful SABL leases and return land to its customary owners.

Just three weeks ago, the Prime Minister berated the Department of Lands for not carrying out orders to cancel the leases and said the foreigners involved “should be put on a plane and sent back home”.

But, on Friday, the PM endorsed what he now says is the Lands Department’s ‘balanced approach’ and he specifically endorsed Rimbunan Hijau’s logging and oil palm operations in the Pomio District, which he said must be allowed to continue.

Over the past six years RH has exported over 1.2 million cubic metres of logs and netted more than K300 million in income from logging operations on land stolen through three Pomio SABL leases.

The SABL leases were obtained using fraud and forgery and the forests have been logged without the lawful consent of local people. The villagers have been consistently beaten and intimidated by police employed by RH to suppress any dissent.

The plight of the communities has been highlighted in various international reports and on video but RH is now pressing ahead to get access into two further SABL areas.

With more than 6.6 million cubic metres of logs worth over K2 billion stolen from SABL areas across the country, it seems the loggers money is proving irresistible to our political leaders as the election approaches.

Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

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  1. April 6, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Pls pls pls, why can’t the affected landowners do something about it if the govt is turning a blind eye on their grievances. We are PNGeans and this our land and we can not be pushed around so pls if the govt can’t do it then we take to Jungle Justice that’s the only solution. To all you affected landowners, MEKIM PASIN BLONG TUMBUNA NA BAI OL BAI LUKIM NA SAWE!!!
    GOD BLESS PNG!

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