Wednesday, February 29, 2012

You Can’t Arrest an idea Mr. Micah

Extracts from Freedom From Fear

by Aung San Suu Kyi

It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.

And it would be difficult to dispel ignorance unless there is freedom to pursue the truth unfettered by fear. With so close a relationship between fear and corruption it is little wonder that in any society where fear is rife corruption in all forms becomes deeply entrenched.

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Glass splinters, the smallest with its sharp, glinting power to defend itself against hands that try to crush, could be seen as a vivid symbol of the spark of courage that is an essential attribute of those who would free themselves from the grip of oppression.

Emerald cool we may be
As water in cupped hands
But oh that we might be
As splinters of glass
In cupped hands

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Just laws do not merely prevent corruption by meting out impartial punishment to offenders. They also help to create a society in which people can fulfill the basic requirements necessary for the preservation of human dignity without recourse to corrupt practices. Where there are no such laws, the burden of upholding the principles of justice and common decency falls on the ordinary people.

The quintessential revolution is that of the spirit, born of an intellectual conviction of the need for change in those mental attitudes and values which shape the course of a nation's development.

Among the basic freedoms to which men aspire that their lives might be full and uncramped, freedom from fear stands out as both a means and an end.

Within a system which denies the existence of basic human rights, fear tends to be the order of the day. Fear of imprisonment, fear of torture, fear of death, fear of losing friends, family, property or means of livelihood, fear of poverty, fear of isolation, fear of failure. A most insidious form of fear is that which masquerades as common sense or even wisdom, condemning as foolish, reckless, insignificant or futile the small, daily acts of courage which help to preserve man's self-respect and inherent human dignity.

The wellspring of courage and endurance in the face of unbridled power is generally a firm belief in the sanctity of ethical principles combined with a historical sense that despite all setbacks the condition of man is set on an ultimate course for both spiritual and material

It is man's vision of a world fit for rational, civilized humanity which leads him to dare and to suffer to build societies free from want and fear. Concepts such as truth, justice and compassion cannot be dismissed as trite when these are often the only bulwarks which stand against ruthless power.

Monday, February 27, 2012

AUSAID’s neo-colonization agenda extends to “SUSTAINABLE MINING”

Click for larger image

No folks this aint no prank. AUSAID actually think you’re fools but hopefully you’re not.

AusAID pays millions to consultants who come up with the term “SUSTAINABLE MINING”. Actually, maybe they didn’t have to pay millions because BHP Billiton, the Australian criminals who destroyed the Fly River after “sustainably mining” Ok Tedi created the PNG Sustainable Development Company. I bet they must have secretly wished to call is “PNG Sustainable Mining Company” since it is the largest shareholder of Ok Tedi Mine.

Here is a quote from the AusAID webpage regarding “sustainable mining”:

“Many of Australia's developing partner countries have substantial natural resources and are engaged in mining. Australia can provide these countries with the expertise they need to build a sustainable mining sector, making better use of revenues, improving socially and environmentally sustainable development, and growing the economy.”

Those of us in Papua New Guinea who aren’t colonized by AUSAID Mining Consultants keep looking at the Watut disaster, the Fly River disaster, the Panguna disaster and laugh at the AUSAID’s bullshit about “socially and environmentally sustainable development.” But this is no laughing matter coz AUSAID seems to be in control of the mostly AUSAID-trained Papua New Guinean so called elite who run this country.

Australia says it can provide expertise to build a “sustainable mining” sector. I bet we should ask the Bougainvilleans how the Australians were “real experts” at Panguna. The Australians certainly provided assistance to the PNG Government to crush the rebellion on Bougainville so that Panguna could be “sustainably mined” by Anglo-Australian miner, Rio Tinto.

The page also states that one of the Ten Objectives of the Australian Government is to:

"improve incomes, employment and enterprise opportunities for poor people in both rural and urban areas, including the development of sustainable mining industries to boost overall economic development."

Well we all know whose incomes will be improved and by that we mean the Australian Mining companies and AUSAID Consultants.

By now we all should realize the obvious: AUSAID represents a separate legal entity called the Commonwealth of Australia while its “Development Partner Countries” are separate legal entities. AUSAID Consultants including those involved in so called “sustainable mining” are paid to represent the interests of a separate legal entity called Australia and therefore cannot give Independent Advice to any Foreign Government.

It’s like a lawyer representing the Miners giving legal advice to a landowner company [a separate legal entity] about the mining contract that same lawyer drew up for the miners. That lawyer cannot possibly give Independent legal advice to landowners if the Miner is paying the bills.

There is inevitably a conflict of Interest situation that therefore arises when AUSAID consultants provide so called “sustainable mining” technical assistance. The Australian Government is known to act in Australian Mining companies interest as they did on Bougainville.

I hope the Papua New Guinean sheeple who work under AUSAID “Sustainable Mining” Consultants are proud of their patriotic selves. AUSAID “Sustainable Mining” consultants just “help” provide:

“technical assistance for the establishment of a sovereign wealth fund to receive and manage anticipated revenues from the LNG project...”

You can read more about AUSAID’s “SUSTAINABLE MINING” here… but please don’t buy this Aussie CRAP!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Wewak’s District Police Commander murdered at Kaindi

View of Wewak Stadium from Kreer HeightsA resident at Kreer Heights in Wewak town has confirmed to the Namorong Report that Wewak District Police Station Commander, Charles Parinjo was murdered last night. The resident, Mr. Peter Mark informed the Namorong Report that Commander Parinjo was heading to his village along the West Coast of Dagua when he was murdered by criminals.

Mr Parijo was murdered around here at Kaindi JunctionMr. Mark said that the story in Wewak is that as Commander Parinjo was heading on the stretch of road near the junction between Kaindi Teacher’s College and the Dagua West Coast Road he came across a group of men drinking along the Road. It is believed Commander Parinjo intervened to break up the drinking when he was attacked by the drunken men.

Mr. Mark reported that one of the men living in the area recognized Mr. Parinjo and went to his house where he collected his gun and came back to shoot Mr. Parinjo. Mr. Parinjo was wounded by a gunshot and retreated to his vehicle. As he tried to drive back into Town his vehicle was hit by an oncoming PMV.

Accident and Emergency at Wewak's Boram General HospitalCommander Parinjo was later taken to Wewak’s Boram General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Following the death of Mr. Parinjo, all Police in Wewak mobilized and raided the houses in the vicinity of the crime scene. Mr. Mark, who travelled this morning to Wom Beach, drove past the carnage. Mr. Parinjo’s vehicle was all wrecked up and the homes between Kaindi Junction and the little creek with water lilies were destroyed. A nearby beer shop was also razed to the ground.

The Kerema compound opposite the crime scene was left untouched. Those affected were from various parts of East Sepik Province.

Mr. Mark said that suspects have been detained and that currently there are no indications that Parinjo’s death was politically motivated.

Australia was Naïve about PNG and continues to be

BY PAUL OATS

Hi Martyn,

thank you for raising these issues and having the ‘guts, gumption and get up and go’ to actually confront head on, some of the problems affecting your nation. We all know corruption, nepotism, maleficence and political connivance are not exclusively PNG’s problem. You only have to look at Transparency International’s map of the world and their corruption index.

However before we can find an effective solution to a problem, you must first effectively define the problem.

With the benefits of hindsight, no one could claim that there weren’t mistakes made during PNG’s nation building. Depending on your point of view, with another 10 years of gradual preparation, education, better communications and experience prior to Independence, PNG might well have been a different place than it is now. On the other hand, it may not.

Those in PNG who pushed for independence as soon as possible were very much like yourself. Young, energetic and well intentioned and hoping to ‘set the world on fire’.

The young PNG politicians then were very eager to get on with the job at hand but with the benefit of hindsight, maybe they were just a tad too inexperienced to appreciate the enormous responsibility they were demanding to be quickly given them. To those that were there at the time and met many of these people, most started out like most budding politicians with the very best of intentions.

In many ways Martyn, you are quite correct in pointing out the somewhat naïve attempts at fast tracking political awareness by those in Canberra who had very little idea of what the implications of fast tracking independence would be. To infer however that this was an intentional error on Australia’s behalf is not true. Certainly, if a plebiscite had’ve been conducted, the vast majority of PNG people in the early 1970’s would have wanted Australia to stay for many years and only gradually withdraw.

There was real pressure from the recently independent African states through the UN who were pressing Australia to leave PNG as quickly as possible. New Guinea was a UN mandated territory as you know. Many of those same African states now have serious internal troubles and PNG could learn from these examples.

Australia’s Constitution was put together by some very learned people over a period of at least 10 years. Those who helped assemble this document were experienced leaders and politicians who knew what would work and what wouldn’t. It was not an easy task. At the time, areas like Western Australia and Northern Queensland were not sure they wanted to Federate and help create our Commonwealth. Even today, Tasmania has to rightly point out when it’s occasionally left off the nation’s map.

This long period of debate and serious contemplation by veteran leaders was never afforded PNG when her Constitution was drafted. To infer however that Australia intentionally has produced ‘monsters and psychopaths’ is drawing a long bow. Was it the training that produced your problems or the home grown, weakening of the systems that has now been allowed to develop? There is no shortage of charlatans in every society who will always seek to gain advantage and power.

So might you be demonising the system rather than the bad apples that have floated to the top like garbage in the harbour?

PNG’s system of checks and balances has been allowed to atrophy. The Ombudsman Commission, that body created to keep government in check, has not been properly funded or staffed. The RPNGC has not been properly funded and has the lowest pro rata numbers in our region. Education and Health have been allowed to whither on the vine. Agriculture has not been encouraged to produce the nation’s food requirements and enable self sufficiency as a nation. Resource extraction has been allowed to run out of control. The public service is reportedly notorious for not turning up for work or demanding bribes before anything is done. All these were not Australia's doing or intention.

The real problem as I have attempted to illustrate, is that the checks and balances put in place in the government systems at Independence to prevent current problems from happening, were not designed by those who understood PNG as it would develop after independence.

Naivety? Certainly with hindsight, I agree with you. Intentional, ‘supremacy through surrogacy’? Sorry, where is the proof?

There is a real danger that if we try to pin the present ills on the lack of foresight of those in the past, we tend to absolve ourselves of any responsibility and motivation to fix today’s situation and find better ways of doing things.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Paul Oates and Barbara Short and I talk’n ‘bout PNG

IT’S RAINING AT THE MOMENT, so I’ve quit my mowing and I’m inside at the computer again. I thought I’d tap up Martyn Namorong’s blog site and read his latest post, The uncertain road to Melbourne [see also PNG Attitude, Friday].
Here are a few thoughts that might help Martyn with ideas for the Melbourne conference.
Martyn wrote: ‘We need to recognise that the current systems of government are inherited from our colonial masters.’
Yep! That’s right, but so what? The current systems of government were in turn inherited from earlier systems that were refined and tweaked for hundreds if not thousands of years. They were developed from systems that had been proven to work elsewhere.
When I was travelling through Greece a couple of years ago, I said to our Greek tour guide: “Thank you for looking after our history”. She got somewhat miffed and said: “No, it’s ourhistory, not yours.”
I explained that it depends on how you look at it.
My history, language and culture comes from Australia but before that it evolved from Britain and before that Europe and Ancient Rome and before that Ancient Greece and before that Egypt and Mesopotamia and before that… etc.
“Oh!” she said.
Papua New Guinea’s history, English usage and culture come in part from that long line of antecedents as well as from traditional Melanesian sources.
Martyn wrote: ‘These systems were created for the purposes of taming so called primitive natives and pacifying them.’
Well I guess it depends on what systems you are referring to. If Martyn was talking about the system of Westminster government, then I would have to in part disagree.
It is true that the Australian system of government was bequeathed to PNG by those who in Canberra seemed to think, mistakenly, that they knew better and refused to listen to those who did have some practical experience at the kunai roots level of rural PNG.
If Martyn was perhaps referring to the kiap system of rural administration, then perhaps he might consider a very detailed discussion I had with some PNG mates about how the kiap system worked and why it worked.
I suggested to them that the only reason kiaps were able to manage rural areas and thousands of people was that those people gave the power to the kiap rather than the kiap taking it from the people.
I did however ask why did the people allow this to happen? Was it what the kiap could offer in the way of change and material goods? Was it the education and business opportunities that came after the area was pacified and law and order introduced? ‘No way’, they said.
It was because the kiap system dovetailed neatly into a fundamental and essential part of the traditional PNG village culture, i.e. the ‘big man’.
The village people recognised the kiap as the ‘big man’ and he became culturally acceptable and was easily fitted into the rural scene. In fact, kiaps did very little to change the village culture apart from ending warfare and other anti social practices. That was part of their success.
Only after the kiap system was dismantled by Somare after Independence did things go awry. Nepotism and corruption became rife.
In western government systems, the legislature is responsible for making laws, not enacting the law. That is the province of the public service.
This is the system PNG was left with. It was however changed by the elites who grasped power at Independence and decided to introduce changes to ‘help themselves’.
The fact that some MP’s want ‘the power’ to both make laws and dole out taxpayer money to obtain personal power and prestige is not the system installed prior to Independence.
So there could be a very convincing argument presented that in fact, the systems now currently in place in PNG and that are clearly not working are a direct result of home grown actions and not those externally imposed.
The term ‘neo colonialism’ may well define the problem but the source might also be closer to home.
________________________________________________
REPLY BY BARBARRA SHORT
Fully agree with you Paul.
As somebody said recently somewhere on this blog, the parliament scrapped the talented public servants and awarded the Public Works jobs to contractors, probably the Minister's wantoks, who often were not trained for the jobs.
The tender system was scrapped and the jobs went to the Minister's wantoks, with a commission thrown in for him. The job didn't go to the best tender.
the Minister made the decision if the job was done properly or not. The job may not have been completed but he would sign it off and his wantok would be paid, and he would get his commission.
Getting back to the "big man concept". I know that there are some older well educated men and women in PNG, who would be great people to have in charge of development in the provinces.
They may have been Professors at the Universities, got their doctorates from overseas universities, run various Government Agencies etc etc but are now sitting home retired! But they are just in their 50s.
What a waste of good manpower!
They may have come from provinces where the local "big men" are trying to bribe the electorates to elect them to the parliament at the next election so they can grow wealthy in the way mentioned above, pure greed and corruption!
What on earth can PNG do to get the right type of person elected to the Parliament? There are men and women who have the training, the character, the motivation to do the best they can for the country, but they don't fit into a "corrupt scene" described in Simbu!
Let's hope Martyn will come up with some solutions to the current problem.
As Paul points out, this concept of thinking - "These systems were created for the purposes of taming so called primitive natives and pacifying them." - is actually something that has been contrived by recent PNG parliaments and it is not something that they inherited from Australia.
______________________________________
MY RESPONSE TO BOTH VIA PNG ATTITUDE
I believe Paul and Barbara assume I'M putting all the blame on the colonial masters. You will find this paragraph in my article, which explains what the article is on about:
"Colonisation now has a black face that perpetuates that colonial legacy. You don’t govern your people using a system that was intended to dominate them. You cannot secure a prosperous future unless you address the issue of neo-colonisation."
This paragraph basically agrees with Paul and Barbara with respect to how the so called elites have used the machinations of colonialism to subjugate the rest of their fellow Papua New Guineans.
Just in case Paul still believes there is no outside involvement whether direct or indirect; MOST OF OUR ELITE WERE TRAINED BY AUSTRALIANS BEFORE INDEPENDENCE UP UNTIL NOW. Australia has produced and continues to produce the monsters and psychopaths that run PNG.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The truth about PNG: why we’re not getting anywhere

 

"In 1975, Australia left us a flawed system at Independence. PNG has in the past 36 years completely failed to fix its political system for a better government for all citizens. LET US FIX IT NOW!” REGINALD RENAGI392280_265049360207561_100001074970735_763726_780404204_n

ONE DECEMBER AFTERNOON I had suggestions from friends on Facebook about this conference to be held in Melbourne. They said I should write something to present. They thought I had some insights to contribute.

I looked up the conference details and contacted the organisers at Deakin University, Melbourne. Last week I got a response from the university.

If we are to talk about securing a prosperous future for PNG we have to talk about an exit strategy and timetable for all so called development partners to pull out of PNG.

Just as my trip to Melbourne is full of uncertainties, I also do not wish to raise false hopes about me providing answers to what are essentially difficult questions.

What I am certain of this that the current model of development is fundamentally flawed because it is built on the legacy of domination.

Colonisation now has a black face that perpetuates that colonial legacy. You don’t govern your people using a system that was intended to dominate them. You cannot secure a prosperous future unless to address the issue of neo-colonisation.

We need to recognise that the current systems of government are inherited from our colonial masters.

These systems were created for the purposes of taming so called primitive natives and pacifying them.

In other words, they are systems of domination and subjugation and therefore in light of their failure to bring development to the so called primitive natives, continue to serve the original purpose they were created for. 

In Melbourne, in the one paper, I am going to compress as many ideas from my blog as possible.

I hope this to be the most definitive summary of what I believe is right and wrong with PNG and the way forward.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

MMJV SPIN DOC CALLED OUT ON FACEBOOK

Via Mine Watch

418127_2633022432318_1458137808_31865482_1219650273_nMorobe Mines Joint Venture (MMJV) "spokesperson" David Wissink who's title is reported as  - Ya Gotta Love This - General Manager, Sustainability and External Relations - had to earn his money recently covering up and lying about the company's cyanide spill when one of their trucks overturned causing yet another environmental disaster.

Wissink, former spin doctor for OK Tedi mines (obviously highly respected by the mining industry) proved his worth to MMJV and the mining industry while showing no respect whatsoever to the people and environment in the area. His bullshit was so blatantly pathetic - obviously from the Mining guidebook on how to spin almost anything - we simply had to share it. And in looking at blogs, facebook and twitter no one's buying the nonsense in the least with some people becoming more upset with the spin. Let's  look at Dr. Dave's (a moniker given him by several bloggers - who bestowed him with a Dr. of Bullshit degree)- statements.

“The mine has agreed to provide environmental support to help identify the cause.” ( Yea right Dr. Dave - the mine wants to get to the bottom of what caused the problem after your cyanide truck crashed!)

“The quality of water discharge from mine operations is monitored daily and reported to the DEC weekly and monthly. (Dr. Dave uses the ole mining technique of saying nothing here and trying to make us believe because the mine reports weekly and monthly to a weak, corrupt, in the pockets of the miners agency that they are doing all they can do - right Dr. Dave - got it)

“There are no abnormalities in the HV water quality data as it is well within compliance parameters. (This is Dr. Dave saying that the mine is complying with the law - laws which favor the miners - and could care less about the damage done to the water, fish or people. Sorry Doc - no one buys it. This is the 21st century. You're not at OK Tedi any more.
“The greatest impact on the river system in the area at the moment is the Kumalu mudslide where cubic kilometres of sediment have entered the river system due to heavy rain. (Oh Dr. Dr. Dr. - the ole try to take their eye off the issue and blame it on Mother Nature herself - Sigh!!!!)

“It is not known what has caused the fish deaths. (But you can be sure our cyanide had nothing to do with it!!!)

“However, such occurrences are a well-documented phenomenon throughout the world and are usually caused by depletion in dissolved oxygen in the water.” (Again an attempt to dazzle us all with science and to have us believe it is a natural occurrence. Ah Dr. Wissink - its your cyanide that did it - admit it and deal with it -but wait that would cause the company problems - and possible lawsuits - and you would lose your status!)

Here's a beautiful statement by the Dr. of Bullshit "He said later in an email that the truck crash was “old news and of absolutely no relevance to the current situation”. (We're speechless!)

“The fish deaths came from natural sources up the Banir River. (That's right everyone STOP BLAMING THE DAMN CYANIDE will you - it was Mother Nature doing what you kanakas don't understand - Nice try Dave!)

“And if you run a link between a truck accident of three weeks ago and the natural deaths of fish nowhere near this truck accident then that’s pretty irresponsible. (We know its difficult to choose but this MAY be our favorite bullshit line here - we mean Dr. Dave representing MMJV whose vehicle just spilled cyanide damaging an eco system telling us about being IRRESPONSIBLE!)

Wait there's one more - you ready?
“(And) that does damage to our reputation when there’s nothing of substance to report,” Wissink said in the email. (Gosh imagine damaging the company's reputation - can you believe it? Dr. Dave is that like damaging the water system with cyanide?)

______________________

AUTHORITIES MUST RELEASE PATHOLOGY/TOXICOLOGY RESULTS OF TESTS CARRIED OUT ON TISSUES OF THE DEAD FISH AND EELS AS WELL AS THE RESULTS OF WATER QUALITY TESTS DONE IN THE IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH OF THE ECOLOGICAL DISASTER.

It would also be useful to do tests on shellfish down the river as they are likely to contain high levels of the toxic substance involved.

Without these results, one cannot be satisfied with Winssink or DEC’s verbal diarrhoea.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What would they be like if they owned Port Moresby?

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Take a look at that child above: in theory he could have been born with a silver spoon in his mouth, if his father owned the land that is now Port Moresby.

Instead, he lives in a slum. Literally living on top of shit.

WHY?

Because the model of development that Papua New Guinea blindly follows is meant to disenfranchise indigenous people and serve the interests of those who came to colonize this land.

Today of course we don’t have the former colonizers but neo-colonisation exists in its various forms. The model of development we currrently follow is based on the template of suppressing indigenous people and subjecting them to colonial rule.

Imagine if a model of development recognized indigenous land rights without exceptions and the Hanuabadans simply collected rent on customary land they owned in Port Moresby. That kid above wouldn’t be living in a ghetto.

Instead, what the current model of development does is it creates the enabling mechanisms for the owners of Capital to exploit indigenous people. I guess the World Bank and Asian Development Bank call it Private Sector Development and Public Private Partnerships.

Lets take a look at another example, Limoa Holdings and Sepik Oil Palm Ltd. Limoa holdings is the landowner company that owns the lease to Portion 144C, Turubu SABL. But since they’ve converted their land to an SABL, they now own only 20% of a company [Sepik Oil Palm Ltd] that has rights to that land for 99 years. So they went from having 100% land rights to being only 20% all because they used the current model of development to try and bring development to their place. Basically they had no Capital so they went to bed with a Capitalist who had Capital to ensure he had a majority stake in the land.

As I‘ve mentioned earlier, this model of development is in favour of the exploiters, not the exploited.

I could go on citing various examples but I guess you get the point: this model of development creates the enabling mechanisms for Vampire Capitalism to thrive while the people of Papua New Guinea get screwed on Rabaul Queen, at Tumbi, on Airlines PNG, along th Fly River, along the Watut, in Bougainville, etc…

Papua New Guinea's Soldiers and Cops exploited



Papua New Guinean film maker Scott Waide’s recent video featuring the squalid living conditions of police in the Madang Province, highlighted the humanity and fragileness of these men in blue in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

No doubt there are shit cops who in many ways have defined the way the public sees the police force. But when one is presented with shit living conditions yet chooses to continue to serve the public, surely such service is beyond “just doing one’s job”.

Many Policemen are leaving the force for greener pastures in the security industry largely related to the Liquefied Natural Gas Project in the Southern Highlands. These are men whom our taxes paid for to be trained as cops to ensure that the general tax-payers can live in safe communities. These are men whom we the tax paying public trained for securing our communities, yet they are now securing private assets of a private company that got a huge tax holiday.

We’ve lost their services because successive governments have neglected their needs just as those governments have failed to deliver to the rural majority.

There is are saying that goes, “if you pay bananas you get monkeys.” Basically what it means is that you will never be able to keep the best and brightest if you cannot pay them well and what you end up with are monkeys. 

Former PNG Defence Force Commander, Jerry Singirok once highlighted this concern in the military as some of its brightest joined the ranks of private security firms associated with the lucrative LNG Project. The same concern can be expressed about the Police as well.

How do we keep the best and brightest in both disciplinary forces so that we do not have to be harassed by thugs in Police uniformed or face the risk of further military coups or mutinies? Scott’s video highlights one aspect the government could deal with – HOUSING.

But one thing that pisses me off is that the very people –the 1%- whom the Police and Military are used by, have failed to address welfare issues not just amongst the disciplinary forces but amongst the rest of us – we the 99%.

Politicians who did not give a rat’s ass about the conditions of soldiers at Taurama Barracks used those soldiers in a mutiny. Politicians who haven’t addressed the run down state of Moem Barracks now want to use those soldiers against their own people.

Loggers who practice transfer pricing and hoodwink the State’s coffers use the Police to brutalize ordinary citizens. Miners and Petroleum companies that get huge tax holidays, use the police to intimidate landowners and suppress dissent. These Vampire Capitalists suck out our resources and give little back to society. The Government therefore does not have the money to fix the Barracks and provide necessary support.

For example, Ramu Nickel Mine pays for fuel used by Madang’s Police. Their Public Relations people would say they’re helping the community fight crime. But Ramu Nickel has got a 10 year Tax Holiday, so basically it keeps the money it would otherwise pay as tax and uses that in so called community projects.

How come the Vampire Capitalists have money to sponsor this and that, while the Government says ‘no money’? Is it because the Government is not taxing the 1% such that it would meet its needs? It seems that when a Policeman or Soldier starts working, their first pay gets taxed but when a foreign corporation makes a lot of money from our resources, it gets a tax holiday.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Micah wants a harmonious society like China

PRESS RELEASE BY BEN MICAH, PM O’Neil’s Chief Of Staff

Spreading of malicious and misleading information is a serious crime and those found to be doing such will be dealt with, says the Prime Minister’s Chief-of-Staff, Ben Micah.

Mr. Micah made these comments following recent circulation of anti-government information via text messages on mobile phones, email messages and comments being posted on social network site, Facebook.

“The military, police and the National Intelligence Organisation (NIO) and other pro-government civilian networks are monitoring all attempts to destabilise the Government’s firm control of the country.

“All patriots and law abiding citizens are required to be vigilant. I urge you all to separate rumours from facts and report any suspicious events to the Prime Minister’s office, the deputy PM’s office, police, PNGDF, the Office of the Chief Secretary or your local MP’s office.

“Such misinformation includes any information which you consider to be illegal and detrimental to the peace and good order of your community and subversive to the overall security of our nation,” he said.

A committee has been set up to look into this and to monitor and track down people who have ulterior motives to destabilise the government.

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SPABLs: The fight to regain land has only began

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Special Purpose Agriculture Business Leases (SPABLs) are granted under sections 11 and 102 of the Land Act 1996. In other words these sections of the Land Act enable the conversion of customary land into SPABLs.

The process by which that happens is roughly as follows.

An application is made by the landowners to the Lands Department in Port Moresby, for their land to be taken up under an SABL.

A Land Investigation Number is then given by the Land Department in Port Moresby.

Port Moresby then refers the matter to the Provincial Land Office for a Land investigation process to begin. The Land investigation is then carried out by the District Lands Officer.

During the Land investigation process, Officers check the Name, locality and type of Land. They map out genealogies of customary landowners. A survey of the area is done and boundaries are declared between adjoining clans both within and without the proposed lease area.

Having sorted out the boundaries, informed consent is taken from ALL landowners. Land mediation takes place where there are members of the same clan who dissent.

Having done so analysis is done as to the projected population growth and whether sufficient land has been set aside for the needs of future generations.

The Land Investigation Report is then handed to the Provincial Administrator who makes an independent assessment and makes reservations where applicable. Following this the matter is referred to the Secretary for Provincial and Local Level Governments, who in her/his capacity as Custodian of Customary Land, signs a Certificate of Authenticity.

The matter is then referred to the Registrar of Land Titles who then Gazettes the Lease in the National Gazette.

All the above procedures were not adhered to in the recent acquisition of customary land under Special Purpose Agriculture Business Leases. This litany of failures has been chronicled during the recent Commission of Inquiry.

Many Customary Landowners assume that the Commission of Inquiry would give them back their legal rights to the land. However the Commission of Inquiry is only a fact finding mission and all matters relating to the disputes over land ownership are the Jurisdictions of the Local Land Courts and the Land Titles Commission.

Alternatively, given the coming elections, landowners could be lobbying for the State to Compulsorily Acquire the SPABL and under section 12 of the Lands Act 1996, and have that land returned to them. Or, they could lobby for Parliament to pass retrospective legislation, annulling the Leases.

Landowners must now brace themselves for a long battle ahead.

Disclaimer: This blog post is no substitute for professional legal advice

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dear Sam Basil: MMJV dumps shit on your people

Sources within Morobe Mining Joint-Venture (MMJV) have confirmed that the reason for the deaths of eels and other aquatic life along the Markham is due to a cyanide spill. MMJV  has not  released an official statement on the matter and is tightlipped about the incident. 

MMJV has never admitted that it is responsible for the pollution of the Watut river

-a tributary of the Markham.  In the initial stages of construction, MMJV dumped  tons of soil  and debris into the Watut causing a significant build up of sediments. 

MMJV continues to pollute the Markham and the Watut and refuses to acknowledge the fact that it is poisoning the people of the Watut and the Markham. 

Pics

Watut 1 & 2 - skin disease suffered by people along the Watut.  This is widespread. 

Middle Watut1

Middle Watut3Watut 3 below - the difference between the Watut and the Kumalo rivers on a clear day. Middle Watut5

PNGs Secret Death Squad REVEALED

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FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF PAPUA NEW GUINEAN LIVES!

 

FOUND GUILTY!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Revelation of a web of lies as Sepik SABLs Inquiry Ends

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The Commission of Inquiry into Special Purpose Agriculture business leases ended yesterday. It heard further evidence related to Portion 144C, Sepik Oil Palm – Turubu SABL.

The Inquiry heard that following disputes over the Chairmanship of the Landowner Company Limoa Holdings, a Court order has been put in place restraining disputing parties from holding the post. The matter is yet to be resolved.

The first witness to give evidence was Provincial Customary Lands Officer, Mr Peter Francis Yakop. Mr Yakop informed the Commission that he had not physically visited the sites or conducted any land investigations prior to the granting of the SPABL to Limoa Holdings.

The Deputy Chairman of Limoa Holdings, Mr. Godfried Rausen was next to give evidence. Counsel assisting the Commission Mr Ketan asked Mr. Rausen if Limoa was the name of one clan. Mr Rausen admitted that it was indeed. He then informed the Commission that the initial idea was to have Limoa Land taken under a SPABL and for the purpose of Oil Palm Planting and for the neighbouring clans to be out-growers.

The crux of the matter in the case of Portion 144C is that of misrepresentation of the facts regarding an SABL. Other landowning groups had created their Incorporated Land Groups (ILGs) thinking that they would be out-growers of Oil Palm and not because they wanted to hand over their customary land. The 55 other ILGs were then included by executives of Limoa Holdings as part of the SABL. The consequences of this trickery was that 116 000 ha of customary land was alienated without proper consent.

Limoa Holdings then went into an unbalanced partnership with a foreign exploiter, Wewak Oil Palm Limited. Wewak Agriculture Development Ltd owns 80% shares in the Sepik Oil Palm Project while Limoa Holdings owns the balance. Limoa Holdings also issued shares to over a thousand people around the country.

When asked by Mr Ketan whether he had read the lease agreement before signing, Mr Rausen said he hadn’t. Mr Rausen also informed the Commission that the lease agreement was signed without legal advice.

The Commission has concluded its hearings and its findings will be presented later this year.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Turubu and Saussi landowners submit affidavits to COI

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Landowners from the Turubu and Saussi areas have submitted sworn affidavits to the Commission of Inquiry through their lawyer, Mr. Hubert Wali. These villagers are affected by the Sepik Oil Palm Project, Portion 144C COMMONLY REFFERED TO AS THE Turubu Oil Palm Project.

The landowners claim, amongst other things, that:

1. They had not given their prior consent to convert customary land to SABL

2. They had not participated in any land investigation

3. Consent that some of them gave was for development of their land other than an SABL

4. There was no proper forum held to discuss the environmental impacts

The landowners have also informed the Commission through their lawyer that they intend to take out an injunction to prevent further logging in the area.

Landowner Company was deregistered when it received Lease

 

VID00025.MP4_000005466The Landowner Company, Mapsera Development Authority, that owns the lease to Portion 54C, Mapsera, was deregistered at the time the lease was granted. Counsel assisting the Commission, Mr. Ketan revealed to the Commission of Inquiry yesterday. The lease was granted on the 26th of April 2010. He added that as the lease was granted to a non-existent entity, it was therefore flawed.

The Chairman of the deregistered company, Mr. Augustine Kaigen, then gave evidence in Tok Pisin. Mr. Kaigen informed the Commission that the area had been logged had about 1 300 logs have been exported via Hawain log pond on the west coast of East Sepik Province.

When asked whether a land investigation report has been done, Mr. Kaigen stated that over a 3 week period all 47 villages in the SABL area were visited and consent been taken for the use of their land under a Special Purpose Agriculture Lease. He also revealed that the expenses for the process were paid by the foreign exploiter known by its initials, SPZ.

After a Forest Clearance Authority was given to log the area, SPZ, logged the area and has since been gone without leaving behind any infrastructure for the benefit of the people.

Meanwhile a landowner from an area that is under disputed between Mapsera and Nungwaia-Bongos SABLs, has informed the Commission of Inquiry that he’s people would prefer to be part of the Nungwaia-Bongos SABL. Mr. Sam Akike, the chairman of landowner company Nuweidu Holdings, informed the Commission that he’s people were initially party to the Nungwaia –Bongos Forest Management Area and since its conversion to an SABL, they preferred to remain part of the Nungwaia-Bongos SABL.

Executives of Limoa Holdings referred to Police

 

VID00128.MP4_000000300Commissioner Nicholas Mirou has referred the executives of Limoa Holdings to Police for possible criminal prosecutions following the incident at Sepik Oil Palm Plantation’s Turubu Nursery.

Last Wednesday, when the Commission visited the nursery, the Commissioners vehicle was set upon by angry landowners. This happened after they discovered that one of the opponents of the project had travelled in the Commissioner’s vehicle.

Commissioner Mirou informed the landowner company executives that he was not aware of the presence of persons of such nature as referred to by the aggrieved parties. Last Friday, he gave the executives an ultimatum, to either apologize to the Commission or face criminal charges for contempt of the Commission of Inquiry. The executives chose to apologize to the Commission and the matter was closed.

However, some of the executives decided to petition the Commission about an apprehension of bias regarding the same matter. Yesterday, Commissioner Mirou referred all the petitioners to the Police for prosecution. He said that by petitioning the Commission, they had reopened the matter and had rescinded on their apology. As such, they would face criminal prosecution for impeding the work of the Commission of Inquiry and face possible fines of up to K5 000 or imprisonment of up to 2 years.

One of the executives Francis Yabarasa will also face dangerous driving charges after he tried to ram his vehicle into the vehicle transporting Commissioner Mirou.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: TASKFORCE SWEEP SWEPT OUT OF WEWAK

 

An Air Niugini F100 Aircraft has just taken off from Wewak’s Boram Airport at 7:42 PM this evening. On board are members of Task Force Sweep; the special fraud squad set up by the O’Neil Namah regime. The members of task force sweep were blocked at the airport and forced to return to Port Moresby late this evening.

This incident is a clear challenge to the legitimacy of the O’Neil-Namah faction and their ability to govern the whole country.

There are no further details regarding the incident but residents sitting at Wewak’s Kreer Heights buai markets seemed completely shocked to see the aircraft take-off so late in the evening and in clear violation of Civil Aviation regulations.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What will happen to SABL land?

 

VID00003.MP4_000001333Above: Haus Tambaran –Spirit House- at Maprik, East Sepik Province

Commissioner Nicholas Mirou continued o stress through the SABL hearings in Wewak, that the Land Act does not provide for the revocation of SABLs. The Land At 1996 provides at section 102 for the creation of Special Purpose Leases. Section 102 does not even specify where such leases should be owned by Papua New Guineans or Foreigners or both.

This ambiguity of the law means that it is uncertain whether customary landowners will ever get back the title to their land given the current situation. Over 5.2 million hectares of land has been Gazetted as SPABLs, the largest being 2 million hectares of land in the Western Province.

VID00029.MP4_000002133The Commission of Inquiry has thus concentrated on the acquisition process as part of its inquiries. The key determination is whether a proper land investigation process was done and whether customary landowners had given informed consent.

Lands officers in East Sepik have been exposed has incompetent during the inquiry. The Customary Lands Officer for East Sepik wasn’t aware of the process that led to the acquisition of nearly 300 000 hectares of customary land in the Province. A former Lands Officer, Francis Warren, admitted giving wrong advice to the landowners of Turubu SABL. When Commissioner Warren asked Mr. Warren if he knew about section 102 of the Land Act, Mr. Warren was unable to answer.

VID00136.MP4_000008066Provincial Forest officer for East Sepik, Mr. Richard Kali also highlighted to the Commission that there was lack of coordination between line agencies. For example, when the National Forest Authority issued Forest Clearance Authorities (FCAs), the Department of Agriculture and Livestock did not monitor whether the land that was cleared was being developed for agriculture. Consequently, as one travels through the SABL sites; there is a lot of logging going on and very little agricultural activity. In most cases, the seedlings have been planted recently, probably in response to the creation of the Commission of Inquiry.

VID00143.MP4_000014500Many landowner companies have signed agreements that are largely in favour of the exploiters. Landowners in Marrienberg have not had schools and clinics built or any other development activities. They say that this is because there was no provision for such benefits in the agreement with Brilliant Investments. Meanwhile, the log pond at Marrienberg is filled with piles of expensive Kwila for export.

VID00176.MP4_000004733Several years later and with millions of dollars worth of logs exported, landowner leaders like Moses Gawi from Marrienberg still back the exploiters and say these are early day for developmental benefits for his people. Meanwhile, back in the rainforests, communities live their traditional lives on land that they once used to own by virtue of their cultural heritage. They seem oblivious to the fact that they are now squatters who could be evicted by the lease holder.

VID00180.MP4_000002600At the hearings in Wewak, the partisan audience of anti-SABL landowners carry banners and make their points known in the room. Commissioner Mirou tries to keep order as they cheer to every word he says as he outlining the Land Investigation Process. One could almost believe he would be Governor of East Sepik if he stood in this year’s election.

VID00022.MP4_000004933From Turubu in the coast to further inland at Nungwaia-Bongos; they came to Wewak to tell Commissioner Mirou that they want their land returned. “Graun em Laif” – LAND IS LIFE- reads a banner held by protesting landowners. The landowners also presented a petition to the Commission of Inquiry which the Commission accepted as evidence.

One can understand their sentiments. The land that their forefathers gave their lives to protect and their future generations’ lives depend on has been squandered by short-sighted landowner leaders. Given the gravity of the situation, SABLs are now an election issue in the East Sepik Province as landowners accuse serving politicians of involvement. Indeed, the Nungwaia-Bongos project in Ambunti-Drekikir was backed by the local MP, Mr. Tony Aimo, who is also a landowner in the SABL area.

VID00021.MP4_000007933Landowners wanting to get back their land will have to vote in MPs who may make retrospective changes to the Land Act and have the leases revoked. Alternatively, a suggestion by counsel assisting the Inquiry, Mr. Ketan, is that landowners take a majority stake in the projects. Water-tight contracts that place a huge burden of liability on landowner companies make it difficult to simply kick-out the Vampire Capitalists.

VID00009.MP4_000003100Given the projected rise in the value of the Kina due to LNG exports, it seems highly unlikely that any of these agriculture projects would be viable, given the exchange rate fluctuation. This land grab under the pretext of agriculture, seems to be an excuse to bypass strict Forestry Regulations that have come into place post the Barnet Inquiry. These Vampire Capitalists are having a field day sucking out Papua New Guinea’s valuable natural resources.

MPs give evidence at SABL Hearing

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Above: Member for Maprik Gabriel Kapris and (below) Member for Ambunti-Drekikir Tony Aimo meeting the audience after giving evidence to the Commission of Inquiry

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The Commission of Inquiry in Special Purpose Agriculture Business Leases (SPABL) concluded its hearings yesterday at around 7PM after Hon. Tony Aimo gave witness regarding the Nugwaia-Bongos Integrated Agriculture Project. The Project which is in Mr. Aimo’s electorate also incorporates his customary land.

Mr. Aimo gave evidence in the form of a sworn affidavit. Mr. Aimo said the project had followed due process and was sanction by two National Executive Council Decisions. Mr. Aimo then presented the Commission with various documents pertaining to the projects.

The Nungwaia Bongos Integrated Agriculture projects covers 110 000 hectares of land involving 230 Integrated land groups plus a few “Supplementary ILGs as referred to by Mr. Aimo. The area was initially a Forest Management Area before being converted to a SABL. The SABL was gazette on the 4th of April 2011, and a 99 year Lease granted to the Landowner company of which Mr. Aimo is Director. The Landowner Company then granted a 99 year sub-lease to the exploiter SPZ Enterprise Limited, a Malaysian Oil Palm investor.

Te Commerce Department had made all arrangements for the investor to enter the project. The then Commerce Minister and Member for Maprik, Gabriel Kapris also gave evidence as to the role of the department. Counsel Assisting the Commission Mr. Ketan asked Mr. Kapris why Commerce had taken a special interest in the project. Mr. Kapris said that this was not unique and that Commerce and Industry was involved in other projects around the country.

Mr. Ketan also expressed concern about clause 10 of the sublease Agreement between the Landowner Company, Nungwaia- Bongos Rainforest Alliance and the exploiter SPZ Enterprise Limited. Clause 10 states that all Oil Palm shall be the property of the investor and that should the landowner company kick out the developer for any reason; it shall pay for the loss of projected profit over the 99 year lease. Clause 10 also makes the Landowner company Authorize the investor to take out an injunctive order to claim for any such losses. It also states that at the end of the 99 year sublease, the investor does not have to remove anything it brought into the area.

Mr. Ketan also expressed concern that the Lease Agreement prepared by the State Solicitors Office does not specifically mention agriculture. He also questioned the rationale for including villages on ridges when Oil Palm could be grown in the lowland grassy plains.

Commissioner Mirou also highlighted that the lease agreement did not create reservation for hunting, gardening and sacred sites, not did it expresses specific user/access rights for the customary landowners.

Inspection of the site, carried out on earlier on Sunday, showed very little progress. Commissioner Nicholas Mirou’s vehicle got bogged down in the mud. The investor claims to have spent USD 4 million on the road but it looks rather pathetic. The COI team had to split and the agriculturalist was sent to the nursery site while the rest returned to Wewak.

The hearing continues today with evidence to be heard from SPZ Enterprise Limited.

Monday, February 13, 2012

LAWYER MAY HAVE BEEN IN A CONFLICT OF INTEREST SITUATION

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Above: Mr Peter Kuman of Kuman Lawyers (seated) at the Commission of Inquiry in SBPALs, as counsel representing the exploiters of Marrienberg SPABL – Brilliant Investments, as the project manger of Brilliant Investments is being sworn into the witness stand

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Above: Mr Peter Kuman (seated in white shirt) as counsel representing Marrienberg Landowner Company, while Landowner Chairman Moses Gawi gives evidence of the Inquiry.

Mr. Ketan, the counsel assisting the Commission of Inquiry has noted on record at the hearings that Mr Kuman was counsel for both the landowners and exploiters of Marrienberg SPABL.

 

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WHOSE INTERESTS WILL BE BEST SERVED?

LANDOWNERS? OR EXPLOITERS?

Brilliant Investments not so brilliant at Marrienberg SPABL

SABL Commissioner Nicholas Mirou (Right) and Team © 2012 namorong

“Makeshift jobs!” That has been the impression of the Commissioner and the counsels assisting the Commission of Inquiry into Special Purpose Agriculture Business Leases. The Commission visted Marrienberg and the Nungawai-Bongos SPABL sites.

On Saturday, the COI Team travelled to Marrienberg in the Angoram District of East Sepik Province.They travelled the thinly sealed Angoram road that has largely worn out and has a large middle section that is largely a dirt track.

Log bridge at Marrienberg SABL© 2012 NAMORONGAt Angoram High School, they turned left into the road leading up to the Marrienberg SPABL site. The main SPABL road is surfaced with limestone and the bridges built with logs. The sight of log bridges did not impress the COI Team.

FIRST CLEAR-FELLING SITE Marrienberg SABL © 2012 NAMORONGThe first clear-felled area at Marrienberg was about a 2 Km stretch with a with of 100 meters. There were newly planted cocoa seedlings. The Marrienberg SPABL project is supposed to be a cocoa and coconut project. Again, this did not impress the COI Team. The fact of the matter is that the Marrienberg Forest Clearance Authority was granted in 2008 after the SPABL was granted in 20012. Four years later, one does not see 4 year old cocoa plants in the plantation. Instead, there are huge tracts through the forest where the area has been logged largely for Kwila (KWI).

STACKS OF KWILA Marrienberg SABL © 2012 NAMORONGThe Marrienberg area is largely a Kwila forest as evidenced by the piles of Kwila at the landing sites and the log pond. 4 years later, one does not see evidence of a site being marked and buildings being constructed for cocoa processing. All one sees are the enabling mechanisms for log export.

LOGGING EQUIPMENT AT MARRIENBERG BASE CAMP © 2012 NAMORONGThere are mostly logging equipment with stickers of RICH FOREST LIMITED, HAWAIN CAMP. According to the exploiters, they had moved into Marrienberg, from Hawain along the Sepik coast.

Workers at the Marrienberg base camp report that there have been several accidents resulting in deaths. One worker reported a recent death that has not been compensated by the company, Brilliant Investments. Those involved in accidents have not received any compensation.

Mansep Villagers living at clear-felling site 2 © 2012 NAMORONG Villagers at Mansep are also unhappy with the clear-felling operations of the company. Mandep is the site of the company’s second clear-felling of forests for agriculture.

The company keeps a team of Police at their base camp as its private protection. This is in direct contravention of the orders of Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga to withdraw all police from logging camps.

A tug boat pulling in a barge to load logs for export © 2012 NAMORONGA basic overview of the project clearly indicates the intention to log and the cocoa planting seems to have been done in recent times, due to the creation of the Commission of Inquiry. Even the road seemed to have been graded just in time for the COI Team to inspect the site. None of the COI Team members were buying the façade created by Brilliant Investments.

Friday, February 10, 2012

MAJOR FLAWS IN MARRIENBERG SABL DEAL

VID00107.MP4_000010633“If there is no Land Investigation Report, there is no SABL,” _Commissioner Nicholas Mirou

clip_image002 The Commission of Inquiry into Special Purpose Agriculture Business Leases in East Sepik Province began hearings on Day 2 by hearing evidence from witnesses and persons of interest related to Brilliant Investments Limited’s Marrianberg Project in the Angoram District.

Brilliant Investments is a Malaysian company owned by a Mr. Yu (64% shareholder) and a Mr. Ting (36% shareholder). Both men were not present at the hearing yesterday. The company’s project area covers 25 600 hectares of land involving 27 incorporated land groups.

The Commission called up its first witness Mr. Francis Yapo, the Provincial Customary Lands officer to give evidence regarding the Land Investigation Process that led to landowners giving consent for the SABL. Counsel Assisting the Commission, Ms Peipul, was particularly interested as to whether a Land Investigation Report was commissioned for the project. Mr. Yapo however denied any knowledge of any such report.

This prompted Commissioner Mirou to make a statement that triggered a huge round of applause from the public at Kaindi Teachers College. “If there is no Land Investigation Report, there is no SABL,” Commissioner Mirou said.

The Commission then called up the Provincial Forest Officer, Mr. Richard Kali, to give evidence. Mr. Kali told the Commission that a Forest Clearance Authority (FCA) was granted to Brilliant investments on the 7th of May 2009. He said that in 2010, the National Forest Authority suspended all clear felling operations because the company wasn’t adhering to the conditions of the FCA. He added that the Managing Director of the National Forest Authority has indicated imminent suspension of logging due to continued failure to adhere to conditions of the FCA.

One of the conditions of a FCA in relation to Marrianberg is that the company plants its cocoa where it had clear-felled the forest. According to Mr. Kali, the company had failed to fulfill this requirement and only an estimated 60% of the clear-felled area had been cropped. This was the reason for the suspension of the FCA in 2010 and is the same reason why logging at Marrianberg would soon be suspended.

Mr. Tony Hobiagu was the next witness called by the Commission. He is the former Principal Advisor for Agriculture in the Department of East Sepik. The Commission wanted to question Mr. Hobiagu in relation to a letter he had written to the Director of the Department of Environment and Conservation deploring the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) of the Marrianberg project. In he’s letter, he described the EIS as a “desperation write” with descriptions of the land not being accurate to the locales of Marrianberg.

The Commission final two witnesses were the Chairman of the Landowner Company (LanCo) and the Project Manager representing Brilliant Investments.

Mr. Moses Gawi, the Chairman of the LanCo told the Commission that the LanCo had agreed to transfer the SABL Lease Title to Brilliant Investment. This prompted the Counsel assisting the Commission to question whether Mr. Gawi had copies of shareholder resolutions and minutes of the company Board authorizing the engagement of Brilliant Investments, as well as the transfer of Land Title. Mr. Gawi said the documents were at Marrianberg and he assured the Commission that he would tender those documents as soon as possible.

Mr. Gawi had met the General Manager of Brilliant Investments sometime in early 2006. On the 1st of November 2006, an Agreement was signed between the LanCo and the Investor. On the 9th of March 2007, a Special Purpose Agriculture and Business Lease was granted to Brilliant Investments.

Brilliant Investments has since been exporting logs from Marrianberg. The Commission has requested that the project manager of Brilliant Investments provide it with data regarding the total value of logs exported and a copy of the Logging Marketing Agreement that outlines the benefits to the Former Landowners.

The Commission resumes today to deliberate further into the Marrianberg SABL before shifting its attention to the Sepik Oil Palm (Turubu) SABL.VID00037.MP4_000010600

Thursday, February 9, 2012

RAUSIM SABL: LANDOWNERS TELL C.O.I

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They came early in the morning and gathered at the Council Chambers at Dagua. Landowners from various SABLs in East Sepik mobilized to present their grievances. The Commission of Inquiry into Special Purpose Agriculture Business Leases commenced today in Wewak, the Capital of East Sepik Province. The Commission, which is equivalent to a Royal Commission in Australia, was set up to investigate the largest land grab perpetrated against the indigenous peoples of Papua New Guinea by their government.

Over 5.2 million hectares of land has been transferred to foreign hands under dubious Agriculture leases. Most observers believe these leases were a cover to bypass stringent forestry regulations and log tropical hardwood.

In East Sepik Province, the Commission head by Commissioner Nicholas Miro will investigate leases belonging to Sepik Oil Palm (Turubu), Brilliant Investments (Marrianberg) Mapsera and Nungawa Rainforest (Ambunti/Drekirir).

As the Commission of Inquiry Convened in the morning, opposing groups hurled insults at each other and had to be controlled by police in full combat gear. A vocal group of landowners from Turubu marched down to the COI armed with placards denouncing the land grab and are expected to present their petition to the COI today.

Commissioner Miro told the crowd attending the inquiry that the inquiry would determine whether proper land investigation processes were followed. As he highlighted key points in the process, there was applause from around the room. He said a normal land investigation process should involve:

· a head count of the number of people in the area

· a boundary survey done by physically walking the land boundary

· consultations with people with-in and without the boundary

· and most importantly, there must be informed majority consent

The Commission then adjourned for today and visited the Sepik Oil Palm SABL, Portion 144c yesterday afternoon.

SABL COMMISSIONER HARRASSED AT SEPIK OIL PALM NURSERY

 

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The vehicle (above – blue Toyota 10 seater) transporting Commissioner Nicholas Miro was surrounded by an angry mob [made up of proponents of the SABL] at the Nursery site of Sepik Oil Palm at inland Turubu. Sepik Oil Palm is the lease holder of Portion 144C, Turubu, which is currently under dispute between different factions of landowners, for and against the project.

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Thanks to the quick intervention by the two Counsels assisting the Commission (above  -pictured left) the situation was diffused.

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Above: that’s Commissioner Nicholas Miro checking out the log pond at Turubu, after the incident at the oil palm nursery.

I dunno bout da Commissioner but I left the site shaken but not stirred – now I need a drink lol.