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25 March 2014

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20110922 Controversy in land sales cited
By LUANA PANIU in P Courier
THREE portions of land situated on the island of New Hanover is the subject of controversy with allegations of illegal SABL’s and selling of customary land to foreign investors.
Earlier last week, allegations were made against the Department of Lands and Physical Planning from former Custodian of Trust Land Manasupe Zurenuoc that three Special Agriculture and Business Leases were illegally issued for the said portions of Land without reaching his (then) office first.
The response from the Lands Department was that it was currently under investigation.
The issue was first published on the 4th of March earlier this year alleging that the whole island had been sold off to a foreign investor (named), but reports to Post-Courier have differed to what was earlier stated. The portions of land in question are portion 885C Tabut, 886C Umbukul and 887C Central New Hanover of New Ireland.
According to former Premier and Director [PEDI ANIS] for Lessee Tutuman Development Limited (TDL), the Company accused of selling the portions of Land to Singapore Based Palma Hacienda Limited, he did not sell practically the whole island as stipulated in the media reports.
“The three portions of land do not make up practically the whole island as was stated in the report,” he said. He said it would be impossible to sell the land portions because the Island had not held a title since September, 1776 and thus would be impossible to sell. He further explained that he in fact terminated the contract agreement in 2010 with Palma Hacienda because they had cleared 17,000 cubic metres of logs without a permit and did not carry out Land Survey Investigations, Genealogy studies, boundaries etc which was why their contract was terminated.
“They were initially engaged to carry out OilPalm under the SABL but t that did not occur after they were terminated,” he said.
He denied receiving payment of up to US$600,000 (K1447527.141m) which had been previously stated in a document titled Sales and Purchase Agreement between the two firms that was submitted to the Post-Courier.

My Comments posted at time
Pedi is skilled in the art of rhetoric which he tries to use to baffle his opponents. We have a rougher saying to describe it in the UK: 'Bullshit baffles brains'
I have no idea what he is alluding to by stating 'No title held since September1776'? Certainly he knows that several large portions of Lavongai island have been alienated in the past and include:
Taskul Government Station; Lungatang Plantation; Ranmalek United Church Station; Konkavul SDA Mission; Benge Plantation; Lavongai Catholic Mission; Metewoi Plantation; Metekavil combined with Neipau and Meteinge Plantations; Metewolo Plantation; Wassanga Plantation
Noipuos Govt Station; Mamirum Plantation; Bowman Plantation; Matenalaua Plantation
Autung Plantation; Nemto Island; Bingbingseng Plantation; Matanabego Plantation
Bopakang Plantation; Nusankilo Island; Anelaua Island.

At the tribunal Pedi ridiculed the report by stating: “The three portions of land do not make up practically the whole island as was stated in the report” Perhaps debating is his strong suit but sadly he is short on arithmetic. The three blocks mentioned in Gazette G161 are:
Tabut Ltd Portion 885C 11864 ha SP 23/467
Umbukul Ltd Portion 886C 25108 ha SP 23/467
Central N Hanover Ltd Portion 887C 56592 ha SP 23/469
TOTAL LEASED 93564 ha or 80% of island.
Thus they do make up the vast majority of the islanders' land and if added to that previously alienated as described by me above, nearly all the island will have been lost to the citizens for at least the next three generations.
He and his cronies know they have badly treated their own kith and clan and he and they deserve to be investigated for criminal fraud.
My wife and five daughters are all of the Benge clan and were never consulted nor advised of the long term implications of the fraud being perpetrated by their wantok elites.
May God eventually forgive these evil men.
Lavongai tapasuk
Arthur Williams
Meterankang and Cardiff

Good points Leonard on sustainable harvesting and creating cottage industries of the timber industry. Not rocket science, can be done.

Logging as I see it is one of the cottage industries that landowners should develop at their own capacity instead of letting multinational corporations log them.

But in the times when the population is rising, the best practice is to log for your needs; sell a little for income - earning and raising your standards of living through sustainable practices.

But the fact we all notice in PNG political trends is that Waigani has deaf ears for people's concerns.

Thus it is you the people that have to bring some change into the minds of the state through all means necessary.

Keep up the fight, John. I completely agree with you. The SABLs have been set up by PNG political leaders who have not respected the land rights of the PNG village people. The companies coming in to extract the timber do not care about you. Also the current politicians don't seem to care about you. So there is only one answer to the problem, you have to fight for your rights.
God help save the PNG forests and protect the village people from being exploited.
Barbara (Neasmith) Short 2014.

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