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Landowners threaten to shut water supply

THE OWNERS OF the land that includes Kavieng Airport are now threatening to shut off the town’s water supply if the government doesn’t pay compensation for acquiring the land.

Landowners from Omo forced the closure of the airport last week and are refusing to allow it to reopen until they are paid for the use of the land.

Principal landowner, Epel Tito, says the government has not paid anything since it acquired the airport in 1991 and says further action will be taken if there’s no response within a month.

“I’m going to close down the water supply because it’s on my land, my people’s land. I’m standing up for my people’s rights here. I’m standing for justice. It’s not a question of money. Money is secondary.”

Epel Tito says as part of a separate land issue, he claims the government owes landowners more than $1.7 million for the acquisition of 440 hectares of land more than 20 years ago.

Source: Radio New Zealand International

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