Friday, March 5, 2010

Clan forced to live on Sacred Mountain

The developer of the Ramu Nickel -Cobalt Mine, Chinese Metallurgical Construction Company (CMCC, desperate to kick start full operation has been slowed down by resistance from the Mauri Clan whose village is located on the site for initial mining of the Nickel. The Vianivi village had 14 houses, which the CMCC with the assistance from the police forced the villagers to move out. 2 out of the 14 houses are still standing and the owners refused to leave pending issues surrounding compensation agreements.

The Vianivi villagers were told to move to another clans land to relocate temporarily to another neighboring clans land boundary pending the construction of the actual relocation site. However, the neighboring clans opposed the Vianivi temporary relocation on their clan boundaries.

This in fact has forced the Vianivi villagers to enter into their once forbidden place where their ancestors worship their snake god on the snake mountain. The snake mountain has been cleared and built makeshift houses at this temporary location. The Vianivi villagers had to made a feast and offering to the snake god to seek permission. They had to kill pigs and offered food cooked in the traditional way called “mumu”.

The Vianivi villagers are sorry to disrupt their sacred mountain; however they have no other choice because they cannot move to other clans land. The old people are still mourning the tragedy of their sacred snake mountain.

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