The Raicoast leaders gate crashed at the Madang Governor's office yesterday (1st of June 2010) and demanded Governor Amet to give them a feedback since the 21 days of their petition lapsed on the 30th of May 2010.
The petition organizer and anti-DSTP campaigner, George Ireng apologized for gate crashing, however, he said that, the 7000 people from Raicoast who signed the petition are waiting a response and the 21 days has lapsed the previous day and the people are kept in suspense and want to know whats happening.
Madang Governor, Sir Arnold Amet said, he is not moved by the petition and will not be threatened to respond within any time frame, however, he said he honored the petition and will respond in due course.
He promised the landowners to respond in two days to the second demand in the petition which asked for an independent study to verify the impacts. He said he will have to get in touch with the deputy prime minister to make an undertaking to ensure the independent study is carried out.
Mr. Amet also said that he ha been in touch with scientists from Madang and PNG who are qualified to engage them in the desk review of the Mineral Policy Institute (MPI) Report (also referred to as the Lutheran Church Report), the various government reports and the SAMS (Scottish Association of Marine Science) report. Mr. Amet said he is still reading the MPI Report and needs more credible scientific advice before he makes a decision.
The SAMS report is supposed to be the independent study which was commissioned by the government, however, the government has not moved on getting the report finalized and published. The Bongu petition was done in the light of the absence of the SAMS report, however, on the day of the presentation of the petition to the government, Mr. Ireng received a copy of the report which the deputy prime minister, Mr. Puka Temu said was still a draft. Mr, Temu said that he will ensure the final payment of K100, 000 is paid to SAMS within two weeks so that the report can be finalized and released. That has not happened, however the government decided to change the Environmental Act instead two days before the Bongu petition lapsed. .
Mr. Ireng, raised the question about the new amendment to the Environmental Act and what is the governors position. He said it was a direct insult to the people from Raicoast who in good faith followed the right procedures to raise the concern and the government goes to the back of the people and amend the law. Mr. Amet said he is not clear with the new legislative changes and will require time to read and understand it before saying anything. He reminded the landowners that, as the former judge, he doesn't jump quickly into conclusion. That has always been his line of excuses- Is he telling his constituency the truth?
Is Governor Amet telling the truth? Is he not one of the best legal brains in the NA camp and therefore provides legal opinions to the party caucus? Is he really negligent to have no say at all when he is in the government and the amendments highlighted the landowners from Ramu Nickel halting the progress of the project?....Let the people of Madang decide!!!!
This blog is attributed to the forest legend of the Melpa speaking people of the Western Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea. Depana Nikints is committed to issues surrounding the environment (forests, seas, land etc)and pressing issues affecting indigenous people and communities in PNG, and Asia-Pacific region.