‘Address PNG, Indon land issues’

National, Normal


FOREST Minister Belden Namah has called on Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Abal and Provincial Affairs Minister Job Pomat to address the land issue between Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
He also called for a total overhaul of key government agencies such as the National Intelligence Organisation and Provincial Affairs to “get rid of the old people” in the system.
The Forest Minister made the call after it came to his attention that the NIO and Provincial Affairs had been issuing traditional border crossers pass to people who were not even living on the border.
“If there is a need for change then move these old people out and get new people in.
“Some people travel in and out without proper passes.
“We need competent people to manage the border,” the minister said.
Mr Namah, who is also the Vanimo-Green MP, said land demarcation between the two countries must be properly addressed.
He made the call during the launching last Friday of the Border Development Authority (BDA) Corporate Plan 2009-12 and 10-year development plan in Vanimo.
Mr Namah, when commending BDA for the corporate and development plan, said the six border provinces would have state of the art facilities.
“But we must now address the land issues and land demarcation.
“I call on the Foreign Affairs Minister and Provincial Affairs Minister to seriously look into this.”
The BDA board members visited Jayapura, Indonesia.
They travelled by road from Wutung on the PNG side to Indonesia.
Government officials who travelled with the group as guides, said the Wutung landowners had land rights 10km into the Indonesian side.
Officials also claimed a new mine located inside Indonesian territory also had people of Telefomin in Papua New Guinea claiming to be landowners.
“The issue of land demarcation must be addressed.
“We must not be foreigners in our own land,” Mr Namah said.