Association calls on PM to address ownership rights

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 29th August, 2012

A LANDOWNER company from Tekem Alluvial Mining in Enga wants the government to pass resource ownership rights to the landowners of the country.
Johnson Mapyha, of Tekem Landowners Association, said yesterday in Port Moresby that he supported the call made by the chairman of Federation of
Resource Owners of PNG Jonathan Paraia recently asking the government  to give land ownership back to the customary owners.
“The ownership issue is far from over in PNG.
“And our issue of concern is that we all are raising similar issues to that celebrated case –Australian of Mabo,” he said.
Mapyha said Prime Minister Peter O’Neill could call parliament or direct the national executive council under section 19 of the Constitution for special references to be made to the Supreme Court when situations warrant.
“We believe that the government should seriously address our grievances,” he said.
“We are urging Peter O’Neill not to brush aside our concerns like his predecessors, but to listen to our concern.”
He said that even foreign observers such as Robert Pritchard, who is managing director of Resource Law International in Sydney, Australia, recently mentioned that resource ownership issues in Papua New Guinea was still alive and far from over.
Mapyha said the economy was now based almost entirely on mining and petroleum resources.
“So we are calling on the O’Neill-led government to address our grievance on the ownership issue,” he said.