The National, Monday November 4th, 2013
LAND mediators must allow proper arbitration processes to settle disputes amicably at the community level, an official said.
Tony Ase, who heads the Morobe provincial land dispute committee as the provincial national functions coordinator made the comment.
Ase and Patilias Gamato are conducting induction for mediators in the districts.
Morobe requires 99 mediators – three each from the 33 local level governments in the nine districts. Communities identify the mediators, LLGs endorse them and the committee inducts and gazettes the mediators.
This is after the village court, land mediation secretariat and Attorney-General’s office authorise them.
The land mediators’ roles and responsibilities to resolve customary land conflicts at community level is stipulated in the Land Dispute Settlement Act 1975.
Ase met 20 mediators from Finschhafen, Kabwum and Tewae-Siassi at Nasingalatuc, Yabem-Mape, last Tuesday.
“Mediators are assured to arbitrate customary land issues using traditional principles, methods and approaches – never involved in state-alienated land,” Ase said.
Deputy Governor Judas Nalau applauded the mediators for their endurance.
“Every socio-economic activities at community level were stalled due to disputes and compensation demands,” he said.
“It obviously requires mediators to arbitrate and find neutral or amicable solutions to allow developmental activities to thrive, benefiting us all.”
He suggested that “we re-visit our Melanesian hausman principles, methods and systems in land tenure, management and dispute solving methods to enhance and guide mediators perform their obligations”.
He said land issues became serious and mediators needed appropriate skills to solve issues without fear, favour or bribery.