Lawyer supports Boka Kondra bill

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday, May 24, 2011

CONSTITUTIONAL lawyer and ambassador Peter Donigi has thrown his support behind the late paramount chief Himuni Homogo, of Tuguba, tribe to keep his body in Port Moresby until parliament passes the Boka Kondra bill to amend the Oil and Gas Act, the Mining Act and the Land Act.
“How many customary chiefs have to die while parliamentarians are getting paid for not attending to their parliamentary duties?” he said at a news conference hosted by the 25 Tuguba clan chiefs and Himuni’s relatives on Sunday.
“I want to state clearly my opinion that the late Himuni’s body should stay here in Port Moresby until the Kondra bill is passed,” Donigi said.
“As law makers, they must attend to their duties in parliament and pass the Kondra bill amendments to the resources legislation,” the author of the amendments said.
He told reporters that Minister for Justice Sir Arnold Amet was using his office to cast aspersions against Warner Shand Lawyers and himself in particular for standing up for the rights of all the land rights-holders.
He said although Sir Arnold had not mentioned their names, he had seen fit to refer to him in his statement as “mischief maker” in an interview with Radio Australia Pacific Beat and last Monday at his address to the Australia PNG Business Council trade expo and forum in Madang once again referred to him as “mischievous” or words to that effect.
“I want to say emphatically that the minister and his colleagues the laws created the mischief and they are now defending that mischief.
 “I predict that all parliamentarians will all be removed from office in the next election for the following reasons:
. The laws that Sir Arnold defends on behalf of the government create poverty. That is why we are resource rich but yet poor. These laws are first contrary to the Constitution;
.They are contrary to international law as contained in articles 26 and 27 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. PNG is not a homogenous society; and
.They are against the customary laws of all indigenous people in this country. In my 40 years of practicing law, I have yet to come across a custom that says that what is under the ground does not belong to the clans that claim ownership of land.”