Manam council demands answers

National, Normal

The National-Monday, January 10, 2011

 THE traditional leaders (Kukurais) of Manam Island, through the newly-formed Manam Council of Chiefs (MCoC), are appealing to sidelined Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare to immediately effect the re-settlement of Manam people.

MCoC chairman Martin Ururu also called on Provincial Affairs Minister Job Pomat to return to the care centres and explain why it had taken over a year to resettle the islanders.

In statement, MCoC questioned the Manam task force that was set up by Pomat and headed by Manasupe Zurenuoc and the use of K5 million approved by the national executive council.

They urged the task force to urgently carry out the resettlement land acquisition, review the MRA and emergency transportation to avoid further loss of lives and property at the care centres.

The MCoC was set up at the request of the Madang government to work in partnership with relevant authorities and stakeholders so that there was a Manam people’s unit by the PNG authorities violating the provisions of guiding principles on internally displaced persons set by United Nations Commission on human rights.

Ururu said the Manam people had the same rights as any other people to be protected against arbitrary displacement and to reside in safety and dignity during displacement.

Meanwhile, he also challenged Attorney-General and former Madang Governor Sir Arnold Amet to come back and fulfill his promises to solve the Manam problem.

He also congratulated new Madang Governor James Gau and issued the same challenge to him, adding that the MCoC would be expecting Gau to take initiative in facilitating dialogue with the Bogia MP, Madang administration and other stakeholders to fast-track the resettlement of Manam people.

The group called on the Member for Bogia, Madang administrator, governor and chairman of Madang task force and Pomat, to make time available for a meeting to outline the government plans for the Manam people.

Ururu said their  aim was to be resettled as quickly as possible so that the care centres were vacated to avoid further conflict and bloodshed.