By EVAH KUAMIN
THE land on which the western part of Rabaul stands is owned by seven traditional clans from the Malaguna villages while the eastern portion is owned by Matupit villagers and others.
Chairman of the Kuraiba Tovuvut Incorporated Land Group (ILG) Pennie Kuraiba and clan chief Benjamin Kiaia made this revelation last Tuesday.
Both men said for so long there had been many different clans claiming ownership of the Rabaul town land, some of which were dubious.
Both men said they had distanced their ILG from all those claimants and were now concentrating on portions of land which he claimed had been rightfully theirs as the legitimate landowners.
They claimed that the seven clans signed an agreement on February in which all members agreed that all matters be consolidated under the Kuraiba Tovuvut integrated land group that would work with the government to determine and confirm their ownership of the subject portions.
The ownership of the land, they said, was now clear and consistent with a “deed of purchase of Feb 11, 1969”.
Both men said the initial compulsory acquisition of the land was in the 1900s by the German administration whose headquarters was in Herbertshoe (now Kokopo), which was later moved to Rabaul preceding the outbreak of World War II, their tenure short-lived.
They affirmed that they have been fighting for land compensation for more than 40 years but the government had not listened to them.
They called on Rabaul MP Dr Allan Marat, Governor Leo Dion and East New Britain administrator Akuila Tubal, the provincial and national lands departments, the National Lands Titles Commission and the national government to recognise their plight, assist them and pay what is due to them.