Settlers want city authority to confirm rightful owner of land


A GROUP of settlers on a government land in Port Moresby is calling National Capital District authorities to confirm who is the rightful owner of the land identified as portion 1654 at Granville.
They raised the question after Judge David Cannings ordered that the damage done by police in an eviction exercise in 2013 acting on an order from Macata Price Limited be assessed.
Macata Price Limited was the registered proprietor of the State lease on the land.
Thomas Yalbees, Wilson Kuyako, and Ben Lunga, the lead plaintiffs in the matter representing 155 others, wanted Lands Minister Justine Tkatchenko, National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop, and Housing and Urbanisation Minister John Kaupa should provide an explanation to the settlers.
Justice Cannings last Thursday ruled that the settlers’ human rights had been breached. He ordered that a trial on the assessment of damages take place at a later date.
Justice Cannings ruled that the relationship between the registered proprietor and the unauthorised occupiers were sufficiently close to a duty of care owed by Macata Price Limited to the plaintiffs.
“The plaintiffs had equitable interest in the land arising from their long-term occupation without active opposition from any lawful authority.
They had to be given reasonable notice to leave,” he said.
“The manner in which the eviction exercise was conducted involved breach of human
rights under section 36 of the Freedom from Inhuman Treatment Act.”
Justice Cannings said claims against Macata Enterprises managing director Tom Amaiu, Inspector Perou N’Dranou, Senior Constable Hanson Tokali and then Police Commissioner Taomi Kulunga could not be proven.
The proceedings against them were dismissed.
“The second defendant (Macata enterprises Ltd) was liable for the breaches of human rights committed by unidentified members that assisted them,” Judge Cannings said.

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