The National – Tuesday, February 8, 2011
CHIEF of chiefs of the Hiwa-Tuguba tribe in Southern Highlands Stanis Talu has made a plea for his people to return home claiming the government has lied to them and that had resulted in 12 deaths in the last 12 months in Port Moresby.
Talu said it was a very costly exercise repatriating dead bodies home, bodies of people who died awaiting the government’s promised business development grants (BDGs), MoA and ministerial commitments.
The latest victim was a young landowner leader Mark Haralu, whose body will be repatriated today at a cost of K45,000 to charter and fly relatives for burial at his village at Tuguba.
Talu, in an emotional plea, told a huge gathering for the rausim haus krai at Rainbow Village that Port Moresby was not their home and they should all return to the village.
The gathering was attended by Hela leaders including Komo-Margarima MP John Kekeno, former Southern Highlands premier Albert Mokai, Komo LLG deputy president Peter Purani, Philip Undialu and Thomas Gamu.
Komo LLG deputy president Purani said he was the original Tuguba-Tagu man and the deceased came from his council ward.
“At two in the morning of Dec 8, 2009, we signed the LBBSA at Nagoli at Hides and the government chartered an aircraft to bring us down to Port Moresby.”
He said William Duma, Arthur Somare, Anderson Agiru, James Marape and Francis Potape chartered the plane to bring landowner leaders to get their promised MoA, seed capital and ministerial commitments.
“Some of us have ended up with HIV/AIDS, car accidents and unnecessary troubles that are costing our lives.”
Purani said the Department of Petroleum and Energy (DPE) would be answerable to these problems facing landowners.
“Why did you (DPE) bring us here? The government must compensate for all the deaths so far before we will allow DPE to conduct social mapping in our areas.”
Purani said the government must meet the compensation of the deaths before he allowed the ILG social mapping taking place at the village level.
“The government has lied to us. We must all return home and we will support Hides 4 landowners who have forced a halt to construction work.”
Purani said the government must make commitments before further work was undertaken.