The National, Monday August 5th, 2013
PNG continues to label Western Highlands (WHP) as one of its least developed provinces because it lacks patriotic leaders from the start.
In fact, WHP has and continues to feed the entire nation with its wealth from Ok Tedi Mine through the PNG Sustainable Development Programme (PNGSDP).
It is about time leaders and elites from WHP start thinking smart about this issue and address it before it is too late.
Born and bred in the province, I have seen a lot of injustice committed against the people who have been denied what is rightfully and legally theirs in terms of benefits from Ok Tedi Mine.
The PNGSDP was not established initially to benefit the entire country, but only the people of WHP.
The PNGSDP was set up to sustain the livelihood of the WHP people after the closure of Ok Tedi Mine.
How on earth can millions of kina flow freely to fund projects in other provinces while WHP is still struggling?
Mind you, most parts of WHP do not get funding from the PNGSDP, who it seems, has become the milking cow for the nation at the expense of the WHP people.
Those directly affected by Ok Tedi Mine’s operation are not the people from Central, East New Britain, Southern Highlands or elsewhere.
The PNGSDP must not give funds away freely like it has been doing since its establishment in 2002.
PNGSDP CEO David Sode and his board must be reminded that from WHP’s point of view, the people have been deliberately made to believe, through its policies and so-called programmes, that they must share their portion of the cake with the other provinces.
It is unfair because Porgera, Lihir or Hidden Valley Mines do not have such a scheme like Ok Tedi Mine that benefits every other province.
Concerned Fly Bala