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OK TEDI MINE LANDOWNERS SEEK PNG OPPOSITION’S HELP

Staff Reporter | 4:38 AM | ||
The landowners of Ok Tedi Mine have sought assistance from the Opposition in fighting the decision made by the government over the transfer of Ok Tedi’s shares.

They say their have come to the Opposition has it is the alternate government and wanted legal advice on how they can address the situation they now face.
Elected representatives from the CMCA areas and the mine affected villagers presented themselves to Opposition Leader, Belden Namah last Thursday.

Representing 162 mine villages of the impacted communities along the Fly River corridor, the leaders said the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has ignored them when passing the bill on the transfer Ok Tedi Mine shares.

Spokesman, Richard Zumoi said the government is yet to respond to the two petitions presented before and after the bill was passed.

Before the bill was passed, we wanted to stop the bill by inviting the Prime Minister. On the 2nd of August we presented our petition that we don’t want the arrangement he (O’Neill) made,” said Zumoi.

“We did another letter again to the Prime Minister after the bill was passed, but still we got no response,” he said.

Zumoi said they are seeking independent legal advice, but from what they have gathered they do not have legal standing because they do not legally own the mine.

However, they welcome any form of assistance from the Opposition even legal advice as to whether they have any legal grounds to challenge the decision in court.

Mr. Namah has responded promising them to take their views further to his legal advisors.

The landowners have written to the prime minister, demanding immediate transfer of 2. 5 percent shareholding plus any outstanding commitments of 2006 and 2007 CMCA review outcomes.