Bill Conroy, top agriculturalist, dies at 88
Ramu plaintiffs go missing as case gets messy

Ramu landowners threatened on eve of court

BY KEITH JACKSON

THE MADANG police commander deployed armed police to the Rai coast on Saturday to protect indigenous landowners who are challenging the marine waste dumping plans of the Chinese owned Ramu nickel mine.

The landowners had been unable to travel to Madang to prepare for their court case today because of threats and intimidation from thugs believed to be controlled by ex-Madang Governor, James Yali.

Plaintiffs Eddie Tarsie, Peter Sel and Farima Siga have been under constant threat over the last week by people believed to be associated with Mr Yali, and had been told they should not leave the Sel village area to attend the trial.

A boat sent to collect them on Saturday was stopped by two boatloads of men armed with guns and knives. It returned to Madang without the plaintiffs and a police task force was later provided to escort the landowners to Madang.

Two weeks ago, in a matter reported to police, Mr Yali tried to approach the landowners’ lawyer, Tiffany Nonggorr, in her hotel room to challenge her over the court case.

Mr Yali told reporters he was acting on behalf of the PNG government, which has been aggressively defending the Chinese mine owners, even changing PNG’s environment law to facilitate the mine’s opening.

“I find this very disturbing,” an observer told PNG Attitude. “One of the defendants is a government we directly give half-a-billion dollars of aid. The other defendant is a joint venture between an Australian listed company and a Chinese company that has bought up a dozen resources companies in Australia.”

Mine construction is currently on hold because the landowners obtained a temporary court injunction preventing the construction of the marine mine waste dumping system that plans to pump five million tonnes of mine tailings into the sea every year.

The landowners’ court case challenging the validity of the environmental permit given to MCC, the Chinese mining company developing the mine, is to start today.

In a further development, the National Court in Madang today is likely to be asked by MCC that indigenous landowners be compelled to find K8 million (about $3.2 million) before the court case proceeds.

MCC wants the K8 million as security for the company’s costs in defending the trial.

As one observer said: “It is an interesting comment on the state of governance in Papua New Guinea that a Chinese owned transnational corporation feels no compunction about using its financial muscle to try and block indigenous landowners from exercising their Constitutional rights to challenge executive decisions by their own government.”

The Chinese legal strategy is being orchestrated by Australian lawyers.

Sources: Ramu Nickel Mine Watch, Ilya Gridneff, Alex Harris

Comments

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Paul Oates

Re comment by 'Bill Bosky' - Further to Peter's response, I was part of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and can speak from some direct knowledge of the investigation process.

The Commission employed many highly qualified legal entities including well regarded Indigenous Australians.

While it is true that there were mistakes and some illegal activities revealed and reported on, it is grossly untrue to infer that 96 Indigenous Australians were deliberately killed by the Australian government.

Anyone who has actually read the Commission's Report would know the facts and to say this claim is a lie.

The essential issue here is that Australia did investigate previous bad practice and intolerant and improper behaviour and reported on these aspects in a transparent manner with a commitment to make sure they never happened again.

Can this be said be said on the current PNG government? I don't think so.

Could this judicial and transparent review process concerning previous and current mining and timber industry practices now be undertaken in PNG with the PNG government's blessing? Clearly that's also a no brainer.

Check out the Barnett Report on the PNG Timber industry. It nearly cost Judge Barnett his life to produce his report and yet the PNG government has done nothing with it.

Nor has the current PNG government done anything with the recent Financial Review for example or any one of a number of imperative remedies desperately required to try and put their own country on the road to a better future.

They are clearly either incapable of managing their own country or just plain culpable. There isn't any other explanation.

So Mr Bosky or whoever you are, put a sock in it.

Peter

Bill Bosky - you seem to have a limited grasp on reality.

The total number of convicts transported to Australia was around 162,000. Transportation of convicts ended around 150 years ago.

Many were transported for trivial crimes like stealing handkerchiefs or publishing a political tract. Many Irish independents were transported just for their beliefs.

Not good, but perhaps this was more humane than the local punishments in the UK at the time.

The population of Australia now is around 22,000,000 - the vast majority of them free settlers (like my ancestors), who settled in remote areas to establish farms and build free communities.

The number of Australians who can trace their ancestry back to convicts is less than 10%.

The number of Aboriginal Australians is now around 200,000.

Yes, there was bad treatment of Aborigines in the early days, as there has been in many countries, but modern Australia has moved beyond this.

In Australia now people are not tortured and killed for allegations of sorcery or witchcraft. However this is still happening in PNG as I know from the experience of my own family. At least we stopped torturing witches 300 years ago.

So who has the right to cast the first stone?

Bill Bosky

Keith Jackson's Australia is a large continent inhabited by mostly white people who are direct descendants of thieves and convicts.

They continued their profession upon arrival in Australia by stealing Aborigines land and murdering them en masse. They continue to kill them even today.

Not long ago there was a Judicial Commission of Inquiry Report detailing deaths 96 of them deliberately killed by the white Australian Government.

What has Keith Jackson done about prosecuting the murderers? NOTHING!

Australia is a small country with a small population in the Pacific with a small and insignificant economy in terms of the rest of the world, and Keith Jackson's pension will be paid by the blood, tears and anguish of the Aborigines people.

Come on Keith you cannot be serious! You come from an less significant country, your ancestors are thieves and the blood that runs through your veins is that of criminals and you cannot seriously tell us you have something significant to tell us about morality, the right and the wrong?

You wouldn't know which way is down and which way is up, caught up as you were in a convict ship passing the Cape of Good Hope, would you?

Come on Keith, go collect your pension, go to the local pub, and have a beer mate.

Your country is just as corrupt or even more corrupt than PNG and most other countries in the world. Go evangelize yourself and your backyard first.
_____________________

Bill Bosky is a fake name and the email address provided is fictitious - KJ

Sabenu Katurowe

Where is justice? Where is freedom? Why have I become an alien in my own land?

Andy McNabb

Why would your observer be disturbed? Australia has been supporting corrupt regimes for some time. It is not squeaky clean.

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