Ultimatum issued to Govt to pay up

Landowners from the Moro/Soroi Region of Kutubu, in Southern Highlands Province, have issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Government to pay K16 million in outstanding monies owed to them.

They have warned that serious actions will be taken to make their call heard.

The landowners said they have been quiet for too long and it was time they came out to speak on the issue.

Representatives from the region say following the signing of the Umbrella Benefit Sharing Agreement (UBSA) and Landowner Benefit Sharing Agreement in 2009 for the PNG LNG Project, they were promised K19 million.

However they said they only received a fraction of that.

“We never received those funding,” said Kosie Sosoro from the Hora Sanemahia Clan. We only received K6 million in 2009.”

They said they cooperated with the state to ensure major projects got off the ground but are now being avoided.

“We gave numerous opportunities for the developer to sit with us. For the good of the state, I did not hesitate,” said Lavare Sosoro of the Hora Sanemahia Clan.

“Gavaman yu bin askim mi, mi givim yu isi.”

From the funds the landowners had invested in businesses.

And with the recent earthquake affecting their people, they want the outstanding amount to be released immediately.

The landowners pointed out that they have the pipeline and airport, including the Moro camp.

The K6 million was used to develop Moro town, and they are waiting for the rest.

“Nau lo ples disasta em kamap, disla bai husait bai feisim? Gavaman bai u feisim, Oil Search bai u feisim or ExxonMobil bai u feisim?”

The landowners said they are giving a week for the Government to respond or else they will take action.

Cedric Patjole
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