Logging & Law at Collingwood Bay, Tufi



 An email from Lester Seri


I thought this picture might be of interest to you - the picture was taken in Collingwood Bay, Oro province, following an investigation by Oro police, Administration staff, and community and environmental NGOs.

Both the landowner companies involved and the developers have no legal permit whatsoever to enter the area to undertake logging and agro-forestry projects but using bogus licenses and land leases issued by lands department they were able to go in despite we telling them that, portions of land they claim to hold title for have been cancelled by the lands department following a court case. 



We also reminded them of contempt of court following Judge Sakora's ruling in 2002 for the same area.

The community put up taboo signs out in the sea, on the shoreline / beaches stopping these people from landing their trucks and bulldozers but they just ignored them and pushed their way through including destroying their gardens in the process of constructing their logging tracks leading up to their campsite at the foot of Mount Victory.


Police, community and NGO's went on investigation following news from the affected communities and confirmed the situation and took the pictures. The community told the company and the police that, they have exhausted all avenues of reasonable ways of dealing with this continuing invasion of their privacy and the next time will be, different.


The police were supposed to arrest all those involved with the landing of the equipment and take them to Popondetta for question and laying charges but for reasons only known to them, they changed their minds and flew them back to Port Moresby on RH plane on the understanding that, they were to pick up their passports and other details for use in the police interview. since their arriving in POM we have not been able to make contact with them including with the police man who accompanied them as he had put his mobile off making contact very difficult. A Wong who is claimed to be the principle behind all these illegal deals and landing the equipment, slipped out to Brisbane.


Interestingly, the company had been successful in sending some sort of police or guards who are claimed to be well equipped over to Wanigela, to keep watch over the impounded equipment.


it is not clear if the equipments have been duly registered with Motor Vehicle Insurance Limited or if the foreign employers have work visa or cleared by Labour and employment, or if customs has given the clearance for the importing of the equipments, or if the PNG Ports Limited has granted approval for landing the barge / pontoon at Wanigela.They definitely had no licenses for the guns, at least from what we have heard.


As if what they did so far is not enough, they have now taken representatives of the Collingwood Bay communities to court for what they claim to be, abuse, humiliation of some sort. The case filed was done exparte and we are now trying to reach the affected clans and individuals in Wanigela to let them know what it means, and what they need to do.


It is important to note:


LOGGING COMPANIES THESE DAYS HAVE NO REGARD FOR THE LAWS OF THIS LAND AND WILL USE  FORCE OF ALL SORTS TO GET WHAT THEY WANT EVEN IF THEY HAVE TO BULLDOZE PEOPLES' TRADITIONAL TABOOS AND GARDENS, SO, WATCH OUT!!! WE HAVE A GOVERNMENT THAT DOES NOT SEEM TO CARE IF THE LAWS OF THIS LAND ARE BROKEN NOR DOES IT CARE IF THE PEOPLES RIGHTS ARE VIOLATED. SADLY, THAT IS, HOW WE SURVIVE OR FARE IN FIGHTING SUCH WARS OF GREED AND DESTRUCTION, HOWEVER DISADVANTAGED WE MAY BE IN EVERY WAY, IS OUR OWN BUSINESS THESE DAYS - SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST!


Adios,

LSERI

3 comments:

Russell Soaba said...

I'm not surprised to see this, Les. In fact, we are anxious to see how further developments go, but we are all the more anxious because we do not live far from you guys. What if something big comes to our neck of the woods in the near future? How we gonna react or look after ourselves if the Government itself does not care about us?

Lester said...

Kefata or Sebare,I have and will always have faith in the will and strength of our people however illiterate and geographically isolated we may be.

The strength of our people we have consolidated and built on from the days of barter trading, feasting and dancing of foroga or biriko, and ofcourse the continuing inter-marriages, this makes us one in soul and spirit, family, clan and community - the place we belong, the place that defines who we are, that is our existence!

We have been around this place from time immemorial according to our ancetors but now scientists say we have been around for 40,000 years or more before any encounter with the outsiders only 150 - 200 years ago. We defended ourselves, took care of ourselves, and survived to this date without modern technology and money.

With the experience of our previous struggle to get our land rights back from the government and developers, it took four years of a very expensive court battle, and after many warriors have died figthing,I cannot see how I can be convinced to trust the Government now that I am continuing to fight the same fight with the same government,the same individuals and developers.

Our people won the fight in 2002 and afer 8 years we are fighting the same old fight, with the same evil people with the support of our government because they still badly want what we have, our land and our resources, our heritage, its got dollar signs written all over it, that is what they want, they do not care who we are and what these resources mean to us.

Our ancestors and our people are the source of our strength, our singsings, dances, and customs define our identity, our land and resources guaranty our existence.

Like a good Anuki man and his people will do the noble, honorable and responsible thing to defend their territory, I will do what is right by the Maisin tradition and teachings to defend what rightly belongs to the Maisin people.

Together we can vanquish any opposing forces that are a threath to our existence.

We will only loose this kinds of modern wars if we do not do what you so rightly and literary told it, "... take time to look through the eye sockets of our ancestors skull" for wisdom, knowledge, undertsanding, and strength.

The legacy of our ancestors must continue and I truly believe we can do it without the support of our Government.

Damanina / Nene

Russell Soaba said...

Nene, Sebare.

My recent visit to Woruka revealed to me that I was quite mistaken when I said we are not catching up fast. Living in remote locations such as ours is no excuse. Our people need to be informed of the amount of indifference the appropriate authorities show us.

On top of that, I noticed that our people simply make do with what they have. They have their own approaches to managing their own affairs.

What troubles me here is our lack of resources which could enable us to visit our people more often that we do now in order to warn them well in advance of what is to come.

I am all the more fearful because in the very near future it won't be just timber that we will be dealing. Something else more is brewing, probably at a larger scale like millions of oil barrels, if not gas bottles.

How we gonna wake up in time, Sebare... if that happens.

Just some thoughts

 

Design in CSS by TemplateWorld and sponsored by SmashingMagazine
Blogger Template created by Deluxe Templates