Post Courier | March 14 2016
A RECONCILIATION ceremony marked the end of a six-year conflict over the ownership and benefits from the Lihir Gold Mine in New Ireland Province.
The ceremony marked an understanding that was signed in Kavieng by Governor Sir Julius Chan, Nimamar Local Level Government president Ambrose Silul and LMALA chairman James Laketan in March 2015 to work together for the best interest of the people of Lihir and New Ireland.
The reconciliation process concluded that there would be two parts to the peace process: the first being the spiritual reconciliation held on February 26-27.
The second part was performed on Lihir Island at Potzlaka, a Government station on March 5. A provincial Government delegation led by chairman sports and youth representative Engelberth Lutham attended the reconciliation ceremony at Potzlaka. Mr Lutham congratulated the leaders of Lihir, especially the LMALA chairman James Laketan and Nimamar president Ambrose Silul for their initiative, dedication and commitment through hard work towards the preparation of the successful event.
“Working together, there is nothing we cannot do,” Mr Lutham.
The reconciliation process paves the way forward for the six-year conflict over the ownership and benefits of Lihir sustainable development plan as stipulated in their integrated benefits package 2 signed in 2007. The six clans and 15 wards, with all the leaders of Lihir Island stood together to express great satisfaction as a result of the successful ceremony after suffering from past years’ difference over the benefits from Lihir gold mine.
Governor Sir Julis Chan, who was overseas and could not attend, said this was a significant event not experienced elsewhere in the country.
“Once again, New Ireland has shown the way to a peaceful and lasting settlement of disputes,” he said.