“Their statements are a truthful admission and acknowledgement of the injustices suffered by the landowners of major resource exploitation projects in the country since colonisation”
Post Courier | April 4, 2018
The president of the Resource Owners Federation of PNG Jonathan Paraia has welcomed sentiments expressed by two important persons in the mining and petroleum sectors of the country.
Mr Paraia claimed that Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) managing director Augustine Mano and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill have expressed disappointment in the current benefit sharing arrangement between resource-owners, the government and resource developers.
Mr Paraia praised the Prime Minister and Mr Mano for their views on landowners and Papua New Guineans not benefitting enough and participating in the development and extraction of their mineral and petroleum resources.
“Their statements are a truthful admission and acknowledgement of the injustices suffered by the landowners of major resource exploitation projects in the country since colonisation,” Mr Paraia said.
He said the State laws on acquiring ownership of all minerals and petroleum resources held under the surface of the land without paying just compensation to the customary owners is unjust.
Mr Paraia said it was first introduced by the colonial governments and later adopted by the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, even though those laws are in breach of Section 53 (prohibition of unjust deprivation of property) of the Constitution of Papua New Guinea.
He said although a United Nations declaration in 2007 resolved for member governments to remove such unjust laws and restore the ownership of all land and resources acquired by the member States without paying compensation to their traditional owners.