Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (Radio Australia, Jan. 9) - A group of Bougainville landowners is waiting for a clearance letter from the Papua New Guinean government to proceed with a lawsuit in the United States.

The lawsuit, which is seeking compensation for human rights abuses and environmental damages from Australian mining company Rio Tinto, was stopped by the former Mekere government on the grounds of national interest.

The landowners have appealed against the decision to cancel the case.

PNG's Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare has already overruled the decision by the former government, giving his consent for the case to go ahead in the US.

January 9, 2003

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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