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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, April 9) - Papua New Guinea’s
province of East New Britain is preparing to negotiate with the national
government for greater autonomy.

The provincial governor, Leo Dion, says his Executive Council
has approved the final draft of a report on greater autonomy for East New

The Papua New Guinea Post Courier newspaper reports that the
Council has asked the Provincial administration to supply data on the yearly
shortfall in grants owed to the province and East New Britain’s gross export
earnings to support its cause.

The provincial administration has also been asked to prepare a
fallback plan if the national government refuses East New Britain’s request.

Dion says under greater autonomy, people will have more control
and say over the way the local level government should work and the types of
development to be pursued.

The Post Courier reports Dion as saying that greater autonomy
for East New Britain is long overdue.

April 10, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: 

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