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By Bibian Barreng

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Nov. 30) - Landowners in Kudjip, Western Highlands province, do not want K4.8 million (US$1,524,000) in compensation. Instead, they want their land back.

The land hosts a number of essential government facilities and services. A national highway also cuts through this piece of land.

The Kudjip landowners have also threatened to shut down a power supply facility and block off roads and bridges in the township.

This is in retaliation over a recent National Court ruling in Mt. Hagen quashing an earlier directive by the National Lands Commission to pay the landowners K4,850,250 (US$1,539,954). The court had referred the matter back to the commission for a re-hearing, citing failure in complying with provisions of the National Lands Registration Act when making the award.

Landowner chairman William Wii warned that the land in question has the national highway running through it, and a blockade would have a great impact on the normal flow of goods and services into the highlands. Also affected would be a power sub-station, a hospital and police station, and five plantations belonging to Waghi Mek Ltd. and the WR Carpenters Tea & Coffee plantations.

Wii said after waiting so long, the landowners have decided that they want their land back. They have pursued the matter with authorities for close to 20 years.

December 1, 2004

The National:


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