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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Nov. 8) – A landmark agreement has been signed between Papua New Guinea landowner company Ahi Holdings and Kambang Holdings, the business arm of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua new Guinea.

It was signed at Yalu village outside the city of Lae last Saturday.

[PIR editor’s note: Lae, the industrial center of Papua New Guinea, is located on land once owned by the Ahi tribe on the country’s northern coast.]

The agreement was witnessed by a large crowd, including directors of Ahi Holdings, Kambang Holdings, officials from the church and villagers from the Ahi villages of Butibam, Hengali, Kamkumung, Wagang, Yanga and Yalu.

Ahi Holdings chairman Muttu Gware signed on behalf of his people, Kambang Holdings chairman Namon Mawason on behalf of the company, and church general-secretary Fua Singin signed on behalf of the church.

The agreement paves the way for Ahi Holdings and Kambang Holdings to enter into any form of business, which will include Kambang’s Lutheran Shipping.

Ahi Holdings board member Benson Nablu said the agreement was a tangible translation of the long relationship between the Ahi people — traditional landowners of Lae — and the Lutheran church.

"We’ve been trying to go one step further by having an economic relationship, which to me is a very good step," Nablu said. "We believe also that it’s about time that Ahi people gather our resources and invest for our future generations. We have already lost our greatest asset, which is our land, through urbanisation."

November 9, 2005

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