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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post Courier, June 14) – Papua New Guinea’s Porgera landowners association, Akali Tange, has pledged to fully cooperate with investigations into the killing of more than 14 people by the mining security guards over the past 10 years.

Akali Tange Association executive officer Jethro Tulin made this undertaking in a press release last week after the Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare announced a probe into killings of community members at the Porgera mine pit.

"Akali Tange Association was crying for help and therefore will fully co-operate with the investigation committee so that the committee will inquire and establish the source to the problems leadings to the deaths," Mr. Tulin said.

He said despite the long delay to commission the investigation, he was happy with the prime minister’s call to investigate the killings.

Canadian publishing company, The Ottawa Citizen, in one of their publication on Sunday June 4 described the killings as a deadly clash of cultures. It went on to say that the impact of a cash-for-land deal has turned the traditions upside-down and their ancestral home into an industrial moonscape patrolled by guards and police, including one of Papua New Guinea’s "mobile units," renowned for savage human-rights abuses.

Clashes between small-scale miners and security guards at the Porgera mine have been common in which many people have been killed or injured.

[PIR editor’s note: The Porgera mine is an open-pit and underground gold mine jointly owned by Barrick Gold Corporation, Emperor Mines Ltd, and the Government of Papua New Guinea. See previous PIR story for further details.]

June 15, 2006

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