PNG COURT ORDERS LOGGING COMPANY TO CEASE OPERATIONS

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post Courier, June 9) – Six Papua New Guinea national court orders have effectively restrained PNG Forest Authority and the state from conducting any logging in the Asowa Valley in the West Sepik Province.

This has frustrated the Vanimo Forest Product Limited management (which operates under PNG Forest Authority).

Members of a police mobile squad based in Vanimo allegedly beat the principal landowner and plaintiff when he went to serve the orders on the Vanimo Forest Product management. The six court orders granted by the National Court on Wednesday effectively restrained Vanimo Forest Products from engaging in logging, transportation, sales, purchasing, marketing, processing and grading of timber product harvested from Asowa or any part of Vanimo Timber Rights Purchase block six.

"Their (Vanimo Forest Product) Timber Rights Purchase expired earlier this year. They cannot continue to threaten the landowners and operate," Belden Namah, principal landowner and chairman of Amanab 56, said.

Mr Namah said Vanimo Forest Product could not undermine the court order and threaten the landowners.

"I will fly to Vanimo tomorrow (Friday) with my lawyer and summon the alleged policemen involved in bashing up the principal landowner and bring them to justice," Mr Namah said.

Vanimo police confirmed the incident but could not comment further as the provincial police commander was not available.

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