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Move follows several deaths and high tension

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 23, 2009) – Papua New Guineans displaced by a series of volcanic eruptions may be shipped back to their home island, Manam, after the failure to secure them permanent land on the PNG mainland.

It also follows a series of violent clashes between the people of Manam Island, who are living at care centres in Madang province, and neighbouring villages.

In the most recent incident, at the weekend, a three old child was abducted and reportedly murdered.

This comes after four deaths in relation to the displaced islanders earlier this year plus others in clashes last year.

The Governor of Madang, Sir Arnold Amet, says the MP for the village of Bogia and Manam Island, the Cabinet Minister John Hickey, is promoting moves to take the people back to Manam.

"Over the past four years there has been considerable tension and conflicts ongoing, and perhaps whilst any immediate negotiations for vast, vacant land with traditional landowners inland might take some time, perhaps his thoughts are [that] back on their own island, as best as might be possible, might be an interim solution."

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