Friday, August 5, 2016

1) West Papuans in PNG grateful for land allocations

2) Falling trees kill three miners in Jayapura


1) West Papuans in PNG grateful for land allocations 

West Papuan refugees in the Papua New Guinea capital Port Moresby have expressed gratitude at being given land for resettlement.



After many years without a permanent home, West Papuan refugees have been allocated land for resettlement in Papua New Guinea's capital Port Moresby.
More than a thousand West Papuans, some of whom have been in the country for more than 30 years, squat on land in the Rainbow settlement as well as in Hohola and  Waigani within the National Capital District.
Koroi Hawkins has this report
Many West Papuans fled into PNG in the 1980s to escape persecution and military attacks in their homeland after it became part of Indonesia. Most of them live without full citizenship rights and have often been evicted from different parts of PNG over the past few decades, unable to access land or services available to Papua New Guineans. An allocation of about 10 hectares of unused land north east of Port Moresby's CBD at Red Hills in the suburb of Gerehu represents a breakthrough for them. Arnold Amba is a technical officer with the West Papuan Relief Association and he says the refugee community's spirits have been lifted by the allocation. He  says the community is already clearing the land and fund-raising for its development.
ARNOLD AMBA: "People are very happy for that arrangement. So they make themselves to clean up the place and work together to make arrangements for resettle themselves."
Registration of the land title has not actually been completed yet by the National Capital administration but its governor Powes Parkop says he has allowed the West Papuans to begin clearing the land because there has been some encroachment by squatters from different provinces of PNG. Governor Parkop says he hopes the area will become a special place for the West Papuan community.   
POWES PARKOP: " The concept is to not just provide a venue for refugees. We are going to build a West Papuan City. It is a cultural place for them an identity for them a place where they can celebrate themselves as West Papuans. Thinking about where they come from and what their future would be. This is the vision that I have."
In order to realise that vision however the land needs to be developed, starting with the construction of basic road infrastructure and utilities. The coordinator of the Free West Papua PNG chapter, Fred Mambrasa, estimates about half a million Kina or about $US160,000 would be needed to achieve this and to put in proper boundary markers. He says the West Papua community will need additional assistance.    
FRED MAMBRASA: "I want the Papua New Guinea government to help us and build this land and try to help us West Papua in Port Moresby because West Papua Relief Association is trying to help some refugees in other provinces like Madang and Manus, Vanimo, Kiunga. That is why I am asking the government of Papua New Guinea to try and help us."
Some 200 West Papuan families will be moving onto the land over the course of the next few months. It can't come soon enough for many of them who are once again facing eviction orders from the settlements in which they're currently residing.
2) Falling trees kill three miners in Jayapura
Nether Dharma Somba The Jakarta Post Papua | Fri, August 5 2016 | 05:50 pm

Three miners have died in Jayapura regency, Papua, after two large trees fell onto their hut. Four of the victims’ friends were injured.
The trees fell after a landslide in Bulebe village, Ayapo, Jayapura, in the early hours of Friday, when heavy rains poured over the regency.
The three were identified as Wim Siregar, 50, Yerenpias Nasadit, 36, and Yulius, 48. The four injured men were Yusak Tayo, 35, Yeatet Manambing, 56, Marthin, 32, and Fransiskus Mahuse, 45.
“Witnesses said the dead miners were all inside the same hut, and when the rain started at about 4 a.m. [local time], two trees near the hut fell down onto it,” East Sentani Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Mansur said on Friday.
Three surviving miners went down to a nearby settlement to report the accident. “We received the report at 12 p.m. local time, and we immediately went to the scene,” Mansur said.
Bulebe is home to a traditional gold mine, said Demianus Pulando, head of the Kampung Ayapo community unit. He said there were about 15 huts near the mine where workers from outside of the kampung lived. Outsiders have come to the area for work since 2014.
The site was previously managed by mining company Wahana Bima Sakti, Demianus added. “They set up a camp, built an office and road, but the Jayapura administration did not issue a license.”
“The company worked there for about six months and then they closed down,” Demianus said. He said the license was not issued because of a disagreement between the regional administration and customary rights holders about revenue sharing. After the company closed down, other people started coming to the area.
According to Demianus, the site has a decent amount of gold. “In a day, a miner can get 4 grams. Once, someone even got a pebble-sized piece of gold, about 14 to 16 grams,” he said. Miners sift for gold along the Ungabho River in a hilly site that spans about 15 kilometers. (evi)

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