Forthe first time, landowners ofthe Manus province have come out public ontheir views ofthe regional arrangement between Australia anPNG on asylum seekers on Manus Island.
Sincethe signing ofthe deal between Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and his Australian counterpart Kevin Rudd,there has been mixed reactions from a wide cross section ofthe public. And, this isthe first time landowners from Manus have spoken out.
The Kohonaleng Clan called onthe O’Neill government to spell out clearly,the benefits that Manus landowners will receive out ofthe Asylum Seekers Agreement.
This isthe first timethe host landowner clan of Manus has formally and directly sought clarification and explanation from boththe Australian anPNG governments overthe accord.
Spokesman Ali Pinakohon said he wants to know wherethe Manus people fit intothe equation.
“We didn’trsquo;t get an clarification from our members, Charlie Benjamin and Ronnie Knight,” he said.
Another spokesman Abraham Kia saidthe people are happy withthe agreement because Manus needsthe benefits.
He also added that whilethe agreement includes 500 million kina for the Angau Hospital inthe Morobe Province, and hundreds of kina for infrastructure development in ther centres aroundthe country, nothing has been said for Manus as host province.
“ther provinces have benefited from this deal and what about us,the people of Manus? Are we just going to sit and see thers benefit?” asked Mr Kia.
The landowners are invitingthe government and especiallytheir two lLeaders Governor Charlie Benjamin and Open Member Ronnie Knight to advisethe people of Manus, what is inthe agreement for them.
“I want to appeal our members in parliament to inform clearly to us, what are our benefits…it’s been too long,” Mr Kia said.
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