by Edwin Fidelis – EM TV News, Kokopo
Rabaul MP, Dr. Allan Marat, has called on his countrymen to give enough time for the provincial government to address their concerns, following a peaceful protest earlier this week.
The Tovalingan, Tobobe and Ratagul landowners on Tuesday presented a list of demands to the Rabaul port operators regarding compensation deals.
They also demanded to discuss their issue with the Rabaul town authorities or they will force the closure of Rabaul town next week.
Dr. Marat’s call comes nine days after the indigenous landowner group demanded that their concerns be look into by the East New Britain provincial government.
Among the list were their compensation demands.
The Indigenous landowners last week issued threats to shut down operations in Rabaul, including its largest ports.
The Rabaul MP says there are other Landowner Group groups who have claimed ownership of Rabaul town, but are yet to speak out.
The landowners on Tuesday last week staged a peaceful protest march to the Rabaul port and presented a formal notice to the port owners regarding the closure of Rabaul town this week.
But, the closure of the town has been pending after the acting Provincial administrator, Wilson Matava, has taken on their concerns and is looking into.
Rabaul town, although devastated during the 1994 eruption, still remains an important location for East New Britain province.
Much of the supply comes through here before it’s transported to Kokopo or other areas in the province.
Any disruption to the town’s operations by the landowners will affect the delivery of goods and services in the province.