Islanders Call for Legal Help

by Quinton Alomp – EM TV, Port Moresby

Representatives of the displaced people of Manam Island in Madang province are calling for legal help.

The people have been living in care centres for eleven years now, and their calls come after the Government failed to table the Manam Restoration Authority (MRA) bill in Parliament last week.

They are appealing to lawyers who can assist them with legal advice to bring the matter to international humanitarian organisations.

Spokesperson, Peter Muriki, said 11 years is too long and somebody must be held accountable for deprivation of human rights in care centres.

“I appeal to any kind and willing lawyers who can advise us on what step to be taken next,” Muriki said.

After the 2004 Manam volcano eruption, volcanologists have prevented their return to the island because of unstable volcanic activities.

Their only hope is the MRA Bill. The passage of this bill will allow work to be done on the proposed relocation site at Andarum, inland of Bogia.

The bill was introduced in Parliament last year but has not been tabled since.

Representatives of the islanders and their host communities attended Parliament sitting last week hoping to see the bill passed. But. it never happened. The islanders said the prolonged stay is against humanitarian and human rights laws and appeal to any kind hearted lawyers to assist them with legal advice to seek assistance overseas.

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