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MALAHANG EVICTION

Eviction has started at the Malahang and Whitey area (portion 354) in Lae on Sunday 18th of December for the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCPNG) owned land.

ELCPNG Secretary, Bernard Kaisom said most of the church lands around the country were illegally occupied and the decision to take back these land portions came from the Synod (Church Council).

Mr Kaisom said a court order was taken by the church in 2011 restraining the defendant (previous landowner) to sell land but he kept on selling land to people. What he was doing was in contempt of the court order.

The order was then followed through and in March of this year, the court granted an eviction and gave the settlers four months to vacate the land.

Secretary Kaisom said ample time was given for sellers and businesses to remove their structures before the church moved in to recoup their land.

The eviction exercise is expected to continue for a week and some settlers have already demolished their homes and moved out of the land.

Meanwhile, the Evangelical Church of PNG leaders have received threats from the occupants and are calling for them to stop using threats because of an eviction in the area which was granted by the court.

Kaisom said the eviction was to clear the land and partner with the government and other partners in the development of this country and the threats will not help in any way.

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