Manam Islanders Appeal For Restoration Bill Passage

by Quinton Alomp – EM TV News, Port Moresby

The twenty thousand Manam Islanders who have been displaced for over eleven years are appealing to the National Government to pass the Manam Restoration Authority bill tomorrow.

This bill once passed will make way for the permanent resettlement agenda to progress.

They called on their Local MP, John Hickey, to stop politicising the bill’s tabling.

The internally displaced people from Manam island has been voicing their concerns since 2004, when the volcanic eruption on their island forced them to reside in care centres on mainland Bogia. 

They have been in care centres for eleven years now.

Late last year, the proposal to resettle them in Andarum, inland of Bogia, has been introduced in parliament.

In 2013, Deputy Prime Minister, Leo Deon, visited the displaced islanders in Madang.

He promised government’s support to the Manam Restoration Authority bill in parliament.

However, the bill is yet to be passed by parliament.

This week representatives from Manam islanders and their host communities attend the parliament sitting, hoping that the bill will be passed.

But, this was not the case. Now they are appealing to the government to make this a priority in tomorrow’s sitting. 

They called on all Madang MPs and the Prime Minister to push forward the bill.

They hope to return back to Madang tomorrow with good news.

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