by Jack Lapauve – EM TV, Port Moresby
A Manam Summit Resolution for Manam islanders was presented to Government Chief Secretary Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc today.
The resolution highlights the Madang Provincial Government’s plight in passing a bill in parliament for the resettlement of Manam islanders. Manam islanders have been living on the mainland of Madang for over 10 years now.
The summit was short and brief, but very significant for the people of Manam Island and the Madang Provincial Government. Present to receive the resolution on behalf of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was Chief Secretary, Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc.
Madang Governor Jim Kas said the resettlement of the islanders has affected both the Manam islanders and host landowners of Bogia, causing an outburst from Bogia landowners and Manam Islanders over the years.
Governor Kas said for 10 years, the option of resettlement had been bypassed or ignored by leaders from provincial and national levels. When receiving the resolution, Sir Manasupe said normal procedures of passing a bill will be followed in preparation for tabling in parliament early next year.
Usino Bundi MP Anthon Yagama, who was instrumental in backing Governor Jim Kas, said the resettlement of Manam islanders is not normal for PNG culture but is an option considered following a report by the Rabaul Volcano Observatory.
A bulk of Manam islanders and Bogia representatives were not able to attend the program because of the cancellation of flights to and from Madang this morning.