A police led eviction operation led to a clan fight in which property worth thousands of kina had been destroyed.
It is alleged that an expatriate businessman hiredthe Task Force to evict settlers in this village but it got out of hand when a fight broke out between two clans, Nielik and Tinetalgo. The land in dispute is known as Naitam.
The villagers saythe Task Force acted beyond its orders, by destroying houses. These pictures were taken by an eye –withness, damaged houses, iron roof pulled down and all food gardens destroyed. Speaking as a neutral body, Chairman of Lihir Mining AreaLandowner Association Peter Suar condemnedthe actions and appealed for normalcy.
The people called onthe government to intervene and recallthe Task Force to its base. Lihir Island is experiencing monsoon rain and futher delay could mean,the people will be out inthe cold for a long period of time.
Meanwhile,Interim Restraining Orders were served onthe police to stopthe eviction exercise on site. The Provincial Police Commander Nelson Chanei was in a meeting all day.
Beidgette Komatep, National EMTV News