by Bethanie Harriman – EM TV, Madang
A National court order has been served on several people who have been involved in recent protests against the Chinese government funded Pacific Marine Industrial Zone in Madang.
The Secretary of the Department of Commerce Trade and Industry served the order through its lawyers.
The order restrains several people including Sumkar MP, Ken Fairweather, outspoken Madang Anthorpologist, Nancy Sullivan, and Kananam villagers, Poin Casper and Kamilus Matai.
Another prominent Madang figure restrained has been a founding father of the PNG constitution and Madang statesman, Sir Angmai Bilas.
“Basically this summons tells us to shut up, we have no rights to talk about issues,” says BRG Chairman, Poin Casper.
The order stops them from holding consultative meetings with people over the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone.
The PMIZ Project will be built on land, which was first acquired by the Catholic Church in the 1800’s, before it was sold in 1999 to RD Tuna and later bought off by the State for four million kina.
Immediate resource owners still recognise the land as their own.
The Trade, Commerce and Industry department argues that the land on which the PMIZ will be built has a state title.
Last month Commerce Minister, Richard Maru, said the Government owns the land.
Last week, the government department took out a restraining order stopping further protests and meetings.
Last month, the Sek clan handed over a petition to the government to stop the project.
On May 20, Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, responded in a statement saying the government will go ahead in developing the PMIZ project.
The Project is expected to generate two billion kina annually in economic activity and will provide 20,000 jobs.
O’Neill added that the land mark proposal is before NEC for consideration, it will be jointly owned by the local community, national government and provincial government.