Betelnut Ban Unconstitutional, Says Sir Puka Temu

By Fabian Hakalits – EMTV Port Moresby

Abau MP and Public Service Minister, Sir Puka Temu, says the ‘betelnut ban’ in Port Moresby, is unconstitutional, because leaders of Central Province were never consulted in the process.

While appreciating the NCD Governor’s efforts, to keep the city clean, Sir Puka called on the O’Neill-Dion Government to revisit the policy for the interest and benefit of the people.

‘It’s Our Land’ was the phrase Sir Puka made at the grievance debate in Parliament yesterday, while pleading for his people of Central Province. The betelnut ban, he says, has badly affected their income earnings.

Betelnut is their source of income, but since the ban is in effect in the capital city, Sir Puka said it has relatively made people poor, because it’s their trading commodity.

Sir Puka told Parliament ‘it’s said that this was an unfair treatment as local’s rights were stripped off, displaced from their own province.

Sir Puka said the Government failed to include leaders of Central Province in the process. He called on the ruling Government to relook into the central arrangements, for National Capital District.

Meanwhile East Sepik Governor, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, pleaded with the people of Central Province, and said the O’Neill-Dion Government must revisit the arrangement to solve this issue.

Sir Michael also said that National Capital District Commission must be a commission of its own, with the word district omitted.

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