31 Mar 2003

PNG Prime Minister to meet Madang landowners

2:02 pm on 31 March 2003

The Papua New Guinea prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, is today scheduled to meet landowners from Madang to discuss a petition presented to him on their behalf by Madang governor James Yali.

The petition by the landowners is in support of the Madang provincial government's planned eviction of illegal settlers.

A statement issued by the Madang provincial government last week said Sir Michael had told the governor he knew that the land Madang town was situated on was never paid for.

As a result, Sir Michael has directed the Lands Department to negotiate an acceptable settlement plan.

The prime minister says although the government appreciated the landowners' wish to remove illegal settlers, there should be consultation between the government, landowners and the settlers to move them in a way satisfactory to all parties.