31 Dec 2003

Madang Settlers Representative in PNG says settlers forced to fund own way home

2:26 pm on 31 December 2003

A representatives for the settlers in Madang in Papua New Guinea says many settlers have had to fund their own way back to their home provinces.

This follows the provincial government and police targeting over 12-thousand settlers earlier this month in a bid to evict illegal settlers squatting on government land.

Paul Ropra says he even tried forewarning the national government of a national disaster, if the evictions went ahead.

He says the lack of logistics for the evictions and subsequent treatment of settlers has been inhumane.

Paul Ropra says the whole operation has been a terrible experience.

"A lot of people have left at their own costs, that has been the case as we see now. They just couldn't have the kids and belongings and things exposed to rain and bad weather during this rainy season now. So a lot have left at their own expenses, leaving behind bad memories of Madang."

Paul Ropra says there is still no sign of the promised government funds of 124,000 U.S. dollars to assist in the resettlement of settlers.