Friday, September 3, 2010

Rai Coast leaders blast foreign NGO

THE influential Saidor LLG of Madang’s Rai Coast has disassociated itself from non-governmental organisations (NGO) that claim to represent their interest in opposing the Ramu nickel project deep sea tailings placement (DSTP) system at Basamuk Bay.
The LLG specifically singled out Bismarck Ramu Group (BRG), based in Madang, in affidavits filed at the Waigani National Court on Tuesday.
It said in its court papers that BRG was a foreign-owned NGO that was using the Ramu NiCo project landowners of Basamuk to secure overseas funding for its own benefit.
The affidavits were from Saidor LLG president Lau Nangar, vice-president Yabi Asime, chairman of social services Dongembu Dugai, member Daniel Malaka and Village Court magistrate Devi Sama.
They said that BRG was not transparent, or accountable, to the people of Basamuk and Rai Coast on the funding it had received and the source of the funding to instigate the court action on DSTP.
“The principals of BRG have not been transparent or accountable to us, the people of Basamuk and Rai Coast, with the funds they have raised using the DSTP issue,” all five affidavits stated.
They also accused BRG of not consulting with them to use Eddie Tarsie (first plaintiff), Farina Siga (second plaintiff) and Peter Sel (third plaintiff) in the DSTP litigation.
“This NGO did not consult or get the Saidor LLG’s permission and, instead, snatched one member from Saidor LLG (Tarsie).
“Sagi is ward three secretary to Tarsie while Sel is a ward committee member of ward three which is under Tarsie,” Dugai said in his affidavit.
He also said Tarsie was under his LLG and did not represent the wider interest of Saidor LLG and its people.
“The interest of BRG, as an NGO, is not the same as that of Saidor LLG and the people of Basamuk.
“The people want the project to continue with the national government addressing the people’s issues,” the affidavits stated.
They said they had authorised Sama Melambo (fifth plaintiff) and Pommern ILG to institute the case, and not the other plaintiffs in the matter against the project currently stopping the DSTP system construction.
Melambo announced on Wednesday that he and Pommern ILG were withdrawing from the proceedings.

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