Police officers working on behalf of Malaysian logging giant Rimbunan Hijau are continuing to intimidate, attack and detain landholders trying to protect their land against illegal logging in the Pomio District of East New Britain, according to reports from the area.
This is despite an order from Police Commissioner Gari Baki that police should not be permanently deployed to logging camps.
The Prime Minister has again announced the government is cancelling controversial SABL leases and returning the land to its customary owners.
“I am pleased to say that all the SABL leases to be cancelled, instruction has now gone to the Lands Dept and as of today (last Friday) I can assure you that leases are now being cancelled”– see story below.
Logging on New Hanover: "This is our customary land. Why would they do this to us?"
New Ireland Provincial Government has sent in armed police to defend illegal logging and road clearing operations on New Hanover island. Local people have been engaged in a long struggle to defend their land and reclaim what is rightfully theirs from the foreign logging companies.