Dear Prime Minster Michael Somare

Dear Prime Minister Michael Somare

I implore you to RESTORE the Environment Act and REVOKE these newly-legislated measures that deprive all Landowners in Papua New Guinea of their most basic rights: Their right to land, their right to live in a clean and safe environment, their right to justice.

When you first became Prime Minister in 1975, PNG was one of the most constitutionally advanced new nations in the world.  It was one of the few in the Pacific where, unlike Indonesia and other nations, the local lands belonged to the indigenous owners.

Since then rapacious resource extraction companies have entered upon the scene and through corrupting government officials and deceiving the local people, and bribery, have succeeded in dominating the government and the national economy to the extent that resource extraction companies can act in relation to the local people with almost complete impunity.  

More than ten years ago in an outrageous conflict of interest, lawyers for BHP ltd. wrote the legislation defining limits of liability for resource-extraction damage by that company to local people. Since then the talings from that single mine at Ok Tedi has virtually destroyed the Fly river ecosystem for most of its length right down to the sea. Now it would appear that another, much stronger, company- inspired legislation has been secretly passed by parliament without discussion or public reading or proper democratic process to give extraction companies unfettered access to anybody's land without proper accountability to anyone.  

If the tables were turned, Prime Minister, or if you were the young national leader you once were, I believe you would be standing beside the People, struggling with your People for their democratic rights against the interests of these foreigner multinational corporations. You would not be allowing this kind of secret, undebated  law to be passed in Parliament. This law is not in the PNG National Interest.  It is first and for most in the Multinational and Foreign interest.

It is in the interest of those in corporate boardrooms who say to their henchmen: "I don't care how you do it,  just get those PNG resources, get them now, and get them cheap.  I don't want any trouble from the natives!"