Papua New Guinea Deputy Prime Minister Leo Dion has warned of what he has described as “a very dangerous trend developing in the country that Papua New Guineans should be aware of”.
He said while the country welcomed foreign-owned companies to invest in the country and create employment, they should respect the people and abide by the country’s laws.
“Foreigners must not indulge in our internal politics and use the power of money to take sides and influence politics and administrative decision-making,” he said.
“There is a trend of unfair competitive advantage in the allocation of prime land to 100 per cent foreign-owned business and companies in Kokopo and indeed for that matter in East New Britain and around the country.
“We must not condone heavy-handed tactics and intimidation that cause suffering and human rights violations at the hands of foreigners in our own land at the expense of economic developments.
“We must resolve these matters through peaceful means.”
He said land must remain “our birth right and the government through the Minister for Commerce Trade and Industry Richard Maru was progressing a policy with legislation to ensure equity participation by our indigenous people with foreign-owned companies.”
He said illegal squatting on State land and traditional land was a growing concern that should be addressed through existing strategies like the land mobilisation, land settlement and the urban and regional development policy of the provincial government. “Unless we take control of this now, this trend will become a time bomb that will explode in a similar situation like what we have seen in Honiara, the Solomon Islands, a few years back.”