Last Friday, May 28th, was an extraordinary day in PNG's history as the government rushed through amendments to the Environment Act . These amendments:
- take away landowners customary and legal rights;
- give the government unfettered power to approve resource projects;
- deny anyone the right of challenge through the courts; and
- take away ALL legal rights to compensation for environmental damage.
This ground breaking legislation is UNPRECEDENTED in the free world. Not only does it take away Constitutional rights it removes basic democratic protection by denying the rights of the courts to review the exercise of executive power.
But this legisation was passed by Parliament without anybody being allowed to see the Bill before it was presented. Nobody was allowed to read or comment on the text. There was no scrutiny by a Select Committee and not even a Parliamentary debate.
Parliament was used as a rubber stamp and the citizens of PNG have been treated like fools.
Send an email to the PM's press secretary right now and tell the government what you think. You can use our suggested text or replace it with your own.
If you are not convinced how BAD this legislation is then read what the media has been saying:
- Post Courier front page: Strong arm tactics
- ABC radio news - PNG bans legal challenges
- The National - Bill will strip rights to land
- Post Courier editorial - a low act
- ACT NOW! blog - foreign interests above the law
As Michael Malabag said on EMTV News last night, this law is abhorrent because:
people have an inalienable right to their land and this parliament has no right to take that away from them. This country does not belong to multi-national corporations
It is ironic that Michael Somare, a man who is still revered for his role as first Prime Minister of an Independent Papua New Guinea, should be the one who is effectively returning Our Country to colonial rule and taking away our rights to challenge what foreign companies do on OUR LAND.
The people of PNG must stand up and protest this undemocratic, unconstitutional and draconian law.
If we do not PROTEST now then there is no limit to what this government may do next.
Send your email to the PM's press secretary right NOW!
There are already plans being developed for a National Day of Protest so please think about how you can help orgainse or participate in a local march.
Finally, please forward this ACTION ALERT to as many people as possible and ask them to send to also send an email to the PM's press secretary
Together we can STOP this legisation!
ACT NOW! team