Madang evictions will continue

1 Jun

By Charley Piringi
Evictions for the remaining settlements around Madang town will continue despite protests from settlers that their rights have been abused.
This was confirmed yesterday by the staff executive officer to the Madang Provincial Police Commander Senior Sargent Gage Dumop.
Sgt Dumop said there were settlers saying their human rights had been abused, but he said that police were only carrying out orders by the provincial government, and eviction notices should not take them by surprise.
“We have served them an ample time of eviction notices, and if they failed to live up to the notices, we have to carry out our mandated orders by law.”
He said that there were about six settlements around Madang that were given eviction notices. The first was Kina Beach settlement known as Banana Block which has been demolished two weeks ago following the lapse of the 30 days eviction notice.
Carson Karima of Southern Highlands, a settler at the Banana Block, said the raid and demolition by the police was inhuman, illegal, and happened not at the appropriate time.
“The eviction notice had not yet lapsed when police raided and demolished our homes two weeks ago. We believed that our human rights were abused and we have taken the matter to the courts. They raided us at night causing fear and trauma to our families especially, mothers and children.”
He added that they were waiting for court orders.
The settlers were now living in makeshift camps at the swampy areas near the Banana Block.
One mother shared the experience they went through describing it as ‘heart breaking’ moment for them.
“We lost our belongings in our homes when they raided the settlement in a day when we were not prepared; and the eviction date had not yet lapsed.
“Our children’s education stopped automatically now as we are scattered. Now we are only trying to make ends meet by starting anew in these makeshift camps.”
Settlers evicted in the past have had to be compensated for human rights abuses.
“In 2003, eviction of settlers in Madang landed the police force in court and the state compensated settlers for human rights abuses”, Dumop said.

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