DID KUA SET UP A BIG FALL PURPOSELY FOR PM IN SINGAPORE?
1.PAPUA LNG RE-NEGOTIATIONS IN SINGAPORE.
Most people in Papua New Guinea do not know what really happened in the Papua LNG Project’s review and re-negotiations by the Marape-Steven Government. It was a hot topic for a few weeks after the change of the O’Neill regime at the end of May 2019.
Almost a week prior to the change of government, on or about the 3rd quarter of May 2019, Peter O’Neill signed the Papua LNG Agreement on behalf of the State. It was a hurried affair following resignation of James Marape as his Finance Minister, and with much talk of a change of government afoot.
June 2019, saw a new government installed by Parliament following wider government rank and file dissatisfaction and disaffection over the reign of Peter O’Neill as Prime Minister. Amidst some chaotic horse-trading, Peter O’Neill was forced by Sir Julius Chan, Paias Wingti, Peter Ipatas, and other coalition party leaders to resign, and thereby taking the matter to Parliament, which installed James Marape as new Prime Minister.
More than anything else, the item that was highest on the new Marape-Steven government’s to-do list was to renegotiate the Papua LNG Project Agreement with Total. This Agreement was hurriedly executed between Peter O’Neill and Total (French Oil & Gas Company) and was seen by some as a sellout deal done for reasons other than the nation’s best interests.
The truth that the nation does not know is that Total in a private deal with O’Neill brought a draft Agreement not dissimilar in terms to the previous PNGLNG Agreement, and got O’Neill to initial every page of the draft Agreement, well BEFORE the State (State negotiating team, Department of Petroleum, Petroleum Advisory Board and Minister for Petroleum and other Line Agencies) could consider, approve or negotiate its terms.
This revelation may shock the reader, but that was exactly what Arthur Somare did, with the advice of Kerenga Kua, in the initial PNGLNG deal, except Total got O’Neill to initial each page of the draft Agreement, while Arthur got the State to prematurely sign Exxon’s PNG LNG Agreement in Perth, Western Australia, seen only by Kerenga Kua, as then Chairman of Kroton and advisor to Arthur Somare.
How Peter O’Neill could (without the approval of NEC or State Solicitor or even Parliament) lend his initials to each page of a Total draft Agreement is beyond anyone’s imagination! It is most irresponsible for a Prime Minister to circumvent government processes, and behave like it was his private business to do. This had the effect of gaging the scope of negotiations of the State Negotiating Team. And God only knows what advantage O’Neill was seeking to gain for PNG when he did what he did. He successfully pre-empted the State negotiating team and left a little wiggle room.
Similarly as to what comparative advantage Arthur Somare gained for PNG with the PNG LNG Agreement that was signed by him (without approval by NEC, Parliament, Solicitor General, and the Minister for Petroleum), is something only he knows.
Arthur and Kua nevertheless committed us to the strictures and bondages of poverty inherent in the PNG LNG Agreement that we find ourselves in as a nation today, as opposed to the idea of a nation flushed with cash that we were led to believe with the first export of LNG.
Just to achieve a review of the Papua LNG project Agreement, Marape broke with convention and bought in a vocal Opposition MP, Kerenga Kua, a lawyer by profession, who (by his own proud admission) drew up the PNG LNG Agreement with Exxon. Marape knew Kua’s background because he served in the Somare Cabinet when Arthur Somare was the Public Enterprises Minister who (pushed the then portfolio Minister, Hon. William Duma aside and) took over the reins of driving the PNG LNG project with Exxon (Esso Highlands).
Kua was also a prodigy of Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and made his money from the largesse of the Somare family. He was Sir Michael Somare’s personal lawyer for most of the legal challenges that Somare and his government faced when Somare as Prime Minister. In that position, Kua was also able to benefit from Exxon’s financial attention for his Hotel business. It is no wonder that Kua’s office is now run by the Somare family, and Arthur Somare remains the shadowy figure behind Kua.
Kua gave press releases of how bad a deal that Peter O’Neill signed with Total and therefore he would open it up for renegotiation or cancel the deal and send Total packing. He gave the impression of someone who was grossly offended by the weight of inequity apparent in the deal that Total did with Peter O’Neill, almost stopping short of calling it a corrupt transaction. That he certainly was going to “take back PNG” from Total.
Kua wasted no time getting acquainted with the Department of Petroleum. He asked most of the senior staff to present briefs, and he listened attentively with a smile on his face, and occasionally a frown when he learned something new. At all times, he had Ms. Bertie Somare, his political staffer, with him in Departmental briefings, which was a surprise. She took copious notes of everything said.
At the level of the Gas Office, and State negotiating team, Kua gave the strongest yet impression of someone who already made up his own mind what he was going to do, and they were just coming along for the ride to watch him perform. He took the briefs and listened with a smile and passed them to Ms. Somare, who was always at hand.
Kua made formal approaches to Total indicating he wanted to renegotiate the Total Agreement that the O’Neill Government had signed. He repeatedly threatened in the media to cancel the Licenses that constitute the Papua LNG Project, if he didn’t have his way, or if they didn’t agree to talk.
Finally, Total agreed to discuss the matter, and in Singapore. According to Kua, he was now finally going to review and renegotiate the whole deal with Total. At least that was the impression he gave everyone.
But behind the scenes, another scenario was playing out with Kua, unknown to Marape.
Undercover of secrecy, two very interesting shadowy figures in PNG Politics were running Kua’s inside line with Total. They were none other than Dr. John Mua, and Hon Chris Haiveta MP, the Governor for Gulf Province, who enjoy considerable favor with Total. They were running the gauntlet as brokers for Kua, foraging and prying Total, all the while telling Kua to go hard publicly, while they managed the spill behind the scenes with a well-practiced soft craft that they were adept at. Haiveta was making full use of his position and relationship with Total, playing both sides.
The day came, and Kua led the State negotiating team into a Singapore Hotel Boardroom, and openly threatened Total with everything under the sun, including canceling their Licenses, and the Papua LNG Agreement. The Total team listened to his wish list, and his demands as an opener. When he and the State Negotiating Team had finished, Total politely asked for a recess.
The Total team went for a break and sent word back to adjourn the meeting to the next day, the same place at the same time. Then on the next day, Kua having received glowing congratulatory messages on how well he had performed in the opener, was up early rearing to go with his team of smartly dressed expectant and powerful bureaucrats led by non-other than the Chief Secretary, Mr. Isaac Lupari. They waited, and waited to see how Total would respond. No sign of the Total team. A sense of uneasiness passed over the room as each minute ticked by.
Apparently Total had sent a message that they didn’t think the meeting was necessary, but Kua in his excitement to negotiate didn’t get the message. Later, when they called Total, they learned the sobering news.
It was then that the penny dropped! Kua’s mission was a 100% total flop. A total failure. Total embarrassment. [Excuse the pun]. He was head of a State negotiating team that went nowhere, and negotiated nothing, and gained nothing, after all the hype and hullabaloo. He discovered a new
reality he never knew existed in the world of business. His commercial blind-spot found him out! It was something that (we all can see but) he couldn’t see because of the make-up of his mindset. It is not in his DNA. He had to swallow a very bitter reality pill indeed.
Unfortunately, Kua does not have the peripheral wherewithal of the commercial realities he was dealing with. It is not in his gene pool or makeup as a courtroom agitator. If it was, then he would have long realized that the logical starting point was the executed agreement with Total. But when you cannot find anything fundamentally wrong with that Agreement, and its binding nature, Kua ought to have known he had nothing! He should not have led the Prime Minister and the State Negotiating Team up a dry gully the way he did.
Kua had nothing to hold Total to or keep them interested in any negotiations. Total knew their legal position backward, and the only amateurs in the room were the State Negotiating Team and their Minister. Unfortunately, the Minister and his team helplessly watched as the nation’s hopes went up in a puff of hot air. Air-conditioned hotel boardrooms can become rather hot places, as the hidden hand of truth silently permeated the marrow of things, coalescing and crystalizing all manner of things in
one clear linear light to reveal the shadowlands of greater truths.
They say karma is a bitch. Well, I say all pursuits for justice, like good poetry, has its own rhyme, rhythm, and reason. When Arthur Somare and Kerenga Kua subjected the people of this nation to the PNG LNG Agreement executed through the unilateral drive of Arthur Somare, it was an unlawful and unconscionable deal. But the winners were Arthur Somare (and inversely, Kerenga Kua). A few years on, Kua is faced with his role in reverse. The very same terms he drew up in favor of Exxon are now staring back at him like barbed daggers, in the Total deal. What goes around, certainly does come around!
It was like as if someone has held up a giant mirror to Minister Kua’s face, to see how unjust and unfair he was to the poor people of PNG in the initial PNGLNG deal. Every point he sought to raise against Total, was a nail to his own coffin of political and commercial credibility and suitability to lead the State Negotiating Team.
Having returned from the Singapore flop, he cannot now speak of reforms or any advancement for the good of PNG in the Oil & Gas Industry. He cannot speak of reforming the means and modes of State participation in any future Oil & Gas Agreements, while the specter of conflict (his own hand in the PNG LNG Agreement) casts a dark shadow over his judgment and leadership as Minister for Petroleum.
Indeed, he was deeply conflicted in Singapore against Total and remains so to date. How can he sell the interests of our nation away in the PNGLNG deal (as advisor to Arthur Somare), then try to negotiate our interests back in the Papua LNG Project? Isn’t he the very same person who sold us
out, now saying he wants to save us?
Kua betrays a further and serious lack of basic background knowledge of Total and Exxon both coming from the same family stables. Total is family-owned as is Exxon by the same family of European and American cousins, respectively. The Rothschild family of Bilderberg proportions, simply
cannot do two fundamentally different deals with the same government of a third world country, the latter (Papua LNG) on considerably lesser terms than the earlier ( PNGLNG) deal, without the Frenchmen becoming the laughing stock of their American cousins. In Europe everyone knows, a
Frenchman’s pride is larger than life itself, and he would arguably rather die than to be deemed of lesser mettle.
Kua suffered his own poetic justice being served to him, cold, this time by the French. It was a double whammy because the behind the scenes advances of Dr. Mua and Chris Haiveta to Total received mixed reactions. Total instead has focused on speaking directly with the top office, something they did successfully with O’Neill. That being the case, Kua has to salvage his pride by announcing a list of legislative reforms and strict management measures he is now taking at the Department aimed against Oil & gas companies to restore some pride, and maintain some grip on reality.
2. MANAU APPOINTED TO ACCESS K1.2 BILLION ROYALTY FUNDS FOR KUA, PARINDALI, AND ANDAGALI
Kua was also seen recently rushing through a much discredited junior officer as Secretary for Petroleum in NEC, and almost within the same hour of appointing him as Secretary, and before the PM as Chairman of NEC could sign the NEC Decision, and before a gazettal of his appointment could be made,(thereby satisfying all legal requirements), he gave a pre-emptive and premature press release holding hands and announcing David Manau, as Secretary.
Anyone observing would be in the right in querying why Kerenga Kua was in a big hurry to announce and pre-empt the Prime Minister’s signature, and normal gazettal processes, and even NEC Secretariat writing to Manau informing him of the decision of NEC?
What is Kua’s special interest in Manau, taking the Secretary’s position?
The rushed nature of this appointment, and motives behind it, is now becoming apparent. The PNGLNG landowners have K1.2 Billion in State trust accounts, and Manau’s appointment, procured by one Libe Parindali and Larry Andagali, is to use Manau to access these funds which they (Libe, Larry, and Kua) cannot otherwise have access to without someone like Manau in Charge as Secretary.
In our last article, we explained why Libe and Larry do not qualify for even one toea of the K1.2 Billion royalty funds in trust. However, through the facilitation of Minister Kerenga Kua, and David Manau as Secretary, the stage is now set for major abuse and misappropriation of PNG LNG landowner royalty funds. Even Arthur Somare is trying his best to be inconspicuous behind Kua.
This then explains the frenetic behavior of Minister Kua on the appointment of Manau; a sad day for Papua New Guinea. It is amazing what lengths some politicians are prepared to go to for money; especially when it is not their own!
Marape will by now realize and appreciate the relative usefulness of Kerenga Kua to him. Anything Kua does from hereon is driven blindly by ego and bitterness over Singapore, to regain his public credibility, and to build his war chest in preparation for 2022.
There is no doubt Kua is a talented lawyer in court. On certain matters, he may be as good an adversary as any in court. However, Politics is not the same arena as a courtroom, and even more complex are commercial negotiations. The love for money and the need to have more seems to be
every politician’s downfall in this country. It is for this reason that they keep making wrong decisions, or decisions for wrong reasons, key job appointments for wrong reasons, punching well below the weight and value of our resources, thus compromising the future and welfare of our people.
3. KUA TELLS PARLIAMENT AND PNG A BIG FAT LIE ON P’YANG.
In Parliament recently Kua in responding to North Fly Member, James Donald MP, told Parliament and the people of Papua New Guinea by informing Donald that a Petroleum Development License (PDL) was indeed issued to Exxon Mobil in respect of P’yang. This is a disgraceful lie and shows a total misunderstanding of the true status of P’yang. All the information and documents are at his Department, and Kua was briefed in detail on P’yang. He had no cause to tell a lie.
If such a License was issued what is its PDL number? And why seek to negotiate with Exxon if a PDL has already been issued?
Further, who (Sociologists, Anthropologists, Land Tenure experts, and other Social Scientists) carried out the Social Mapping and Landowner identification studies pursuant to Section 47 of the Oil & Gas Act, satisfactory to the landowners of P’yang prior to the issuance of the PDL? Where there a Development forum held prior to the issue of the PDL?
When did the Petroleum Advisory Board meet and what did they deliberate on and where is their decision by way of recommendations on a Development Application by Exxon?
The true status of P’yang is that the PRL (Petroleum Retention License) that Exxon had has expired.
If Exxon filed an incompetent and unsatisfactory Application for Development License, the State is not legally obliged to entertain or grant. As a matter of law, any other party is open to file a Development Application at any time to develop P’yang. The gas is still in the ground,
and it is the property of the State, and therefore it can do whatever it pleases with it, in accordance with the Act and in accordance with government policy on stranded gas fields and other considerations. Exxon has no legal right to the P’yang gas field, except a reasonable expectation to have its Application dealt with by the Petroleum Advisory Board and the Minister.
As a matter of procedure, a Development Application must be considered if in order, deliberated on by the Petroleum Advisory Board, with its recommendations to the Minister. The Minister makes the final decision. There is no scope in the Act for the Prime Minister’s involvement in these
Why did Kua not tell the truth to Hon. James Donald? Has Exxon got the Minister to issue a PDL secretly? If so, then this is a very serious matter indeed for the people of P’yang. It is therefore incumbent on the Minister to explain himself.
There is a valid concern that Kua is paying selective attention to the Department, focusing only on matters that financially interest him most, and is not really commercially focused, and therefore may make decisions or recommend legislative reforms FOR WRONG REASONS (like he did in the PNG LNG, Papua LNG in Singapore, appointment of Manau as Secretary, and now P’yang)
in a manner and approach that may endanger the international standing of Papua New Guinea as an investment destination, and destroy our oil & gas industry.
4. PNG MUST TIGHTEN UP CURRENT LOOPHOLES FOR CAPITAL FLIGHT, AND BRING ALL INDUSTRY PLAYERS TO ACCOUNT.
To go tit for tat with Total or Exxon now (after Singapore) using the privilege of a Ministerial position is at best childish, shallow and absolutely dangerous. It is to deny the lessons of a whole body of knowledge called history, and a lack of understanding of our place as a nation in a globalized community. It is to display a lack of basic understanding of our own dire macro-economic situation and the dynamics of market forces and regional geopolitical tensions already at play.
Small nations, saddled by overwhelming debt, may think about certain reforms, rescue packages or austerity measures, revolutionary as they may be, but never speak it out loud. You never know who is listening. Clever leaders never telegraph their punches, out of deep respect for the many unknowns that they don’t control. Social media is not the same as a speech given behind closed doors of a hotel board room to a group of patriotic
Our nation is still driven by the back end of revolutions that took place in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today’s oil and gas companies are products of both the agrarian and industrial revolutions. Our whole colonial history, the legal system we adopted, the financial world order and the players at the Brentwood conference, and the Bilderberg group, the tensions of economic supply and demand for energy and other scarce commodities, the groupings of oil producers, the drivers, and interests of the World Bank, IMF and ADB, regional geopolitics, the typical PNG factors of greedy politicians, are some of the relevant factors that are impacting upon this vulnerable and resources rich nation. It is up to us, especially our politicians, to exercise the wisdom of our fathers to negotiate and ameliorate these challenges.
Out of our major resources opportunities in this nation, we receive less than 8% in real money terms from each project, some even less than that, and still others, nil. Without the ability to audit and verify, without strict accounting policies, without stringent banking rules, without independent monitoring of outflows of resources and sales remittances, without control of capital outflows, without proper counter tax avoidance and evasion measures against globalized entities, without minimum national content requirements at all stages of development from finance to upstream-downstream - processing to - export – delivery to destination port, and accounting for same, this nation has come to where we are today – a debt ridden borrower, not a lender. We beg and borrow to make our ends meet, but sadly the ends will rarely meet, at the rate our leaders are going.
We cannot always blame other people for our own poverty. What little we receive, we do not have the network to retain the funds to work for us. The Asian businesses are like huge nets that soak up and siphon all cash in our economy and funnel them out to their countries, and the precious kina does
not circulate with the necessary multiplier effect to build this nation.
To properly address our malaise, and the deep seated vicious circle of poverty and paradigms of impoverishment and dispossession that we find ourselves in, we need wise minds and cooler heads and meticulous planning. We need a surgical, institutional and systematic approach. While the wolves
and vultures circle and surround, and the debt noose tightens around our neck, Ministers like Kua cannot afford to play egotistical monopoly with the fate of this nation or drive important appointments out of self-interest.
We cannot go for the simple and narrow option of legislative changes if our bureaucracy, institutions and especially the Department of Petroleum, are not properly prepared with appropriate human resources, skills, and expertise to manage and enforce the legislation. At present, the Department of Petroleum is not managing or regulating the oil and gas fields in the way they should within the existing legislation. Oil & Gas companies are doing as they please, and no one is held to account in a proactive way.
We need a systematic approach to take back PNG in the oil & gas industry, not just the band-aid measures recently announced by Kua after his Singapore sling. We need reforms at fiscal levels with Bank of PNG regulations, Internal Revenue Commission regulations, Customs, and other line agencies carefully scrutinized and all loopholes and gaps must be filled. We need to scrutinize all money trails including all sales contracts and export proceeds. In principle, reforms must be aimed at
ensuring all revenue must be brought onshore to Papua New Guinea within short order, and all sales contracts examined for related party transactions, including possible transfer pricing.
Kua needs to attend to the most basic housekeeping first before he even contemplates the wuthering heights of extensive legislative reforms. He must plug all the holes by which capital flight is taking place in the industry. He must work on initiatives to make immediate money for the country in such desperate times. He also needs to look at ways to independently monitor all oil and gas volumes exported and their proceeds and bring them to account. He needs to look at the accounting standards employed by Oil & Gas companies to maximize returns on our current equity arrangements that we are locked into. These are urgent areas for a smart Minister to attend to immediately for almost instant returns.
As for the Treasurer, he should stop selling us to the devil. His latest gimmick with the IMF loan terms contradicts the Prime Minister. Ling Stucky has spent too much time on an island frolicking with nubiles and lost track of the real world that writers like Joseph Stiglitz and Noam Chomsky have fervently warned us about. PNG and its 8 Million people do not need mediocre Treasurers who don’t know if they are taking back PNG or giving it away on a golden plate.
It is about time Ministers like Kua and Stucky stop trying to cash in on the opportunities that these major projects bring for the people of this nation. These opportunities belong to all the 8 Million people of this country, not just individual Ministers. Political leaders are simply trustees of our opportunities. They should never be seen in the front line negotiating commercial transactions that they don’t have the background or acumen for or chase loans that hold our nation to ransom and perpetual bondage. Politicians should allow oil & gas business experts and line bureaucrats to do all the negotiations and Ministers and NEC should maintain the final say position, in the national interest, as happens in Indonesia, Malaysia and other oil and gas producing countries.
We are suddenly seeing in PNG an emergence of politicians who think they are experts in every field. In reality, they do it to make themselves easy targets for corrupting- willing accomplices in crimes against our people. The Ombudsman Commission must draw up new guidelines to stop such posturing and prostituting of the nation’s major projects for personal gain by politicians. And then turn around and sell the soul of the nation to IMF and World Bank for a few precious dollars, thereby mortgage this rich nation and its resources to the prescriptions of powers beyond our shores.
The writing is on the wall. The fall of Papua New Guinea has begun. Someone else owns our soul. If Marape does not take the austerity measures prescribed herein as a start, he will have given away what is left and taken back nothing.
For now, it is now up to James Marape to stop Kua and his merry men led by David Manau (incentivized by Libe Parindali and Larry Andagali) from laying their hot sticky fingers on the PNG LNG Landowners royalty funds of K1.2 Billion, using defective and unlawful clan vetting reports and unlawful Ministerial Determinations to distribute these funds to themselves.
This is the end game and payday that Kua, Parindali, and Andagali have all been hoping and waiting for. Only James Marape (the second Huli Leader, after Late Anderson Agiru - the first fulfillment of the Hela prophesy) stands between them and the bag of Landowner money they are angling for,
using improper, unlawful and defective substitution for Social Mapping and Landowner identification studies that do not satisfy Sections 47 and 48 of the Oil & Gas Act.
5. DOES MARAPE WANT TO INHERIT THE SINS OF ARTHUR SOMARE, KERENGA KUA AND ANDERSON AGIRU?
The Prime Minister calling for a public meeting at Sir John Guise Stadium for distribution of royalty funds is all well and good but distribution of royalties on the basis of what?
All distribution of royalties must be to rightful landowners in accordance with proper social mapping and landowner identification studies did PRIOR to the issue of PDLS constituting the PNG LNG project. Everyone knows there exists NO Landowner Social Mapping and Landowner Identification study (and Development Forum) done PRIOR to the issuance of PDLS for the PNG as required by Section 47 and 48 of the Oil & Gas Act. This is the subject of National Court Proceedings very much alive and on foot, including a mediation that is also partially done and very much alive.
Any distribution of royalties now either at Sir John Guise Stadium, or at Tari, or even in the moon, either by James Marape, or the Queen of England, will be illegal and in full circumvention of National Court proceedings, and in contempt of court.
There is no legal basis for the proposed distribution, unless Marape forces all genuine landowners to agree to forgo all their legal rights under the Oil & Gas Agreement? If Marape achieves this agreement at the Sir John Guise Stadium, he is presiding over an open conspiracy involving the State,
an agreement to break the law. That agreement will not be worth the paper it is written on and signatories may be in contempt of court and may end up in jail.
Individuals cannot contract out of clear and express statutory prescriptions like Section 47 and 48 of the Oil & Gas Act. No one is above the law or outside the law. In any case, what is the State offering as an incentive to landowners to forgo their rights? As a start is James Marape prepared to pay landowners 50% Kumul’s interest ( 9.25% in PNG LNG) free of any charges, fees and taxes? If so how will he distribute this interest, and to which landowners, and on what basis?
It all comes back to the same issue of proper social mapping under Section 47 and 48 of the Act.
The so-called clan vetting studies done by Minister Fabian Pok is outside the Oil & Gas Act as it is not prescribed and his Determination is under the court challenge, and illegal anyway as they were not properly and scientifically done by experts, and conducted subsequent to issue of PDLs after the landowners had lost their legal right and opportunity to negotiate at a Development forum. Pok’s Determination cannot form the basis of any distribution of royalties now, or ever.
The Kokopo Agreements (UBSA & LBBSA) are illegal for vitiating factors of duress, undue influence and inducements and lies told by Arthur Agiru Exxon and OSL to obtain those signatures. The State is in breach of those Agreements. In any case, the Tuguba Tribe and others never signed the
Kokopo Agreements because there was no Social Mapping and no Development Forum.
It has now come to pass that this is the trap that Arthur Somare, Kerenga Kua, Libe Parindali and Larry Andagali have (in their desperation to lay their hands on the K1.2 Billion) set for James Marape.
James Marape is not the Minister for Petroleum or Member for Komo Magarima, and why is he infringing on the Hela Governor’s turf? What is his interest in this matter? He is acting well outside, and far exceeding, his powers when he is dealing with royalty funds.
By heaping Libe Parandali and Larry Andagali in one lump with genuine landowners and trying to cover up past sins and get genuine landowners to agree to a distribution deal at a football stadium (where there is not a single wellhead) is in breach of the Oil & Gas Act. There is no process to distribute royalties outside the Oil & Gas Act. Why is Marape trying to buy into the mess again?
Further Marape does not have planes big enough to fly all genuine landowners of Hela to Sir John Guise Stadium. Port Moresby is full of paper farmers. The real people are at the PDL sites. They are still waiting for the National Court Mediation process to complete (irrespective of which The judge does it). That may be the only legal back doorway to cure a statutory breach occasioned by stupid selfish and greedy politicians. This process can be completed within, say, 6 months, if properly funded. Why put the whole project in jeopardy by doing otherwise?
Perhaps the Ombudsman should take an active interest in this matter, as a matter of public interest and stop all this nonsense.
It sounds like the politicians (giving confusing dates of Wednesday and Thursday on Facebook) want landowners to open the doors to royalty funds so that they and their vultures can “roll the money” to themselves.
The Landowners have the legal right under the Constitution and the Oil & Gas Act to give reasonable Notice and evict Exxon and Oil Search for being illegally on their lands right now. The Landowners may have a claim to more than the K1.2 Billion royalties.
In fact, they may lawfully claim all proceeds of PNGLNG exports since Exxon and OSL’s illegal occupation and trespass. If Exxon and OSL have no legal right to be on the surface of the lands, do they have any right to the oil and gas, or draw any benefit from their illegal occupation? We think not.
If James Marape does not step back, do the legally right, correct and the proper thing about the above matters, he will definitely see the end of his own world as he knows with his own eyes, as spoken by Tatagalawape as recorded in the Gigira Laetepo prophecy.