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Porgera Burns: The case for resettlement has never been more clear

June 9th, 2014

"Porgera Burns" read headlines this morning in Papua New Guinea's daily newspaper. More than 200 houses were burnt to the ground, it reports, and angry villagers retaliated by attacking an Australian mine worker.

This isn't the first time that security forces have burnt down hundreds of houses next to Barrick's mine, and this recent violent episode underscores the need to meet the community's demand to be resettled away from the dangerous mine site.
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“This is the second time this village (Wingima) was burnt down. The first one was done during the first state of emergency call out operation some six years ago which never solved the problem,” MP Nixon Mangape said.

“Why is Barrick not looking at long term solutions like relocating the people out of the special mining lease area? Burning houses in a particular village in the special mining lease area will not solve the illegal mining problem. It’s adding more fuel to a burning fire.”

Since 2008, Community representatives have come to Canada to seek resettlement away from Barrick mine. They have spoken at Barrick Gold's Annual General meetings, met with members of Parliament, filed OECD complaints, had their situation validated by reports fromHarvard Law School Clinic, Human Rights Watch,Amnesty International, and Mining Watch.

Just a few months ago, Mr. Michael Small, the High Commissioner of Canada to Papua New Guinea, Australia and Pacific Islands visited Porgera for the first time and heard directly – from the landowners themselves – the urgent call for resettlement.

The time is now to push for resettlement! Take action to tell Canadian representatives and the PNG Prime Minister that the people of Porgera, Papua New Guinea have gone through too much red tape, and the time to resettle them is now!

 

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