By EDDIE MOSES
THE PNG LNG Project, the biggest so far in our nation's history, is affecting the lives of our citizens but unfortunately, not in the way anticipated.
Greed, intensified by the lure of riches, has turned a once peaceful ethnic group into vicious killers.
The fight between the neighbouring Motuan villages of Boera and Porebada, two and a half weeks ago on Sun, Feb 5, erupted over ownership claims of portion 152, the proposed site of the LNG Plant. It left four people dead and many seriously injured.
Over 3000 men, women and children fled Boera village out of fear of reprisals from their relatives in Porebada. These refugees abandoned their homes and valuables and sought refuge with friends and relatives in Port Moresby and the other Motuan villages.
There houses have been left deserted and there is concern that most, if not all of them have been vandalized and their valuables looted.
After two and a half weeks of living with other people in foreign surroundings, the strain is beginning to tell on these innocent people. There is concern that their prolonged stay with their friends and relatives is a burden. But for a lucky few who have been able to enroll in schools in Port Moresby and the other Motuan villages the majority of the children have been deprived of their rights to education. They have no schools to go to since the nearest High School, Redscar, is in Porebada and Boera Primary has been closed.
There is also fear that physical harm will be done them if the perpetrators of the killings are not brought to justice.
Boera Elder, Rei Homoka, speaking to reporters at the roadside near a private residence in Port Moresby, said their plight was brought about by the vicious conduct of certain people in Boera. "This (the killings) is not the way of the Motuan and Koitabuan people in the entire time we have lived together," he said.
Mr Homoka and a few mothers with their children petitioned the Kairuku-Hiri MP, Paru Aihi and Central Governor Alphonse Moroi to help resolve the conflict and allow them to return to their homes.
Mr. Aihi, visibly saddened by the forlorn look in the faces of the mothers and children, condemned the prolonged inaction by the police to apprehend the perpetrators of the killings.
"This happened in full view of everyone. People saw who were armed and who were involved. Why has there been no suspects arrested yet? Possible suspects of the shooting of a PMV driver last week on the Hiritano Highway have been identified but no suspects for the Porebada killings have been arrested yet. Such hooliganism orchestrated by leaders is very dangerous for our nation," he said.
He said it is intolerable that the innocent suffer because of the actions of a few.
"The perpetrators are probably moving around in dark glass vehicles. They are eating and sleeping well while innocent women and children suffer. Police must get their act together arrest these people," the MP said.