17 Mar 2003

Madang Government loses battle to force settlers out

3:45 pm on 17 March 2003

The Madang Provincial government in Papua New Guinea has been unsuccessful in its attempt to set aside court orders that stopped its forceful eviction of illegal settlers.

The National Court in Goroka rejected the application by the Provincial Government and has instead ordered the parties to meet within the next two weeks to sort out a list of genuine settelrs.

The decision has been seen as a victory by the settlers, but adds fuel to an already tense situation in the township, where villagers and landowners support the evictions.