PNG archbishop could be restrained by landowners

10:44 am on 29 November 2017

The Catholic archbishop of Rabaul in Papua New Guinea said he is facing an application for a restraining order from three landowners in Pomio.

Doug Tennent and Archbishop Panfilo in Kokopo

Doug Tennent and Archbishop Panfilo in Kokopo Photo: supplied

The restraint application also applies to a New Zealand lawyer working for the church, Doug Tennent.

It comes as Archbishop Francesco Panfilo and Mr Tennent try to assist other landowners at Pomio to renegotiate a Special Agricultural and Business Lease with Malaysian multi national, Rimbunan Hijau.

A court is set to rule next week on an application for mediation on the contract.

Archbishop Panfilo said the three landowners seeking the restraining order are close to Rimbunan Hijau.

He said they he doesn't yet know the basis for the restraining order.

"I am suspecting that they are doing this because this coming Friday I will go to Pomio to start my pastoral visit, and for sure in my pastoral visit there is one afternoon when i am supposed to meet the people and discuss the issues," he said.

"So I don't know if this is an attempt to restrain us from this."

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