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Zibe sackings petty and unprofessional

Media Release

Zibe sackings petty and unprofessional

The PNG Eco-Forestry Forum says the removal of the Honourable Sasa Zibe from two Parliamentary Committees is cowardly, unprofessional and not in the national interest and claims the action by the Forest Minister, Patrick Pruaitch is unbecoming of a national leader.

The Forum strongly believes this is a personal vendetta in response to calls for the Forest Minister to either enforce the law against Malaysian logging companies or resign over documented allegations that Papua New Guineans are treated as slaves in logging camps and endure very poor living conditions while large numbers of illegal foreign workers do jobs reserved for nationals.

“The Forest Minister’s actions signal a political leadership that is totally failing in its Constitutional duty to enforce the law and defend our people” says the Chair of the Forum, Kenn Mondiai.

The Forum is challenging the Minister to answer the people on the documented allegations openly and not to use his position to protect himself. “As Sir Arnold Amet said last week, every leader must accept responsibility. They cannot just run away. Leaders mandated by the people to manage our people and resources must do so in the best interest of the country and not their political interest” says Mr Mondiai.

The Forum is also calling on the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Labour and Employment to address the issues of concern which are under their jurisdiction. “The Minister for Labour, Roy Biyama, in particular should be more concerned about the logging atrocities that are going on under his nose in his electorate”.

Rather than trying to silence its critics, the Forum believes the Honourable Prime Minister should sack Minister Pruaitch as he is ultimately responsible for the total mismanagement of the Forestry Sector

“The Prime Minister should uphold his policy statement delivered on the 27th of August 2002 in which he promised to fight corruption and promote good governance, and stated that if any of his ministers was found to be in breach of such principles, he would sack them”, said Kenn Mondiai.

The Chair reaffirmed that the Forum as part of civil society would continue to campaign for the enforcement of current laws and regulations in the Forestry sector.

PNG Eco-Forestry Forum
March 9th, 2005

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