Land Protest Shuts down Papua New Guinea Airport

The airport in Kavieng in Papua New Guinea’s New Ireland province remains shut down by a land protest.

The Post Courier newspaper reports that on Tuesday morning disgruntled landowners forced the closure, stranding an unknown number of tourists and other travellers.

They’re reportedly demanding the national government pay them more than 1.7 million US dollars in compensation for the use of their land for the town and the airport.

The paper reports the landowners, from Omo and surrounding villages, claim they haven’t received any payments in the past 37 years.

They also called for business opportunities and long-term sustainable development assistance to be provided.

The provincial administration says negotiations have failed to achieve a breakthrough and the airport is still not operating.

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