Thu. May 28th, 2020

Leadership responds to Tiull crisis

Palau national leadership addressed the current displacement crisis at Tiull, Ngerbeched after the story of eviction notices broke out.

At the leadership meeting on Wednesday, President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. reiterated that the displacement must be addressed by both State and national government.  “Both must come to the table and work on solutions.” [restrict]

He recommended that a law be enacted that would enable the tenant and landowner to have agreement allowing tenant to get back the value of his investment and for the land owner to benefit from it.

Furthermore, he said this was not just Koror State issue and it will eventually affect other States. States also leasing land that they do not have certificates of title for and that are being claimed by private landowners.

Speaker Sabino Anastacio of the House of Delegates emphasized that the solution must be coming from both State and national government.  He said they will sponsor a resolution to create a taskforce or committee made up of State and national members to seek and recommend solutions.

Senate President Hokkons Baules cautioned that this was a very sensitive issue but he believed that Koror State should have the full responsibility for it.  He said that former Governor Adachi was able to address similar displacement issue at Ngarkebesang by providing leases to those who were displaced.

Furthermore, Baules stated that the issue of Tiull is already done and they can’t make a law retroactive but they should, as recommended by the President look at addressing similar cases arising from other States.

Displacement of people from their homes due to successful claims by original land owners have been occurring for over a decade, especially in Koror.  It has occurred in Ngerkebesang, Iyebukel, Ngerkesaoaol, Ngerchemai and now Ngerbeched.  Other States also have ongoing cases involving claims on public lands that were taken from original owners by previous occupations without proper process.

During the 9th OEK, a bill was introduced in attempt to address this very issue but failed to pass due to a controversial proposal to extend or remove deadline for filing claims to public lands.  (L.N. Reklai/Editor)[/restrict]