Red Hills evacuation leaves thousands homeless as PNG controversy rages

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It has been a week since the Red Hills eviction in Papua New Guinea’s capital left thousands homeless. Video: EMTV

By Adelaide Sirox Kari in Port Moresby

Since Papua New Guinea’s EMTV News broadcast a story on an eviction at Red Hills settlement in Port Moresby, many viewers have asked about a student who was shown crying at the site of his demolished home after returning from school on the day of the eviction.

Two bulldozers under police escort destroyed about 250 homes in the settlement a week ago, forcing more than 2000 people – many of them children – to become homeless.

EMTV News visited Tokarara grade 9 student Raydan Repono’s family to see how they have been coping since the eviction.

READ MORE: School children hurt from eviction at Red Hill

It was footage that EMTV News had captured on the day of the eviction that showed a Raydan, overcome with emotion, sitting and looking on helplessly.

-Partners-

He cried at the sight of the place he once called home that was now being demolished before his eyes. For this student and all the other families at the eviction site, life has now become a daily struggle.

EMTV News was able to capture his family scrambling to pack what they could before the bulldozer ripped through Raydan’s home.

Yesterday Raydan explained how he felt that afternoon.

Court battle
What used to be their canteen that had provided income for the family who resided at the area since 2011 was all gone.

Through his tears, Raydan said he hoped they would win the court battle so that his family could rebuild their home again.

While EMTV News spoke with Raydan’s family, Ata Aluao, another evicted victim approached EMTV News asking to share her story also.

Ata’s family was not so lucky as their home and all their belongings were destroyed, but Ata’s real concern was her daughter in Grade 12 and another at Pacific Adventist University (PAU) who now have no roof over their heads.

Since the eviction a stay order was taken in the National Court by the settlers, who are represented under the Redhill’s Association. But even with this stay order a second eviction took place.

EMTV News contacted the Lands Department since the eviction to clarify if 16 portions of land where the eviction took place are under an expired Urban Development Lease.

EMTV News items are republished with permission.

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