Settler backs Dame Carol, denounces motive of film

Post Courier – 01 April 2016 By Daisy Pakawa

Controversy surrounding the film, The Opposition has taken another twist.

This time former Paga Hill settler and artist, Ratoos Gary is demanding that Dr Kristian Lasselt, an international activist and central figure in the film, return his paintings worth an estimated K 100,000.

He stated his intention in a letter to Dr Lasslett.

“You were the person who encouraged us settlers to oppose the proposed resettlement by Paga Hill Development Company and you assured us that we will win the court cases.

“In 2012 at your request I delivered six of my paintings to you to help with the legal fees. It has been three years since and I am yet to hear from you. Can I have my paintings back?”

Mr Gary also wrote a letter to Joe Moses, his former neighbour, Dr Lasslett’s Papua New Guinean accomplice and another central figure in the film, asking for receipts of legal fees.

“As you will appreciate, most of the fundraising activities and money that were contributed to the legal fees for the Paga Hill settlers were through my wife, Tua Aiari, my efforts and many families also contributed from betel nut and street market sales.”

Australian Film makers Hollie Fifer and Rebecca Barry of the Media Stockade Pty Ltd were told that Mr Gary wants no part in the film.

“Please remove all footage of me from the film and its promotion. And remove my photo from your respective websites. This letter overrides any form that I may have signed consenting to be part of this film.”

He applauded Dame Carol Kidu’s move to sue the makers of a film in the NSW Supreme Court, alleging misleading conduct in contraversion of the Australian consumer law and hopes that his requests to the parties involved will be followed.