30 Oct 2006

PNG State of Emergency claim queried

7:13 pm on 30 October 2006

The suspended governor of Papua New Guinea's southern highlands is questioning unbudgeted payments made during the state of emergency in the province.

Last week, Hami Yawari wrote to the Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare highlighting his concern over half a million US dollars given to various business houses individuals and groups since his government was sidelined.

The newspaper, The National, says Mr Yawari has named them in a 10-page letter to the PM, and turned over account records to the police.

Mr Yawari has also renewed his call on Sir Michael to withdraw the State of Emergency and reinstate his provincial government.

He claimed that certain politicians were behind the State of Emergency who wanted to use provincial government resources to seek re-election next year.

But state of emergency officials in Mendi have rejected the claim, saying their job is to restore the public service, improve law and order, build infrastructure and improve people's lives.