13 May 2009

PNG Police Commissioner angry over protest that turned rowdy

7:13 pm on 13 May 2009

Papua New Guinea's Police Commissioner has expressed anger that police officers supported a rowdy protest in Port Moresby which started as a march by an NGO group to present a petition to National Capital Governor Powes Parkop.

The petition, which was organised by a group called the NGOs and Civil Society Coalition Partners, urges Parliament to declare a state of emergency on the influx of Asians into the country.

However the march lapsed into chaos in the capital's Gordon market area where opportunists began looting Asian-owned shops.

The Commissioner Gary Baki says that the protest is unrelated to this week's planned PNG Trade Union Congress protest against the MPs allowances increase which he controversially denied approval for.

He says approval was withheld because of the sort of law and order issues seen in the Asian influx protest.

"You may have good intentions but then what other people will do... some of them ended up stoning shops and opne or two of them were looting, some were taking place, they were just opportunists. Give them the opportunity and that's what they'll do."

Gary Baki says the officers who supported the protest are being questioned over their involvement.