15 May 2009

More violence in Papua New Guinea directed at Chinese businesses

3:29 pm on 15 May 2009

Chinese nationals in Papua New Guinea have been subjected to attacks and protests for a third straight day, leading police to use tear gas against the rioters.

Chinese-owned stores were ransacked in Port Moresby on Wednesday and then in Lae yesterday.

Police intervened this morning in another anti-Chinese protest in Port Moresby, using tear gas to disperse a riot, which an eyewitness says was directed at Chinese businesses.

Chinese nationals and businesses in Port Moresby have beefed up security, some hiring off-duty police as guards, while many have shut their shops as advised by their embassy.

The trouble began in the capital when an anti-Chinese march attended by 100 people ended in violence and looting.

The Port Moresby police chief, Fred Yakasa, who has been criticised for allowing the protest to go ahead, blamed the violence on hooligans.

In Lae, hundreds of men attacked Chinese nationals and their small businesses across the city yesterday.

There are unconfirmed reports of one death and serious injuries to several looters.

Earlier this week, PNG workers clashed with management at the Chinese-run Ramu nickel mine in Madang Province, after a worker was injured.