21 May 2009

PNG apologises for anti-Chinese violence

1:36 pm on 21 May 2009

Papua New Guinea's acting Prime Minister Puka Temu has apologised for what he says were a handful of hooligans and opportunists attacking and looting Asian businesses across the county.

in a statement, Dr Temu says police will be out in full force to deal with troublemakers.

He says he would also like to apologise to the business entities that were victimised and the inconvenience caused to the public as a result of these activities.

He says they can assure them that the law will come down hard on the perpetrators.

Police say the official death toll from the rioting and looting is one, though one local newspaper says as many as four looters have been shot.

The trouble started in the capital Port Moresby last week when an anti-Chinese protest ended in violence and looting.

In the same week, PNG workers clashed with management at the Chinese-run Ramu nickel mine in Madang Province, on the northeast coast, after a worker was injured by a tractor.