7 Oct 2009

Inquiry into anti-Chinese riots set to begin in PNG

4:07 pm on 7 October 2009

Despite a lack of Government funding Papua New Guinea MPs will begin an inquiry next week into this year's riots directed at Chinese nationals.

Anti-Chinese protests were followed by the ransacking of Chinese-owned stores, first in Port Moresby, closely followed by Lae, and then in May in the Highlands, resulting in at least three deaths.

The chair of the public commission of inquiry, MP Jamie Maxtone-Graham, says 15 MPs will come together to try and find out what triggered the riots and how to prevent them in the future.

"My committee's job is to diffuse this potential time bomb. Pressure is building up. There's a lot of rumours going around that the thing will blow up again. Government failed to fund my committee and we haven't done our job since June and now it's October."

Jamie Maxtone-Graham says the commission will talk to the capital's communities first, but he hopes to extend the investigation to other towns once they receive full funding.