30 Dec 2009

MP says alcohol ban is answer to lawlessness in PNG's Enga Province

2:04 pm on 30 December 2009

The newly re-elected MP for Kandep in Papua New Guinea's Enga Province, Don Polye, has issued a challenge to the provincial Governor, Peter Ipatas, to ban the sale and consumption of alcohol there.

His comments come after Mr Ipatas blamed ongoing lawlessness in Enga on police and threatened to remove the senior officers.

But Mr Polye, a former Deputy Prime Minister, told the newspaper, The National, that the widespread consumption and abuse of alcohol is the problem.

He says most of the trouble, the fights and the violent deaths are all alcohol related.

Mr Polye says the sale of alcohol is so widespread that just about every village has a beer tavern, which the provincial police commander also said is the root cause of the troubles in Enga.

Mr Polye says the Governor has to accept responsibility because this surge in the number of outlets is due to political leaders granting their supporters liquor licences.