20 Sep 2010

PNG activist rejects blame for anti-Asian riots

1:36 pm on 20 September 2010

An activist in Papua New Guinea, Noel Anjo, has dismissed government claims he's responsible for the anti-Asian rioting and looting in Eastern Highlands earlier this month.

The Internal Security Minister, Sani Rambi, says Mr Anjo and his agents are to blame for the damage to Asian-owned shops in Goroka, Kainantu and Henganofi.

He calls them evil people promoting disorder in PNG.

Mr Anjo says he held workshops last month in Eastern Highlands about a planned protest at various Government actions, including controversial legislation cutting the Ombudsman's power and reducing environmental oversight of major projects.

He says he didn't encourage the violence but he's warned the Government to listen to the people.

"If you go to the streets of Goroka and try to interview the people who take part in these unlawful activities then they would tell you that we are doing this because our Government cannot provide the basic essential services, and we are slaves in our own country. The Government is allowing the foreigners, especially the Asians, to come and take over jobs and businesses that can be done by Papua New Guinean citizens."

Noel Anjo.

An anti-Government protest by NGO groups is planned for this Thursday.