28 May 2009

PNG anti-violence committee welcomes Asian input

6:33 pm on 28 May 2009

One of the members of a new Papua New Guinea parliamentary committee set up to investigate the cause of the recent anti-Asian violence and looting says the early signs of Asian input into the committee's work have been encouraging.

The 15-member committee is to investigate and report to Parliament why there was rioting and vandalism across the country against businesses owned and operated by Asians.

Part of the committee's mandate is to review the types of businesses operated by Asians as well as the causes of resentment by PNG nationals.

A committee member, Malcolm Kela-Smith, says the Asian communities appear keen to help:

"We got some very good input from the Philippines ambassador. She quite openly said she is aware of 6,000 Filipinos here but she suspects there's actually about 16,000 and she's got no record of the other 10,000 being here. That's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Chinese being here... it's even worse. So, some very constructive input from the embassy people and that was just the beginning of the talk."

Malcolm Kela-Smith