14 Nov 2009

PNG leaders pelted by anrgy Tari locals over exclusion from benefits deal

11:19 am on 14 November 2009

A team of senior Papua New Guinea Government ministers and MPs have come under attack in Tari when angry locals pelted them with stones in protest at being excluded from a benefits sharing agreement in the Liquified Natural Gas project.

The newspaper, The National, reports that the entourage was in the Southern Highlands for public forums about the sharing agreement and had planned to speak to the people at the Andaija Oval when they were pelted with stones.

The crowd, mostly made up of youths and village chiefs, protested over the electorate of Tari-Pori and its four local level government council areas being excluded in the mapping of the petroleum development licence areas in PNG's lucrative LNG project.

Police personnel flown in from outside the province to provide security at the LBBSA fired several shots into the air to disperse the angry crowd.

However, someone in the crowd also had a gun and fired back but no casualties were reported.