Protest March

Hundreds march in Tahiti against building of floating islands

The march by residents of Mataiea was held despite a statement by the government of Edouard Fritch in February that its deal with the Americans had become void.

The demonstrators, who included local fishermen and families, are opposed to building the islands in the Atimaono lagoon, saying the area is their food source.

The government said its agreement with the Seasteading Institute was not a legal document and that it expired at the end of 2017.

It also said it hoped that this would end the debate about the floating islands.

Protest stopped, organisers called to police HQ

The protest was called off by police on account of it being unlawful and no proper permit from the good order committee to stage it.

According to one of the activists, Bryan Kramer, there was heavy police presence as the crowd began to build up.

The police then issued an order for them to disperse within 30 minutes while the organisers of the event, the PNG Anti-corruption Movement chairman Lucas Kiap and Noel Anjo, were called to meet with Police Commissioner Gari Baki at the police headquarters.

Turi warns residents not to support activists

Turi says that his personnel will be out in full force to ensure activists do not go against the decision to disallow the meet.

He says the normal seven day clearance was never given to his command or that of his supervisor NCD Central Commander Sylvester Kalaut.

The safety of business houses as well as the public cannot be guaranteed by the organising groups.

Today the capital city was quiet with no major incidence, the only public gathering was the on-going coalition of union’s forum at the Jack Pidik Park.

NCD police on alert

NCD Metropolitan police commander Ben Turi says his personnel will be out and about today to monitor the streets of the capital. This is to also ensure that opportunists do not take advantage of the situation.

The streets of Port Moresby are quiet this morning however, it is anticipated that the unions will gather at the Jack Pidik Park to go over some outstanding issues that they want the government to address.

No protest over eviction at Pari

After hours of negotiations today between  council of chiefs, police, Moresby South MP Justin Tkatchenko and the people, they agreed instead to issue a stop notice to the settlers.

Police will be issuing the notice today.

Chairman of the council of chiefs Taina Gebai told Loop PNG the situation must not be repeated in the future and called on people to respect the law.

He said they (Pari) will be meeting with nearby villages of Kirakira to come up with proper land demarcation and address illegal land grabbing issues.

Pari women plan protest march

The water cuts started again last November and have continued on to this day leaving the villagers helpless and desperate for water.

In a meeting with Eda Ranu, President of Pari Women’s Development Association Geau Sasala says they were told that they had an outstanding bill payment of K224, 000 in total and were told to do an upfront payment of  K100, 000 before water can be reconnected back to the village.

Security reasons behind police stopping Opposition protests

Baki said due to tensions from last week Monday’s (26th October) chaotic public protests he did not allow for today’s gathering.

He says the safety of the public was not guaranteed adding, calls by the public to allow them to gather was unrealistic and unsafe.

Baki met with Opposition leader Don Polye and appealed to them to consider a closed venue where crowd behavior can be easily controlled.

Activists compile complaints against police

Anjo tells PNG Loop that he has met with all the other NGO partners to go over statements they have obtained so far.

He says that they also have photographic and video evidence of some of the main assaults. Anjo is calling on other supporters to come forward with their complaints.

He is adamant they will still pursue legal action against police for their interference on Monday.

Anjo says that their legal team has been in talks with them as well to seek action against the Police Commissioner Gari Baki and the NCD Metropolitan police commander Ben Turi. 

Police: We should be respected too

Turi says that the fight began when a young boy called one of the police who was trying to remove the banners on the main stage truck “Five kina police”.

He says that this is an insult and goes to show an apparent lack of command and control from the protestors to at least respect police who up until then allowed them to gather peacefully.

This incident, Turi says, incited the fights to start and is a clear indication ofa  lack of crowd control and command by the NGO groups.

Police Commissioner and NCD commander to be taken to court: Activists

Court order 122 of 2014 stated that police are restrained from infringing the rights of Anjo under sections 32, 42, 47 and 52 of the Constitution, he told reporters.

The order declares, he says, that he has the right to freedom of expression, assembly and association of freedom of movement. The order also stated that police were restricted from infringing the rights of Anjo to take part in any processions, public meetings or any such activity that are lawfully organised by the plaintiff.