Sir Michael condemns actions of police at UPNG

The founding father and Governor of East Sepik Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare has condemned the actions of police this morning at the UPNG campus.

Sir Michael in a statement said: "It is inexcusable that unarmed students are fired upon by police as they prepare to peacefully march on to Parliament.

"We need to establish who gave the orders for policemen to inflict harm on unarmed students. What warranted police to surround the campus in the first instance?

“Is the University safeguarding the interest of our young people?

"I call on police to stand down in the interest of the public, you are not there to protect the interest of individual politicians.”

Sir Michael said he have never used the police for his own interest during his time in office and nor should any other individual holding office.

“It is a bad precedent for our emerging democracy.

"I also call on Commissioner Gari Baki to call his men to stand down.”

Sir Michael reiterated that Baki cannot protect the Prime Minister anymore at the expense of security and safety of the general public.

"I am informed by members of the public and staff that there have been numerous reactions following the actions of police at UPNG and I understand Lae City is also on high alert.

"The Government of the day has to be very careful in the steps that they will be taking to protect our democracy and the security of our people.

“I strongly suggest that Peter O'Neill diffuse this situation by stepping down from the Office of the Prime Minister.

"In issuing this statement I want to state categorically that I have no intention to run in the next election my concern stems from the fact that as a senior Papua New Guinean I do not want our country to come undone because leaders are abusing their office at the expense of our people," says Sir Michael.

Meanwhile, O’Neill in parliament today strongly defuse the call by Opposition in stepping down from the highest office.

He told the Opposition that on the issue of stepping down from the high office, he responded and asked: “Stepping down for what?”

O’Neill said he is always available for any interview and questioning by police in regards to allegations against him or any of his staff.

He said there is never been a question about that.

“The question is about the warrant of arrest as to why we have to run and get a warrant without even conducting an interview at the first place,” O’Neill told the Parliament.

He added that “everybody in this country is innocent until proven guilty.”

Freddy Mou