Confusion over SHP post

There is some confusion over the post of the Southern Highlands Provincial Administrator’s seat as a Joseph Cajetan was announced as the new provincial administrator on Monday.

A gazettal by the Ministerial Appointments Committee confirmed the appointment.

However, caretaker Southern Highlands Provincial Administrator Thomas Eluh says the timing of the alleged appointment is wrong.

Speaking at a media conference in Port Moresby yesterday afternoon, he said the situation will cause more tension in a province that has a State of Emergency declared over it.

“My appointment is current, until the position is advertised and a permanent appointment is made.

“It is not a normal period for politics, because people are in pain and suffering, tensions are very high, the situation is toxic and fluid, and I have been appointed to restore peace and normalcy.

“I call on those responsible for creating this situation, must refrain immediately.

“I’m so concerned about the 6,000-plus population of Southern Highlands.”

Eluh expressed his disappointment with the Department of Personnel Management.

“I personally briefed them thoroughly that any decision that is made at this time must consider all aspects, including security on the ground.

“And I’m giving a strong warning to everyone, including the Department of Personnel Management, the public service minister and anyone who is behind this move, that if anything goes wrong, if someone gets killed, I will hold them responsible.

“It may mean they will be arrested under the emergency laws, because people’s lives and properties are at risk,” said Eluh.

Meredith Kuusa