No warlords, just criminals

This week in Parliament issues of lawlessness and security in the country was raised by various Members of Parliament as a growing concern.

Mul-Baiyer Member, Jacob Maki, in the Parliament Sitting on Tuesday 14 March, posed questions to Minister for Internal Security responsible for the Royal PNG Constabulary and PNG Correctional Service, Peter Tsiamalili Jnr, regarding the most recent killing and the abduction and rape of a young woman.

“There are warlords in Hela Province holding hostages in captivity and demanding ransom, young girl being taken hostage and repeatedly being raped by criminals going viral on social media and creating fear among citizens of this beautiful nation.

“Lately an innocent taxi driver was hacked to death by unknown criminals near Edai Town. It also went viral on social media. This is so scary and putting lives of innocent citizens at risk,” said MP Maki.

Maki asked, “Can the Police Minister tell this country through this floor, what measures is your department undertaking so far to deal with the warlords in Hela and senseless killing along Papa Lealea road. If nothing has been done, then why? Can you explain to the floor so that people of Papua New Guinea can be aware?”

Minister Tsiamalili Jnr replied by first highlighting the challenges faced by the Police Force when enforcing law and order in Papua New Guinea.

“Mi mas tok klia deputy speaker, i nogat warlord lo displa country,” said a stern Tsaiamalili Jnr.

He expressed that we as a people must erase the phrase ‘warlords’ from our vocabulary when referring to those who carry out acts of violence and harm to others.

He emphasized, “These are pure criminals.”

“Umi noken givim ol displa kain name.”

Tsiamalili Jnr says in regards to the incidence in Hela Province, “We are working closely with the leadership on the ground. Now more than ever, we need leadership. We are stretched as a force. We have only 5,000 men managing, enforcing our law and order issues.

“We identified areas within the force that need special attention.”

The Minister assured, “We are making every effort for us to manage this scenario that is happening in the western front up in Hela.”

In response to the incidences referred to by MP Maki, Minister Tsiamalili Jnr explained that because one of the incidences was widely shared on social media, it infringes on the communication ministry.

“Because umi toktok lo cyberspace.”

He added that in terms of prosecuting the people who have been exposed on social media, “We have a cybercrime office. We also have a team that looks into these types of incidences.”

However, he explained that in terms of prosecution. It isn’t straightforward.

“There are processes in place. Police have taken action and it’s a process that they go through.”

The Minister says he will seek further updates on the cases and provide specific answers to the questions posed by MP Maki

Marysila Kellerton