Work extends to other Eriku streets

Sealing will commence soon.

The Lae City Authority outlined that work on Lae Secondary and Oak Street roads, with the back of Raumai 18 Supermarket, will commence shortly as contract has already been awarded to R&Sons Construction Limited.

“The deteriorated Lae City roads need more than K250 million to fix all of them,” said the LCA.

“The yearly K3 million DSIP infrastructure component is insufficient but with the support of the national and provincial governments, Lae City has literally seen changes taking place in all sectors.

Control maintained in Lae

Otherwise, police maintained command and control within the suburbs of Eriku, town and market.

Lae metropolitan superintendent, Chris Kunyanban, said despite his office not receiving any formal notice of a planned protest, they went ahead and conducted a mini operation to safeguard lives and properties in the city.

The operation started as early as 4am on Friday, the 29th of October, where police setup checkpoints at the three strategic locations of Two-Mile, Kamkumung and Chinatown.

Eriku protest held at bay

A large crowd started gathering at Eriku by 8am but were not allowed to convene at the Eriku Oval due to police presence.

Shops closed their doors while classes were suspended as the crowd size started increasing around the Eriku busstop.

A large crowd soon started marching at around 11am but were held at bay at the St Mary's Primary School gate by Lae metropolitan superintendent, Chris Kunyanban, and his team.

The crowd were armed with placards saying: "My right, my choice" and "Say no to mandatory vaccination".

Opportunists damage Eriku shop

Security guards manning the Asian-owned shop, called ‘Oriental’, reported that a large group aggressively approached the outlet at around 8.30am and started vandalising it.

“The guards were here but the crowd approached and we started moving them,” Simon Haruma said. 

“Two of our vehicles that were here radioed to the base and reinforcements arrived.”

A warning shot was issued to disperse the crowd, where the armed guards moved in to secure the shop.

Two suspects have been apprehended and handed over to police. One of them was caught whilst in the shop.

Order finally brought to Lae bus stops

While Port Moresby, East New Britain and Eastern Highlands were following the state of emergency protocol, it was business as usual in PNG’s second largest city.

This newsroom received reports that buses were overloaded with passengers while social distancing was far from the agenda as people crowded the sidewalks or waited in line at the bank.

However, by 4pm this afternoon, some form of order was brought about when police officers made sure commuters adhered to social distancing while 25-seater buses were not permitted to carry more than 15 passengers.

Late Zurenuoc’s funeral service today

A large number of dignitaries will attend the service, including the Governor General Bob Dadae and Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.

The dignitaries were scheduled to assemble at 10am for the funeral service at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, a stone's throw from the late statesman's residence at Eriku.

After the service, the body will be laid to rest at the State cemetery, which is opposite the Huon Gulf Hotel.

Robberies started off working week in Lae

Metropolitan Superintendent Anthony Wagambie Jr confirmed the incident happened between 10am and 12 midday.

He said the three suspects had held up the staff in the administration office and made off with less than K3,500 in cash and an unspecified amount of cheques.

Wagambie Jr said after holding up the staff and getting hold of the takings, the suspects escaped in a waiting vehicle where they abandoned it close by and went on foot at Papuan Compound.