Governor says protest illegal

Islands

AN attempt by members of the New Ireland branch of the Public Employees Association (PEA) to petition the New Ireland government and administration on Friday was unsuccessful, according to president Watson Sole.
Sole said the petition was in two forms and highlighted the administrative and development issues faced by PEA members such as overdue leave fares and other employee benefits.
“Over a hundred members of the PEA in Kavieng town assembled in front of the provincial assembly car park including others from the civil society as early as 9am before the convening of the first provincial assembly meeting of 2017.”
Sole said Governor Sir Julius Chan and provincial administrator Lamiller Pawut declared the protest to be illegal and refused to accept their petition.
He said the handing over of the petition was legal and it stated that the members of the PEA were only expressing their view on issues affecting them and the citizens of the province and the constitution gave them the right of assembly and association.
The gathering to present the petition on Friday was not a strike, he added.

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