The National, Tuesday 3rd January 2012
By ELLEN TIAMU
NEW YEAR celebrations in Lae have been fairly quiet, with most people remaining in their yards and communities to usher in 2012.
Fireworks, flares, the tooting of car horns and the banging of drums were the order of the night and morning as the city tried to forget a trouble-riddled year and welcomed a more promising 2012.
The Angau Memorial Hospital reported 12 New Year babies born between midnight on Saturday and Sunday although no further information could be provided.
A man is now in custody at the Lae police station after allegedly having carnal knowledge of a five-year-old girl over the long weekend.
The man, from the Finschhafen district, was an employee of a catering company.
It is alleged the man had been secretly inviting the child to his room for a while.
Acting on a hunch, the girl’s father questioned her yesterday morning which led to the arrest of the suspect.
Police could not confirm the incident but witnesses said the suspect was badly beaten by police before being taken into custody.
In Northern, the relatives of a mother-of-four who died on Saturday at Hamara village are calling for her body to be exhumed and a medical examination be conducted so that her husband could be brought to justice.
The woman was buried on New Year’s Day.
Miriam Archie, 27, is alleged to have died from an overdose of an acidic chemical used to harden rubber latex following an argument with her husband.
Her brother, a soldier at Igam Barracks in Lae said his sister had a long life of suffering at the hands of her husband and he should be made to compensate for her untimely death.
John Koropu said his sister, who has teenage children, married very young and went through a tumultuous relationship of beatings and arguments with her husband who is from the same village in Kokoda district.
Koropu said many women were living unhappy lives at the hands of their husbands and his sister spoke of suicide many times because she could not see any way out of her misery.
The family is now working with village elders so that the matter can be taken up with police.