The National- Thursday, February 3, 2011
THE Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PMCCI) has described the recent spate of ethnic clashes in the nation’s capital as barbaric and primitive behaviour by uncivilised people.
In a statement yesterday, the chamber said the causes were often petty, and could be solved quickly and efficiently by a police force which should be equipped and committed to stamping out such behaviour.
“Gordon Market should be one of the premier markets in the city, but it is in an anarchic state; a battleground for various groups from the highlands vying for economic supremacy in an area which is literally a stone’s throw away from the police station. How can the Lae City Market operate so efficiently when NCD’s cannot?
“The various groups from the resource areas hanging around town are a large part of the problem.
“Let’s be honest – do we really believe the money they are seeking is for “business grants” or “seed capital”? It is pocket-money that is being spent in bars and brothels, and is fueling the increase in public drinking and offensive behaviour”.
The chamber added that such behaviour at markets were out of control and just tinder boxes waiting for some drunkard to bump someone or step on someone’s produce and we have World War III triggered by opportunistic and armed young men.
PMCCI said if police were under-resourced then City Hall should step in by engaging heavy security provided by qualified security companies who were instructed to exercise a zero tolerance policy on those causing trouble and allow the law-abiding public to get on with their lives peacefully.
“We despair of our police getting a handle on such clashes – we have yet to see one person charged – yet crimes committed, such as beheading and mutilation, are beyond belief in the capital city,” the statement said.
PMCCI called on police and Governor Powes Parkop to lead a crackdown into public drunkenness, threatening, abusive language and carrying of weapons such as bush knives in the city’s confines saying, “We have had enough, and the streets and our markets belong to decent people.”