Committee wants Vagrancy Act back

National, Normal

The National, Monday 21st November 2011

LAE settlements peace and good order committee has petitioned Morobe Governor Luther Wenge to have  parliament bring back the Vagrancy Act.
The committee, consisting of non-Morobeans and long-time residents of Lae, is headed by chairman Titus Wambun and deputy chairman Paul Pora.
Other members are Kay Takisen, Alex Dawa, Sila Giri and Peter Seski.
Their 12-point petition called for:
l    The government to extend the fighting zone declaration by two months;
l    The government to empower the committee to investigate the cause of the recent clashes;
l    The government to re-enforce and empower the police force to deal with such crisis;
l    Law and order enforcing authorities to engage new and appropriate strategies to address violence and crises.
l    A complete ban on street vending in the city, with an appropriate location allocated for informal sector businesses; and
l    A permanent police roadblock to be set up at 9-Mile to control and filter movement into the city.
In addition the committee had also called for tougher measures to be imposed on alcohol abusers, with stricter control on retail trading hours.
The committee wants appointed or recognised community leaders working to promote peace and good order be remunerated and a fund be established for mobilisation and assessment of issues to enable the peace and good order committee to report to the government.
It called for the provincial executive committee to put on hold recommendations for the eviction of illegal settlers until the situation in Lae
returned to normal. 
It petitioned the government to bear all costs for the loss of property and lives, saying the provincial government had failed to address and contain the recent uprising.
The settlement committee said the provincial government’s peace and good order committee was a good initiative but inadequate as it consisted of LLG presidents who were from outside Lae and did not have hands-on knowledge on what was really happening in settlements and blocks.
It said it would act as a bridge between the settlers and other Papua New Guineans and the Morobe peace and good order committee.
Wenge said he would look into the petition.
A liquor ban had been imposed throughout Lae and surrounding districts.