Govt cops the blame

Main Stories, National


THE national government has been blamed for last Friday’s shooting incident at the Jackson Airport which left three people wounded.
Among those wounded was a gunman who acted in a Rambo-style manner, firing at random at the public before he was shot, wounded and disarmed.
Police also arrested an alleged father-and-son gang at the airport while confiscating a handgun, an assault rifle and a gun belt with 27 live cartridges.
Police have refused them bail.
Authorities have attributed the airport shooting incident to landowner issues and differences.
Civil Aviation Authority chief executive officer Joseph Kintau has brushed aside claims by Air Niugini that last Friday’s incident was an airport security issue.
He said the incident was a sensitive landowner issue which the government did not address properly.
“The government must be blamed for the actions of landowners, because these issues must be addressed properly,” Kintau said.
His comments came after Air Niugini corporate affairs manager Jack Pidik blamed CAA for lack of security at the airport.
He said several requests and meetings had been held to improve security at the airport’s main entrance but nothing had eventuated, resulting in several internal security threats at the airport.
Early last month, a gold buyer was shot dead by armed criminals inside the terminal.
But, Kintau did not agree with Pidik, saying that the government must be held responsible for what happened last Friday.
Several landowner leaders at the airport also levelled the blame at the national government.
They said this was only the beginning of many more to come, explaining that landowners were already frustrated.
An expatriate at the scene last Friday said this was the start of worse things to stem from the liquefied natural gas project if not addressed properly by those in authority.
Meanwhile, assistant commissioner of police operations Tony Wagambie, who was at the crime scene when it unfolded, rated it as a security issue.
However, he said “it was the politics of money and power by landowners” in their fight to have access to landowner funds.