Lae businesses brace for worse

National, Normal

The National, Thursday, June 9th 2011

SHOP owners in a busy shopping mall in Lae are bracing for the worst when disgruntled settlers meet with Morobe Governor Luther Wenge today.
The shops at Eriku had been advised in a letter from metropolitan commander Supt Nema Mondiai of the security risk of opening for business today.
They have stepped up security and warned workers not to turn up for work.
Shop owners fear that a public gathering of settlers, particularly from the Western Highlands, at the Niall Reserve could turn out ugly.
The shop owners were busy last night setting up barricades to protect their property.
Mondia could not be reached for comments but police sources said last night that they had been instructed to take every precaution at Eriku when the gathering takes place.
Police will be posted at other strategic locations, particularly the main market and Top Town, so that breakaway dissidents could be controlled.
The Western Highlands settlers live at Mambu Maket along the Busu Road at Malahang and had been involved in a fight with Morobean settlers last Wednesday and Thursday.
They will now petition Wenge, having already served their intention to stage a public gathering.
Their petition is expec-ted to include demands for the culprits in the murder, arson and destruction to face justice and for compensation from Morobean settlers for loss of business and property.
One effect of the fighting was that people were arriving late for work because of the drop in the number of PMVs on the road.