Local leader: Wrong to say highlanders are trouble-makers

National, Normal

The National, Monday 29th April 2013

 IT is wrong to generalise that highlanders are trouble-makers and it is legally impossible to remove all Western Highland businessmen from Lae, a community leader said.

Talair compound community leader Kay Takising originally from Finschhafen district, said the eviction demand was impossible and wrong to remove businessmen.

He was reacting to the stand taken by Morobean leaders who through a petition to the Morobe provincial government gave a 14-day notice for the removal of all Western Highlanders and their businesses in Lae.

“It was not the PMV owners from Western Highlands who are wrong,” he said.

“It is their employees who are at fault. This demand is impossible because our own MPs can’t fund their own PMVs just overnight as their funds are tied to district projects.”

His suggested that PMV owners should only manage the business and allow Morobeans to drive their vehicles.

A Lae police officer, who asked not to be identified, said the nine Lae MPs should each put in K1 million on top of the K2 million allocated by Governor Kelly Naru from which their people could borrow to start PMV business.

A Western Highlander, who is a teacher and lives in Lae, said it was wrong to castigate all highlanders and called on authorities to target only the culprits.

“I am from Western Highlands but we speak different languages and live in different boundaries,” he said.

“So it’s complicated. Some of us have been called by the government to serve here but we are given nasty treatment because of the actions of a few culprits who should be identified.”

The petition was presented to the Morobe provincial government last Wednesday after a young seminarian was allegedly killed by the crew of a public motor vehicle after he went to the aid of two female passengers harassed by the crew of the bus owned by a Western Highlander operator.