By ANDREW ALPHONSE in MENDI
TARI-Pori MP James Marape has appealed to the Tari town youths in Southern Highlands province to stop their lawless activities and respect the rule of law.
He made the appeal at the provincial assembly meeting in Mendi last Wednesday following recent reports of increased lawlessness like tribal wars, armed roadblocks and hold-ups along the Tari-Ambua and Tari to Hides gas field roads, alcohol abuse and violence, theft of public and State properties (Tari airport fencing), attacks on Government institutions (Tari Hospital) and other escalating problems
The Education Minister said Tari-Pori electorate did not have any natural resources or hydro-carbon deposits like the neighbouring Komo-Margarima and Koroba-Lake Kopiago electorates in Hela and the people of Tari town were fortunate to have the township in their area.
The town is the hub of all commercial, business, industrial and administrative centre for the new Hela province and the prospects of the multi-billion kina PNG LNG project.
“As such, Tari town youths must work with the authorities, police and local leaders to ensure that peace is maintained at all times for more development and change.
“Law and order is now my main priority and after being elected into office in the 2007 National Elections, I have worked hard with churches and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to promote peace in Tari and Hela,” he added.
Mr Marape appealed to the youths and people in the Tari-Pori district to embrace change and development, adding that law and order was not for police and leaders only but for everyone.
He said the Tari-Pori joint district budget priority and planning committee (JDBPPC) had committed K730,000 in the last two years for law and order programmes, including a K100,000 funding to United church’s peace advocate NGO, the Young Ambassadors for Peace (YAP) to support mediation workshops for peace and reconciliation between warring tribes in Tari and Hela regions.
Mr Marape also announced that a new police vehicle for the Tari-based mobile squad (MS) 09 was bought from Angore gas project funds to support police operations in the area.
Another vehicle for Angore police was also delivered during the Angore licence-based benefits sharing agreement (LBBSA) last December in Tari.