By DULCIE OREKE
THE notorious reputation of Morata suburb in Port Moresby is not deserved, according to a community leader, who says it has changed from what it used to be 20 years ago.
Lifeline council care services director Joseph Saranduo was responding to a comment by a police officer who called Morata a hostile place.
Mr Saranduo, who had been a resident of the suburb for 20 years, said the problems that were known or being reported were caused by a minority for their own reasons and not by the majority of the residents.
He said this group of people created the bad image for the community but if they were kept occupied doing some useful activity, it would divert their attention elsewhere.
He said during his time in the community, he had witnessed great changes as well as criminal activities and shoot-outs between the police and community youths that often resulted in several youths being shot dead.
Mr Saranduo said as leaders of the community, they tried their best to prevent problems from occurring.
“The community is much better today and we leaders try our best to keep it that way so that everybody can live in peace,” Mr Saranduo said.
Mr Saranduo also suggested that police should find better ways of approaching the community youths to have a dialogue together instead of approaching them in “a harsh manner”.
He said problematic youths often created problems out of frustration and to get attention.