Motuan villages tense but calm

National, Normal

THE situation in the Motuan villages of Porebada and Boera, on the outskirts of Port Moresby, remained tense yesterday as police investigations into the killing of five Porebada men continued.
While Port Moresby police were not commenting, Porebada village council president, Heagi Isaiah, said he was doing all he could to maintain peace at the village.
Cr Isaiah said he, fellow councillors and village elders, were making sure people did not take the law into their own hands.
Tension at both villages has been high following the killings on Saturday as a result of a land dispute over the upgrading of the road leading to the PNG LNG project processing facility site.
The situation worsened when Porebada villagers, who met Deputy Prime Minister Sir Puka Temu on Monday, called for the arrest of his predecessor, Sir Moi Avei, for his alleged role in the land dispute.
Sir Moi, who was contacted through a third party yesterday at Boera village, said he was unhappy with the news report in the other daily and “would make a formal statement when the time was appropriate”.
Cr Isaiah said the village leaders were happy that Sir Puka and Community Development Minister Dame Carol Kidu visited on Monday to appeal for calm and let the law take its course.
“I know it’s painful but please let the police do their investigations,” he told his people.
Meanwhile, Mekeo Development Foundation Inc chairman, Philbert Aisaisa, called on the people of both villages to lay down their arms.
Mr Aisaisa said: “We have never fought our own brothers. Our leaders have always allowed justice to take it course to solve internal village problems.
“What we are witnessing is a complete lack of respect for one another, complete breakdown of law and order at the village level,” Mr Aisaisa said.