PM disappointed with cops, soldiers

Main Stories, National

The National, Wednesday October 23rd, 2013


PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill says rogue soldiers and policemen should be sent to Israel to learn discipline following their latest clashes last weekend.

He said this yesterday when asked to comment on an incident in Manus last Friday when soldiers clashed with police officers. 

There was another incident in Tari last Saturday involving members of the disciplined forces.

The Manus incident has been kept under the wraps, while the Tari incident involved a standoff between soldiers and policemen, after soldiers caught policemen allegedly smuggling alcohol into Tari.

“I haven’t been fully briefed (about the Manus incident) yet but I’ve been told about it,” O’Neill said.

“Of course, we are very disappointed about this kind of continued undisciplined behaviour within our disciplinary forces, not only in Manus and Tari but elsewhere.

“They have to be aware of their obligations to the nation.

“They are supposed to provide a sense of security to our people.

“I think we’ve got a long way to go.

“I think we need to send some of these people to Israel.

“They will come under good disciplinary arrangements and I think some of them deserve it.”

O’Neill has just returned from Israel.

He said the Tari incident was very unbecoming of disciplined forces when he had just recently warned against such behaviour by members of both the PNGDF and police.

“It’s unacceptable when policemen are running around facilitating illegal alcohol trading,” he said.

“The police commissioner has briefed me on this matter.

“He is now handling and charging those policemen who have been transporting alcohol.

“From what I understand, defence force officers intervened, trying to confiscate the alcohol and as a result the incident happened.

“We are investigating that.

“Police and defence commanders met me and informed me of the incident.

“I’m pleased that they’ve taken full charge.

“They’ve got senior officers on the ground in Tari to handle the situation as it is.”