PNG-China friends present gifts to inmates

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 3rd January 2012

PRISONERS at Lakiemata jail in Kimbe, West New Britain, received surprise gifts over the Christmas and New Year holidays.
New Kimbe town mayor Jackson Endo and the provincial-based Chinese community under the PNG-CHINA Friendship Association (PNGCFA) visited Lakiemata Jail for the first time in many years, bringing with them boxes of biscuits, cartons of drinks and other groceries, including bags of rice worth over K5,000 funded by the PNGCFA.
A truck packed with the food stuff drove right through the two seven-metre high razor-wired gates into the heart of the jail compound where prisoners stood against the brick wall of their cells as well as lining up alongside the wire fences within their residential compound to witness the presentation.
The surprise visit came under the initiative of Endo, who confirmed his office had been working around the clock since his election to build confidence between the business community in and around the provincial capital and the Kimbe urban local level government (LLG) area.
Endo said such visits would be carried out annually.
Endo and members of the Chinese business community who visited the male and female cells said the initiative could play an important role in instilling in them thoughts centred on the meaning of Christmas as well as reminding them of the need to re-focus their lives in the new year.
Jerry Tano, speaking on behalf of his fellow prisoners, said it was the first in many years for a town mayor or a head of an LLG to visit those behind bars.
Tano said the visit must be an eye opener for all other LLG presidents who as leaders should not join the society in criticising and damning inmates for the crimes they had committed.
He said the LLGs must come together and help in the rehabilitation of the prisoners and to allow them to fit back into their respective communities.
He said all the inmates in Lakiemata Jail were sons and daughters from all 11 LLGs but the LLG presidents seemed to have forgotten them.