The National – Tuesday, December 28, 2010
ACTING Prime Minister Sam Abal’s Christmas message was for all Christians to pray for the country as most Papua New Guineans celebrated the festive weekend in the peace and comfort of their homes and communities.
Spreading the message in front of thousands at his home town, Wabag, on Christmas Eve, he said that Christmas was a time to get blessings from God as well as to give glory to God.
“I urge all people to put God first as everything comes from Him.”
Extra police patrols contributed to peaceful celebrations in the provinces.
However, there were many incidents in several urban centres, notably the National Capital District, where two ethnic clashes claimed the lives of three people on Christmas Day.
NCD Metropolitan Supt Joseph Tondop said city residents celebrated normally elsewhere.
In nearby Central, police reported a double murder at Brown River and a drowning of a picnicker at Kuriva.
In Western, more than 130 Papua New Guineans, who attempted to enter Australia by a flotilla of boats earlier last week to claim Australian citizenship, were returned to Daru Island, where their leader Jonathan Baure was arrested by police over immigration breaches. Australian authorities chartered five planes to return the group.
In the Eastern Highlands, two primary school students were among seven people arrested at a Goroka settlement following a Christmas Day break-in at the Chemica supermarket where thousands of kina in electronic and electrical items, among others, were stolen.
Eastern Highlands provincial police commander Chief Supt Augustine Wampe said that, generally, the people and community maintained peace and unity during the festive season.
Western Highlands provincial police commander Supt Kaiglo Ambane thanked Western Highlanders for their trouble-free behaviour, urging them to continue this during the coming New Year weekend.
He said Christmas Day was also special for his men who arrested two Baisu jail prisoners, one a suspected bank robber, who had been on the run for the past two months.
And, while celebrations in Port Moresby may have been dampened by light drizzles throughout the weekend, the weather office said more wet days were expected throughout the week.
nDetails, pages 3, 4 & 5