Slayings prompt assembly debate

The National,Wednesday June 29th, 2016

THE killing of Angau Memorial Hospital paediatrician Dr Alphonse Rongap and University of Technology (Unitech) student Graham Romanong prompted a heated debate in the first session of the Morobe (tutumang) assembly yesterday.
Provincial ministers, including Parliament Speaker Theodore Zurenuoc and Minister for Fisheries Mao Zeming, joined Governor Kelly Naru in a fired-up debate on how to address law and order issues that saw the two deaths on Saturday.
The assembly, on behalf of the Morobe people, conveyed its condolences and sympathies to the families of Rongap and Romanong.
The assembly resolved to contribute K10,000 each to the respective mourning houses to help the two families meet costs.
The assembly also resolved to assist police, Unitech, Angau hospital, the Bumayong-Back Road community and the Lae district law and order committee to ensure that justice prevailed.
“Morobe tutumang stands by to assist where appropriate and reasonable to ensure suspects involved in the murder of Dr Rongap and Romanong are brought to justice,” Naru said.
Tutumang members also resolved to work with the  Government and relevant stakeholders to bring normalcy to the operations of Angau and Unitech for the benefit of the community of Lae.
“We stand ready to assist in the repatriation of Morobe students at UPNG (University of Papua New Guinea) and UNRE (University of Natural Resources and Environment) if the academic year is cancelled,” Naru said.
The assembly agreed that matters relating to allegations against Prime Minister Peter O’Neill were before the courts and so it was not appropriate to deliberate on them.
Zurenuoc commended the provincial ministers for taking a mature role in demonstrating leadership to work with the Government and concerned stakeholders to address the situation at Angau and the four aggrieved government universities.
“Issues have occurred unfortunately,” he said.
“But we’re taking a leadership approach to assist the Government.
“Let’s deal sensitively and be mindful not to involve political issues with law and order issues.”
The session was adjourned to 10am today.