Squatters removed from state land

Lae News, Normal

The National, Monday 12th December 2011

POLICE in Lae have begun evicting squatters on state land around the city, with the operations beginning on Saturday at Banana Block, Mosquito Compound and Minape Block.
This is part of moves to rid Lae of illegal settlers who have largely been blamed for petty crime, harassment of people and serious crimes in the city.
While visiting policemen from Port Moresby and Highlands have returned to their respective provinces, Lae police are continuing to enforce law and order in the city where the declared fighting zone status will end at the end of January.
The Morobe independent peace committee has commended the work of police.
It said with the
withdrawal of mobile squad members from other provinces, Lae police should be better equipped to deal with a situation that was still “volatile”.
Spokespersons for the group Michael Daure Earley, Jasper Jema, Asaria Sam and Benson Gunsy said Lae police were better acquainted with hotspots and local people and would not use guns on people indiscriminately as was the case earlier in the unrest when visiting policemen shot and killed Morobeans at Bumayong.
The committee, consisting of Ahi representatives and Morobean representatives from the nine districts, said Lae police could handle the situation given that all possible help was being accorded to them.
The spokesmen said while the Morobe peace and good order committee, established by the provincial executive committee had refused to recognise their group, they would continue to work for the rights of Morobeans.
They said all they wanted was to be included in meetings and were not asking for allowances, accommodation or office space.
They said they wanted recognition as Morobeans who wanted to have a say in the peace process.
The committee is willing to work with the Lae metropolitan police and the provincial administrator to rid the pro­vince of street bullies and illegal settlers.