The National – Tuesday, November 30, 2010
THE attack on a group of Australian youth ambassadors and the rape of a female member of the group in Madang strongly condemned by Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Guma Wau.
Wau said the attack was more abhorrent and senseless because the victims were harmless young people who were in the country to help underprivileged Papua New Guineans.
He said while the PNG government and its stakeholders were trying their best to market PNG to the world as a tourism destination, the actions of a few sabotaged these efforts and at the same time, made a mockery of the hospitality to guests that is the hallmark of our Melanesian culture.
“I strongly condemn these animalistic actions which shame all good Papua New Guineans.
“I also wish to convey my deepest sympathies to the victims and their families for the evil they suffered.”
The minister said he wanted justice done by capturing the perpetrators and punishing them.
“I urge the police in Madang to bring the perpetrators to face justice and the maximum penalty applicable under PNG law meted out to the individuals.”
He said PNG was a good country but such incident caused by a minority was tarnishing the good name of the government and the people.
He pointed out that tourism was an important revenue spinner, hence, every Papua New Guinean must respect and contribute towards its development and bringing it into disrepute.
Wau assured tourists and other visitors that such people were a minority and opportunists, and it would be safer if they were accompanied by local guides when in unfamiliar areas.