EDITORIAL: By the PNG Post-Courier editor Matthew Vari
For weeks, we have seen the election violence as it spread in horrific proportions around the Highlands region, mainly in Enga and other provinces there.
Men, women, and even children caught up in the fray costing lives and properties into the millions.
Yesterday, the capital city also came under similar election related violence for the first time.
Video footage captured by pedestrians commuting between two of the city’s most busiest shopping centres, in the heart of the capital city at Waigani, adjacent to the municipal authority, the country’s major sporting infrastructure hub where counting is done, and less than a kilometre from the nation’s seat of power Parliament House, human beings were hacked in front of children along a main arterial road.
It seemed the worst fears of the violence in the Highlands had just reared its ugly head yesterday around 3pm near the counting vicinity of the Sir John Guise stadium.
Supporters of candidates contesting the Moresby Northeast clashed following disputes that originated within the venue and escalated outside into a fully fledged machete-wielding hunt that saw three individuals slashed.
We wonder why this is taking place in the capital. Is it enough we have parts of the country facing turmoil and the weak and innocent already threatened with death, the capital then grinds to a halt at the hands of thugs?
Thugs with nothing better to do
Yes, thugs, who have nothing better to do then fighting to kill for just one individual and outcome.
We commend the work of the security forces, who while they were not able to prevent the initial hacking that took place, were able to react swiftly and evict all those camping out in makeshift tents along the road reserves beside the stadium, the main gathering points sheltering such thugs.
The Post-Courier joins the call by prominent Papua New Guinea business leader and advocate for change Anthony Smaré who reacted with a call on all leaders looking to consolidate their political future in the 11th Parliament to form government, while the capital seems set to ignite in violence if not addressed very soon.
“So now we have people chopping up other people with machetes outside counting venues in the nation’s capital!
“Law breakers want to become law makers!
“This insanity is happening in Port Moresby, outside the national stadium, the largest shopping centre and opposite city hall, within 1km of Parliament House, Supreme Court, Government offices, and PM’s official residence! 500 meters from embassies of Australia, NZ, Britain, and China.
‘In the seat of power!’
“It’s one thing when this violence happens in distant places like Porgera and people can cover their ears with their hands and say police should deal with it, but now it’s in the seat of power itself!
“Potential Prime Ministers, you need to abandon your camps and come back to Port Moresby and show some national leadership calling for restoration of rule of law and calm.
“Seize the opportunity this provides to you to act prime ministerial — come out in public and call for calm. If you want to be national leaders, show some traits of NATIONAL LEADERSHIP!” Smaré stated bluntly.
We support this call and call on the very leaders who are supposed to lead, to lead, whether re-elected, new, or incumbent, heads of security forces, you all have a form of influence that goes beyond any win.
Port Moresby is the capital city.
If it falls into violence because proactive leadership was not taken, then God help us all.
This editorial was published by the PNG Post-Courier today, 25 July 2022. Republished with permission.
Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz