The Milne Bay Provincial Government and administration have condemned the killing of a constable in the province and have vowed to capture suspects involved in an attempted armed robbery on Monday.
Governor, Titus Philemon, said all district members of parliament and the Provincial Executive Council have met to discuss funding efforts.
Authorities on the ground maintain that Alotau is still a safe place for tourists.
This morning, Governor Philemon, Provincial Administrator, Michael Kape, and the Provincial Police Commander, Joe Morehari, reassured tourist operators and the country that Milne Bay is still a safe place to visit.
Within this week alone, Alotau was put in the spotlight after Police Constable Samuel Pisa was shot and killed on the weekend while responding to a hold up, and on Monday another attempted holdup took place.
“This has actually painted a wrong picture about the Milne Bay people, I just want to assure the public, business houses and the tourists that Milne Bay people live a peaceful life, as friendly and peace loving people,” said Governor Philemon.
He assured stakeholders that leadership at all levels are dealing with both incidents.
He described the events of this week as a small glitch, and one that does not make Alotau unsafe.
The Provincial Police Commander (PPC), Joe Morehari, explained that investigations into the shooting of the constable and the hold up on Monday have begun.
He also disclosed that the incident on Monday was a hold up; no one was shot and that approximately K370 was taken in cash.
“We found that there was no one in the building, that’s why it took us long time to clear the building, when the other media houses called and asked why I also said it was a hoax, but we will investigate to find out more,” said Morehari.
Alotau MP and Planning Minister, Charles Abel, also responded to the shooting on the weekend and Monday’s incident.
“The damage even so was untold, we had a cruise ship that had just come in with 1,500 passengers. They were already in town, and they had to be hurriedly repatriated back to the boats,” said Abel.
The Provincial Administration has been tasked to support the Milne Bay Police to apprehend suspects involved in the killing of the constable as well as those who held up the PNG Air office.
“The leaders are united, the police are united, that this unexpected situation that happened is a one off situation and is tarnishing the name of Milne Bay, nationally, internationally and we will not tolerate it,” says Provincial Administrator, Michael Kape.
Alotau has been posed by the national government to be the tourism hub of PNG, provincial authorities say the incidents are a reminder of what needs to be done to ensure safety.
PPC Morehari says the suspects of both incidents are known to police and they will be caught to ensure safety.