by Vasinatta Yama – EM TV, Port Moresby
It wasn’t the anticipated crowd from Hanuabada that came today to parliament house to present their petition to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
Less than 15 representatives came peacefully and presented their petition. They then immediately left to attend the funeral service of late Nicholas Raua and Toka Gaudi who were shot in their village last month.
Their petition contained five demands, to which they want the government and police constabulary to respond within two weeks.
A total of 3,002 people from the Motu Koitabu areas signed the petition.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill condemned the shooting and accepted their petition today.
At around 11am on the 23rd of January this year, reservists and police office’s entered Hanuabada Village and raided the Hekeidobi Market.
People were assaulted, properties destroyed and vendors’ monies stolen, causing youths to retaliate.
The situation worsened when firearms were discharged, which left two dead and others injured. A stand-off between villagers and police ensued and business activities were disrupted before Police Commissioner Geoffrey Vaki pleaded for normalcy.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill received the petition today and assured them that he would respond quickly after reading through it.
The 5 demands are as follows:
1. That the police office’s and/or reservists that allegedly caused the abuse, assault, grievous bodily harm, attempted murder and murder be suspended forthwith from duty pending police investigations and the coronial inquest, and that the perpetrators be brought to a court of law for justice to prevail;
2. That fair and just compensation be paid for loss of life, loss of property, pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, to families of the deceased, injured, market vendors any other related persons;
3. The National Capital District Commission (NCDC) must disband the police unit operating out of the NCDC fuel depot at Tarpot Road, 4 Mile, known as the Buai Ban Enforcement Unit;
4. For NCDC to review the Buai Ban Law; and
5. That Prime Minister Peter O’Neill immediately appoints a body to negotiate with the appointed Hanuabada representatives and come to an agreement regarding this petition under a Memorandum of Agreement to be signed by representatives of the national government, the NCDC, the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary and the appointed village representatives.