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PNG Government not hesitant to use State of Emergency to clear Hanuabada roadblock

Staff Reporter 1/28/2015 | | |
THE Government will not hesitate to use the electricity state of emergency powers to remove the roadblocks to restore power and normalcy to the city, Public Enterprises and State Investment Minister Ben Micah said yesterday.

Mr Micah, who returned from Rabaul yesterday after visiting PNG Power installations, said he discussed the possibility with Prime Minister Mr O’Neill.

They both agreed that it was a sensitive issue and asked the Hanuabada leaders, who were peaceful people to allow common sense and good will to prevail.

He called on the Motu leaders to differentiate between police brutality and electricity and fuel to service the nation’s capital.

"I will not hesitate to use the electricity state of emergency powers to open up the road. I hope we don’t come down to that" Mr Micah reiterated last night.

The Minister yesterday directed the SOE controller Tom Ur to open up talks with the Hanuabada and Tatana village leaders to remove the roadblocks and allow the flow of fuel tankers and general traffic.

"The controller will go down and talk to the leaders and separate the law and order issue as a police matter and electricity and fuel to the city is a separate issue," Mr Micah said.

"I do not intend to use the emergency powers and I really hope we do not come down to that."

He also warned villagers to refrain from physically confronting fuel tankers out at sea because their actions are criminal in nature and government will not allow that to happen.

"I will not allow power to be sabotage by any group of people. We will not use the state of emergency powers but allow common sense and goodwill to prevail."

"I have spoken to the Prime Minister and he is very concern about the power and fuel supplies into the city."

"As a Minister and Government, we will not allow power and fuel supplies to be sabotage over a separate issue on police brutality."

"I sympathise with the families of those killed and also condemned the actions by police but I appeal to leaders not to cause unnecessary obstacles."

Minister Micah said the state of emergency is in place and he does not want to be forced to use those powers on a very sensitive issue.

Source: Post Courier

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