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APEC Act will not harm Papua New Guineans : Tkatchenko

Papua New Guineans’ lives will not be harmed or threatened under the APEC Safety and Security Act, says APEC Minister Justin Tkatchenko.

In a press briefing, the APEC Minister countered concerns that the amended Act violates PNG’s constitution.

Concerns have been raised in the past few weeks over the amended APEC Safety and Security Act 2018.

Members of the Opposition, including church groups, highlighted that the legislation grants foreign security forces immunity from criminal or civil prosecution.

The Sunset Clause in particular has caused apprehension in the country as it allows foreign security forces to use ‘lethal force’ if required.

However, Minister Tkatchenko has given the assurance that PNG’s laws will protect its citizens.

“What the APEC security act does is allow the close protection officers (CPO) of the world leaders that are coming here to act their rights to protect their leaders, which is highly unlikely,” stated Tkatchenko.

“But at the end of the day, that applies to all APEC meetings throughout the world. Same situation. We’re not doing anything new here.

“And the APEC security act has a Sunset Clause; it finishes at the end of this month. Not next year, this month. So let’s not expand the truth and lie about this very important act that has been passed by the National Parliament.”

Tkatchenko further said if the Act had not been approved, a lot of the economies would not be attending as they would not have their leaders’ security guaranteed.

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