19 Oct 2004

Chinese in PNG claim unfair targetting in gambling machine crackdown

8:15 pm on 19 October 2004

The president of the Chinese Association in Papua New Guinea says Chinese are living in fear because they are being unfairly targetted.

Ni Yumei Cragnolini says hundreds of Chinese have been questioned by police without reason and have suffered abuse from members of the public.

She says the questioning appears to be linked with a police operation against the operators of illegal horse-race gambling machines.

However, Mrs Cragnolini says it was Malaysians who were implicated in the operation and not Chinese.

She says she is fielding calls every hour from Chinese fearing for their safety.

"Even the PNG-born Chinese, they tell me 'we have to be careful because we look like Chinese, we even not born with three generations yet we still have to be careful not to do anything that will upset the locals otherwise our shop will close soon.' There's just so much talk around town at the moment."

Ni Yumei Cragnolini from the PNG Chinese Association.