3 Aug 2006

PNG Southern Highlands governor says emergency measures unjustified.

6:28 pm on 3 August 2006

The governor of Southern Highlands in Papua New Guinea, Hami Yawari, says the state of emergency in his province is unnecessary and unjustified.

The government announced earlier this week it would send in police and an army unit saying the province's public funds are being squandered by politicians while the people go without basic services.

Mr Yawari, who is already under investigation for misappropriation, claims it is a move by the province's other politicians to get their hands on the government money eight months out from the election.

But Internal Security minister Alphonse Willie says the state of emergency is a response to the calls for action from the people.

"It appears that they are not benefitting from those funds, government funds, and funds from gas and oil and these kinds of resources. So they are saying there must be something wrong somewhere if the government cannot provide effectively those services, and if we see a deterioration in the provision, then there is something wrong somewhere."