16 Aug 2006

Former PNG defence force boss calls for suspensions over Indonesian shooting

7:10 pm on 16 August 2006

Papua New Guinea's former Defence Force Commander has called for the suspension of the commander of the Defence Force after the shooting of an Indonesian fisherman by PNG Defence Force soldiers near Vanimo.

Two other fishermen were wounded in the incident.

Retired Major General, Jerry Singirok, told the Post Courier that the incident requires a high level investigation and condemnation, adding it was an international embarrassment for Papua New Guinea.

General Singirok says the shooting has compromised many years of work and effort by PNG and Indonesian officials to bring both countries closer.

He says the troops did not exercise self-constraint and discipline and lacked professional judgment.

He says the use of Defence Force troops for such operations shows the weakest link in the current command.

And, he says the Commander has not made any public comments about the incident to clear the air of uncertainty.