14 Nov 2006

PNG Police Union won't rule out nationwide strike

7:52 pm on 14 November 2006

Papua New Guinea's police union says it's not ruling out a nationwide strike if the government doesn't address its demands over the Police Commissioner's role.

The PNG Police Association is demanding that Tom Kulunga remain as acting commissioner and that the government revoke its appointment of Fred Sheekiot as the new acting commissioner.

Mr Sheekiot's appointment has yet to be gazetted and comes amid reports that Mr Kulunga, and PNG's Defence Force Commander and the government's Chief Secretary, are to be suspended over the Julian Moti affair.

Mr Moti, the suspended Solomon Islands attorney general wanted by Australian police for extradition, was controversially flown out of PNG last month on a military plane.

But the Police Association's president, Robert Ali, says they want Mr Kulunga restored in the acting role because he has brought stability to the force.

"And because the applications for the permanent appointment that were advertised came to a close last week, we're asking the government to immediately and before Friday come to a decision to appoint a permanent commissioner for the police force."

Robert Ali says he expects to hear back from the government soon in response to the demands.

Meanwhile, Mr Kulunga says he has not been officially notified of the Government's decision to revoke his appointment as acting police commissioner.

But he said the appointment of a police commissioner is the prerogative of the Government and he will accept whatever decision it makes.