29 Dec 2009

PNG police move to reassure public after renewed anti-Asian threats

2:47 pm on 29 December 2009

Police in the Papua New Guinea capital, Port Moresby, are assuring people they are on alert in case of further violence directed against Asian businesses.

A police spokesman says this assurance was given after a threatening email had been widely circulated in PNG.

Sergeant David Terry says the email claimed the grassroots of PNG would take to the streets and try to close down Asian businesses on December 31st.

Earlier this year there was widespread anti-Asian rioting in PNG, much of it directed at operators who had set up small scale operations - a sector much of the indigenous population considers is reserved for them.

Sergeant Terry says the National Capital Distict police commander, Fred Yakasa, and the acting Deputy Police Commissioner, Raphael Huafolo, held a news conference to reassure the public.

"Because of the concerns raised by the business community here in Port Moresby, particularly - they raised concerns with the office of the deputy police commissioner, so we had to hold the press conference to reassure the public. This is one of many of those threats which have been circulating. This time we decided to hold a press conference just to reassure the public because of the growing concerns."

PNG police spokesperson Sergeant David Terry