10 Sep 2010

Looters cause chaos in PNG's Eastern Highlands capital

6:59 pm on 10 September 2010

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Papua New Guinea's Eastern Highlands' capital on Thursday attempting to loot shops and damage public property.

The Post Courier newspaper reports that all shops operated by Asians in Goroka became victims of what police describe as opportunists taking advantage of a planned nationwide protest march led by an NGO.

At the same time, another group of people at Henganofi station looted all the

goods from a container bound for a big supermarket in Goroka.

The authorities issued a warning to anyone causing further destruction to

properties in Goroka and asked for help from the six clans that live around the town.

A proposed protest march over the Maladina Bill, which seeks to remove powers from the Ombudsman Commission, has been deferred until September the 23rd.

Activists say it'll be a peaceful march but police say it won't be allowed to take place in Goroka and Kainantu.

In Kompri Valley fierce fighting between warring tribes has brought part of

the Highlands Highway to a complete stop and the Lae Chamber of Commerce is advising its members to take extreme caution when using the road.