17 Dec 2013

PNG union wants Zurenuoc arrested for destroying public property

10:13 am on 17 December 2013

The Papua New Guinea Trade Union Congress, PNGTUC, has called on the police to arrest the Speaker of Parliament Theo Zurenuoc for destroying public property.

The Post Courier paper says the appeal comes on the back of more public condemnation of the cleansing exercise which the Speaker began last week to remove ungodly images and idols from the House.

A lintel containing 19 ancestral masks from the provinces were removed and chopped up in the first wave of the exercise.

A four-tonne pole which contained carving traditions from around the country was the next on the list until Prime Minister Peter O'Neill personally intervened on Tuesday and stopped the work.

PNGTUC general secretary, John Paska, praised the prime minister but said Mr Zurenuoc's actions were criminal in nature and he should be arrested.

He also says the Community Development Minister Loujaya Kouza, who told the Post-Courier that an Israel-based Messianic group advised her to push for the removal of the intricate carvings, should be stripped of her portfolio.