By Angela Marie Watkins
Impunity Watch Reporter, Oceania
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea – Papua New Guinea’s Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister, Sam Abal, has called on the Chinese government to help eradicate “bad apples” from breaking PNG’s laws.
“[We need] cooperation from the Chinese government to help us to separate the general Chinese and those who do wrong,” Abal said.
The Minister said that corruption, not just in immigration, is paralyzing PNG’s systems while resentment over growing Chinese dominance of businesses and their growing involvement in crime has built up over the years.
The Minister claimed that people are angry with foreigners, who do not have proper work permits and do not speak English, for coming in and running most of the small shops which Papua New Guineans should be doing.
The statements follow a wave of anti-Chinese violence and looting of Asian-run businesses in the country that began May 10th and killed four. The PNG Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, has apologized to the Chinese community for the violence and looting.
The Prime Minister also admitted that corruption in PNG’s police force, as well as the labor and immigration departments, were factors behind the unrest.
Troubles in PNG began on May 10th when workers clashed with management at the Chinese-run Ramu nickel mine in Madang Province, on the northeast coast, after a PNG worker was injured by a tractor.
In the same week in Port Moresby, Noel Anjo Kolae organized and led an anti-Chinese protest that ended in violence and looting, sparking similar attacks across PNG.
For more information, please see:
Radio New Zealand International – PNG government calls for Chinese help in weeding out bad apples – 26 May 2009
The Age – Anti-Asian tensions simmer in PNG – 26 May 2009