Shots fired at Koki as day of protest gets underway
O’Namah tries horse trading with the judiciary

O’Neill fronts 10,000 protesters in Moresby


PRIME MINISTER PETER O’NEILL showed some grit today in appearing before a crowd of protesters estimated to be 10,000 strong at John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby while, in other parts of the city, looters and vandals gave police cause for concern.

But it seems doubtful that Peter O'Neill's appearance has done much to ease people's concerns about the intentions of his government. As one observer said: "He left with more questionable promises made".

To chants of “rausim, rausim” [get rid of him] from the huge crowd, Mr O’Neill entered the stadium with members of his cabinet including deputy prime minister Belden Namah.

Mr O'Neill committed his government to holding elections "on time" and to repealing the Judicial Conduct Act, but only if chief justice Salamo Injia and justice Kirriwom step down.

Social and political commentators - among them Martyn Namorong, Effrey Dademo and Tavurvur - as well as ABC journalist Liam Fox were at the protest and tweeted frequent reports.

The crowd sang the national anthem, prayed together and joined in a reading of the national pledge before being addressed by trade union leader Michael Malabag, electoral commissioner Andrew Trawen, constitutional lawyer Prof John Nonggorr and a student leader.

Petitions calling for the government to hold the national elections as scheduled and for the repeal of the Judicial Conduct Act were handed to Mr O’Neill, who, to a mixed chorus of cheers and catcalls, addressed the crowd.

Meanwhile police were busy quelling incidents in other parts of Port Moresby as criminal elements opportunistically use the social discord as a cover for violence and theft.


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Joe Wasia

There is no point why the chief justice and justice Kirriwon should step down. To step down means the positions and offices that they hold in the judiciary are compromised.

It's childish for O'Neill and his cohorts to make a new law to target one person, the CJ in this case. Laws are made only in the best interests of all people in the country.

There must be some commonsense and maturity.

Moais Gabuar

The following quotations from The National, 11 April, just about sums it up!

“JUST days after Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said the government would put the Judicial Conduct Act on hold and consult the people first, we now learned that it has been signed and used as blackmail by the government to suspend our country’s two top judges.

"This says two things; either O’Neill had lied, or that his word has no credibility.

"Either way, do we want such a person to be the prime minister?

"There were already several question marks hanging over his head, the major one being his role in the misappropriation of funds from the National Provident Fund some years ago.

"A Commission of Inquiry into the matter had recommended various people be prosecuted and one of them was reportedly O’Neill....”

“..... Apart from O’Neill, we have in the government today, another character whose past and present should also make us ask if we want Belden Namah as our deputy prime minister.

"The Falcon incident, the alleged casino incident, the Middle Ramu project and his property purchase in Samoa are just some of them, which suggest that Namah is not the right person to lead the country, whether as deputy prime minister or even as prime minister, his obvious target”.

Did I hear from someone some time ago that thieves will remain thieves and liars will remain liars?

Ganjiki D Wayne

Peter O'Neill is the one setting a bad precedent.

That if a PM/NEC has a vendetta against anyone, he influences parliament to pass a bad and unconstitutional law and then blackmails that person to act accordingly before it is repealed.

John Paska likened this to the negotiation technique of terrorist orgaanisations and gangs, and that analogy is not too way off.

The PM's response is like a toddler trying to extort for his own good.

Tis a sad day if PNG has to trade a CJ for an unconstitutional law.

David Kitchnoge

I was part of the protest today and Professor John Nonggorr very eloquently addressed our three petitions to O'Neill, Trawen and Ogio.

O'Neill was indecisive as usual when pressed to repeal the Judicial Conduct Act. And I agree with everyone who are of the view that he attempted to blackmail the judiciary.

Since when did O'Neill and co referred Injia and co to the Ombudsman Commission to be investigated for misconduct?

I would support them with no reservations if they did that and the said judges then attempt to use their office to block the OC from performing its role.

As things stand right now, I reject O'Neill's pathetic blackmail attempt.

Moais Gabuar

Totally agree, Ludmilla. Just goes to show show the lack of maturity in O'Neill and his cohorts.

They came into office with all guns blazing but look what is happening to loudmouths like Sam Basil, Mekere Morauta and Bart Philemon - they have all retreated into their caves!

For some of them the sun has set so we the voters should not return this mob of egotistic, self proclaimed national saviours.

Nathan Turner

A wicked web is weaved by the government. It's a sad day when blackmail is considered to be OK in any aspect of public life, is it not?

Ludmilla Isalonda

The repealing of the Judicial Conduct Act being conditional on the two justices stepping down is blackmail.

Such blatant lack of scruples in decision making is perhaps the worst form of self-serving short term thinking that is a mark of the O’Neill Government.

It should not be tolerated.

Bernard Yegiora

"To repealing the Judicial Conduct Act, but only if chief justice Salamo Inja and justice Kirriwom step down".

Injia and Kirriwom needs to step down,they are setting a bad precedent.

Joe Wasia

Its childish for PNG's prime minister and his cohort (those under O'Neil-Namah regime) for their childish act by voting for the referal of the PNG's constitionally allowed June Election by 6 months.

Without analysing it, 63 elected MPs including DPM Belden Namah, Treasury Minister Don Polye, minister for Patrolium William Duma have voted for the deferal.

Its utter nonsense as the elected MPs blindly voting for in such decisions that would ignite public outcry.

Only 11 MPs have against the the decision and only 7 have voted against the Judicial Conduct Act 2012. When such things are taking place in the Parliament many MPs are continously absent.

One very good example is MP for Gumini Mr Kuman who was heard calling from his electorate today on FM100 Talk Back Show when Parliament meeting is supposed to hold today.

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