Chief Justice arrested in new political crisis
25 May 2012
This morning’s newspaper headlines in Australia
Papua New Guinea Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia held for sedition - Herald-Sun (Melbourne)
PNG top judge charged and will face court - Sydney Morning Herald
Carr tries to dial down PNG drama - Courier-Mail (Brisbane)
Gillard urges restraint in PNG - Business Spectator
Australia urges restraint as PNG judge arrested - Yahoo 7 News
PNG to charge judges with sedition - The Australian
PNG top judge charged and will face court - Brisbane Times
Deputy PM Namah leads security operation to 'arrest' Chief Justice - PNG Perspective
The word contempt has been bandied around in gay abandon and in recent events unfolding in PNG appears to relate to loss of pride not criminal matters as insinuated by the politicians.
As past records show, the real guilty parties in these matters are the majority of politicians whose only accomplishments have been those concerned with greed, self-aggrandisement, apathy, negligence and downright incompetence.
If there is to be any justice then such types of miscreants should be charged with the greater and more serious charges relating to their obvious contempt for welfare of their fellow citizens.
Posted by: Harry Topham | 25 May 2012 at 05:47 PM
With all due respect, the people responsible for the recent and current fiasco in Papua New Guinean politics, some more so than others, are, in order, Michael Somare, Julius Chan, Paias Wingti, Rabbie Namaliu, Bill Skate, Mekere Morauta and Michael Somare again.
They are the people who were in charge and, as such, bear responsibility and blame. If those gentlemen had done their jobs well Papua New Guinea would now be a stable, equitable and happy nation simply cruising along and enjoying its natural wealth.
Whether you include Peter O'Neill in this group depends on the truth of his expressed reason for toppling Michael Somare - that the latter's reign had brought Papua New Guinea to the point of disaster.
In the meantime the last 9 months have been very entertaining (thank you Peter, Michael, Belden et al) and have completely destroyed how the seriousness of actions (ho hum) like those occurring in the last few days are regarded by just about everyone except the politicians.
For such a long running gag isn't it now time for the punchline?
Posted by: Phil Fitzpatrick | 25 May 2012 at 04:59 PM
This unprecedented move by the puported deputy prime minister is ludicrous. This arrogant, and power hungry human being has single handedly brought democracy to its knees.
A heinous precedent has been set, whereby the the blind loyalty to money and power have usurped the rule of law. It is shameful that "national" leaders such as Messrs Namah and O'Neill can conduct themselves this way, the purported PM is very quiet about the whole matter isn't he?
He's let his right hand man run the show and go all guns blazing. This is just wrong. The country's democratic foundations have been shattered and we are now, as Sir Arnold put it, under a dictatorial regime. This has no place in PNG.
The armed forces and public service have no place picking sides, their loyalty must be to the legitimate, constitutonal government of the day, and that government belongs to the Grand Chief.
There are so many arguments why Sir Michael should not reassume his legitimate post, however the fundamental issue of legitimacy has been resolved not once, but twice by the sole arm of government that is entrusted to interpret the constitution - the Supreme Court.
The childlike and knee-jerk reactions and nuances of the illegal DPM are not altogether unexpected, as he has never once shown any leadership and character traits that befit a national leader.
It just does not make sense that they can submit to the jurisdiction of the courts, asking them to interpret the constitution then when the decision does not go their way, they charge the presiding judges with treason!
It's almost comical in its entirety! If the allegations of bias were concerning before the s19 reference was filed, why then was there not a challenge and submission to the courts?
As I understand, there were submission in this regard, and the matter was ruled upon, based on sound legal and evidentiary principles.
If there was any further concerns, then legal counsel for the government should have appealed! Why are they crying over bias allegations that they themselves have not bothered to pursue!
I will reserve my disgust at Ms Twivvey and her cohort of constitutional terrorists at a later date, suffice to say her interpretations of our constitution are warped and nonsensical. But I digress.
This is not to say that I am not deeply concerned, and to many everyday PNG'eans, it really does not matter what the courts decision is, as the majority of the country are gearing up to go to the polls, however, in terms of the preservation of the rule of law and the setting of precedents, this is a critical time for the country, and the foundations upon which our system is built upon must be fought for.
At the end of the day, we the people will have our say as to who we think best represents our interests, and I fear that money and power will again dictate the outcome.
This being said, when all is said and done, the rule of law must be upheld and those responsible for this political mess should be brought to account.
Mr Namah, Mr O'Neill, the heads of police and defence forces should be held to account before the courts to answer charges of contempt.
They have violated so many sacrosanct laws and protocol functions that have our system of government together since independence.
At this critical time, it is also imperative on our closest neighbours, Australia and New Zealand to condemn the actions of this illegal regime.
This is no time to sit back and play the "softly, softly" card and call for restraint. These men have gone past the point where reason and restraint are an option. international pressure must be applied. Australia's continuing recognition of this illegal regime is embarrassing.
In saying and expressing an opinion on matters, there are always going to be differing opinions, one would hope that better sense has prevailed and the nation can go to the polls in peace.
However,we cannot forget the events of the last 9 months and those responsible must be held to account. Our nation's future is at stake.
Posted by: Feareka Haha | 25 May 2012 at 03:05 PM
Politicians always use the word "power hungry" to label other politicians or people who use force, or the law, to get what they want.
In the present political crisis it looks like the young politicians are more power hungy than the old. But my advice is for both parties to leave the PM position vacant and go to the elections.
The GG should be the caretaker government during the short election period.
Posted by: Bob Tombe | 25 May 2012 at 12:07 PM