ATTITUDE UPDATE: Port Moresby Police commander Andy Bawa said this afternoon that, "in the interests of public safety, peace and good order", protest marches and strikes will not be allowed on Monday. Commander Bawa said that members of the public found congregating in public places will be arrested and charged with unlawful assembly.
A GROUP CALLING ITSELF the ‘Social Media Activism Committee Executive’ that operates through the PNG News Group on Facebook is calling for people to stop work throughout Papua New Guinea on Monday to protest against corruption.
The group had originally planned to hold a mass public rally in Port Moresby on Wednesday but called it off when Police objected.
A notice is now circulating in social media asking “all workers in Port Moresby and around the nation to stop work on Monday and challenge the O’Neill government to send the Police to come and arrest each and every one of us for protesting”.
Included in the 12 people associated with the Social Media Activism Committee Executive are Sonja Barry Ramoi, David Ephraim, Lucas Kiap, Noel Anjo Kolao, Charlie Gilichibi and Reginald Renagi.
“You can help to stop corruption by protesting it so that as a collective voice we can be heard,” the group says. “We ask all PMV and taxi operators in Port Moresby to pull your vehicles off the road on Monday 18 November. We also ask all parents not to send your children to school.
“We ask all workers unions, NGOs, civil society groups and churches to support us in this protest.
“If you decide to keep quiet, that's fine because you are supporting corruption and mismanagement of public resources to flourish.
"All powers belong to the people. We have the right to be heard.”
Among the corruption-related issues the group has identified are “Paul Paraka’s alleged fraud of K71.8 million, expropriation of OTML assets without compensation, harbouring international fugitives, the outstanding Sevua Report for the Unitech saga, and awarding contracts to cronies outside the Financial Management Act”.
“Help us to demand attention and action to fight this beast called corruption,” the group says. “No politician can sit on hot issues if you help us to make these issues hot enough.”
An information hotline has been set up at 7327 0779.