AAP | RNZI
IMMIGRATION MINISTER RIMBINK PATO has told journalists in Port Moresby that PNGSDP spokesman Mark Davis had his PNG visa cancelled after he breached visa conditions and became involved in politics
Mark Davis, communications director of the PNG Sustainable Development Project, was picked up by fraud squad officers in Port Moresby yesterday and driven around the city for four hours before being put on a plane to Cairns.
Mr Davis has confirmed to AAP he was deported. "Yes, I got booted out yesterday," he said. "My only possessions being the clothes I stood up in and my passport."
The PNG government awoke to a scathing editorial in this morning’s Post Courier newspaper that said Mr Davis' ejection was an embarrassment and called on Mr Pato to explain the decision.
"How was Mr Davis living unlawfully in Papua New Guinea," the editorial asked. "Did he break any PNG laws whilst being a resident of Papua New Guinea? Or was he deported because the Government did not like the press releases he was distributing on behalf of the PNGSDP?"
The newspaper warned that the O'Neill government was sending conflicting signals to the international business community.
Mr Pato told journalists in Port Moresby Mr Davis had his visa cancelled after he breached visa conditions and became involved in politics, the ABC reports.
Mr Davis was in the midst of a war of words with the O'Neill government after it took over ownership of the Ok Tedi gold and copper mine two months ago.
Meanwhile Radio New Zealand International reports that prime minister Peter O’Neill has issued a warning to media outlets he says write false or defamatory reports against the government.
Mr O’Neill was responding to questions by journalists over the recent demotion of three senior editors and producers of the national broadcaster, NBC.
He said internal disciplinary issues of the NBC or any other media organisation are not a matter for the government but said the state has the right to complain to management about reports it finds to be defamatory and unproven.
The journalists involved in reporting the government takeover of the Ok Tedi mine and allegations the prime minister was implicated in allegedly corrupt payments to arrested lawyer Paul Paraka, said they stand by the quality of their reports.
Mr O’Neill also said he is reviewing media ownership in PNG to see how citizens can become more involved in their ownership.