Mendi in flames as rioters threaten more destruction
15 June 2018
KUNDIAWA - Mendi town is in chaos after disgruntled supporters damaged the undercarriage of an Air Niugini Dash 8 aircraft by gunfire then burnt the plane to ashes.
It seems a national court decision on the disputed return for Southern Highlands regional MP William Powi, a member of Peter O'Neill's ruling People's National Congress, angered the numerous supporters of losing candidates Joseph Kobol and Bernard Kaku.
The rioters also burned down the local court house and William Powi's residence.
We are hearing through our bush drums that this is the beginning of other serious destruction today and in future days.
I will keep readers posted on further developments.
Meanwhile, Radio New Zealand reports that the PNG government is set to declare a state of emergency in the Southern Highlands.
The situation in Mendi is tense and the town was in lockdown overnight.
According to police, it was yesterday's national court ruling upholding Mr Powi's 2017 election which sparked the rampage.
O'Neill said a state of emergency will be declared and additional security forces deployed to the area.
"The actions we have seen today in Mendi are an absolute disgrace," O'Neill said last night.
"There is no place in in politics for this type of behaviour, and leaders involved with this activity will be held to account."
Thank goodness they didn't torch the pub.
Posted by: Philip Fitzpatrick | 16 June 2018 at 05:26 PM
Hela, the province of PNG LNG, would have faced some destruction earlier but Exxon Mobil built its assets well protected by buffers, sensors and security guards.
However I am not too sure if it will hold on much longer as this dissent in Mendi spreads to wantoks in Tari and Hides.
They also have many camp sites in different locations which will be hard to protect if there is an attack on any of them.
Their big fat man, Marabe, and O'Neill must stand up in this time of need for leadership.
Posted by: Mathias Kin | 15 June 2018 at 10:50 AM
Obviously, the people from Mendi and SHP, the Prime Minister's Province, know more than the rest of us about what is actually happening at Waigani and in the country.
Should we take heed of these actions and follow suit to force changes for the better?
"Every cloud has a silver lining."
Posted by: Max Phin | 15 June 2018 at 10:22 AM
Ho hum, another day in Paradise.
Just one question. What is that guy in the photograph doing holding a toilet roll?
Posted by: Philip Fitzpatrick | 15 June 2018 at 09:29 AM