Wednesday, February 18, 2009

MP calls for ban on beer in Tari


KOMO-Margarima MP Francis Potape will petition the Southern Highlands provincial executive council (PEC) this week to impose a total liquor ban in Tari and the Hela region, The National reports.

Mr Potape made the call after a drunken youth assaulted and attacked medical officers from the international medical organisation, Medecine Sans Frontiers (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders, at the Tari Hospital last Saturday evening.

Mr Potape, who was in Tari last weekend, was angered by the manner in which the drunken youth, who is a casual employee with the MSF at the hospital, attacked the female and male expatriate MSF officers before damaging the windshield of their vehicle. Mr Potape said the action of one person had tarnished the good name of all Tari and Hela people.

The MP fronted up at the Tari police station on Sunday afternoon demanding the policemen to have the culprit arrested and charged immediately.

Mr Potape said the MSF officers had been offering their services free of charge to the Hela population since mid-last year and the manner in which they were assaulted by a drunkard had brought shame and humiliation to the Hela people and their leaders.

Mr Potape met with Tari Hospital chief executive officer Dr Bravy Koensong on Sunday and tried in vain to stop the MSF officers leaving for Port Moresby.

He said the action of one man had made thousands of Hela people suffer.

Police in Tari said the suspect was arrested and locked up at the police cells on Monday.

Mr Potape said he would petition the PEC meeting this week to immediately impose a liquor ban in Tari and Hela.

He also called for security measures at the hospital to be improved.

Meanwhile, Dr Koensong said the MSF staff were evacuated upon advice from their boss in Port Moresby while their representatives would travel to Tari today to meet with the hospital management and local leaders, including police, to see how best they could address the problem.

Dr Koensong said the delivery of health services to Tari and Hela had greatly improved with the presence of the MSF doctors at the hospital


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