Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Finschhafen villagers chase looters from Asian shops

If you think Papua New Guineans are all that bad and anti-Asian, just read this story from The National, Papua New Guinea’s leading daily newspaper


VILLAGERS in Finschhafen last week rallied to the defence of two Asian traders.

Public servants from Finschhafen said at the weekend that the shops had been besieged last Thursday morning by several people described as “loafers and louts”.

They said the looters had followed in the path of those in Lae, Madang and Goroka.

Last Wednesday, when the “loafers and louts” had tried to steal from the two Chinese-run shops, police had mobilised from their station next door and stopped them, the public servants said.

Last Thursday morning, mobile squad police were dispatched from Lae when the “loafers and louts” tried again and besieged the shops.

The mobile squad arrived “just in the nick of time” to fire warning shots into the air, and dispersed the crowd, the public servants said.

When the looters tried to regroup, more than 500 villagers from Ngasingalatuc, Bugem, Gingala, Godoa, Kolem and Kamelawac entered the fray and chased the looters into bushes.

Police have not reported any arrests.

Many people said the two Chinese shops provided a wide range of goods and also served as a quasi-bank for the community.

There is no bank in Gagidu, the Finschhafen district headquarters.

As a result, public servants use the Eftpos system at the shops get cash.

“Otherwise, it’s a K100 return trip to the bank in Lae, and we can’t afford that,” a public servant said.

“And if these shops are not here, the schools would not be able to get food for their students on credit. “These Chinese are helping us.”


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