Sunday, June 28, 2009

City killings

MP’s son among three killed in post-Origin violence


From The National, Papua New Guinea’s leading daily newspaper


THREE men were killed in Port Moresby and several others injured last Wednesday night as celebrations after the Maroons’ historic victory in the State of Origin rugby league series turned bloody.

Three men, two of them university students, were beaten and slashed to death at a Five-Mile Settlement. One of the victims was the son of Puri Ruing, the MP for Dei Open in Western Highlands province.

In Hohola, a man from Southern Highlands was hit by a police vehicle early yesterday morning as he ran across the road. He was taken to the Port Moresby General Hospital and is in a critical but stable condition.

His relatives, who live at Silkwood Street, vented their anger on motorists travelling along there, damaging at least five vehicles.

At Five-Mile, a grieving Mr Ruing was in shock after learning that his 21-year-old son, Manuel, and nephew Joel Aiwa, also 21, had been murdered at the settlement. The identity of the third deceased could not be ascertained yesterday.

A spokesperson for the family, Geoffrey Kuri, said the two had watched the State of Origin match at their Five-Mile home and at about 11pm, they decided to go out and buy a few drinks at the settlement.

He said the pair were attacked by a mob of drunkards from the settlement, who slashed them with bush knives and other weapons.

Mr Kuri said the two victims were doing their matriculation studies at the University of Papua New Guinea’s Open campus.

“Their bodies were mutilated and their heads and other body parts were badly chopped up. It was a barbaric act by the attackers who did not have mercy on another human being’s life,” Mr Kuri said.

The Five-Mile Settlement area has become a notorious place in NCD, where people sell alcohol illegally, residents say.

“Every week a person is being killed in this particular part of the city and this is not the first time.

“We as a family have suffered a double loss,” Mr Kuri said.

Mr Ruing appealed to NCD metropolitan commander, Chief Supt Fred Yakasa, to work round the clock to arrest the perpetrators of the murder who are said to be still at large.

“As a leader in the country, I cannot take the law into my own hands and ask my tribe to retaliate.

“No, let the law take control of the situation.

“Let us respect the law of the land, but police have to act immediately,” Mr Ruing said.

He said there was an alarming breakdown of law and order in the country, and nobody could feel safe anymore.

“The police force alone can’t be blamed for this.

“It is the National Government and all other sectors in the country.

“We have to take a joint approach to solve this very serious problem,” Mr Ruing added.

Dr Sam Yakopua, who is in charge of Accidents and Emergency at the Port Moresby General Hospital, confirmed that they had received the three bodies on Wednesday night.

Dr Yakopua said eight injuries were also reported, one of them very serious.

“It’s ridiculous, these injuries from violence related to the Origin match,” he said.

He confirmed the deaths of the two students from heavy bleeding resulting from knife wounds to the head, limbs and other parts of the body.

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