Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Papua New Guinea declares blackout on controversial law



The declaration by attorney general Ano Pala is simply unconstitutional and has no "legs" to stand on.

It is a deliberate tactic to scare off the media and to prevent public debate on a piece of legislation that is draconian, harsh and oppressive.

Declaration by AG Ano Pala is unconstitutional

Justice minister warns media against reporting

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 28, 2010) – A senior reporter at Papua New Guinea’s Post-Courier newspaper says a government edict banning discussion on the amendment to the Environmental Law Act will not stop their coverage of the controversial issue.

The unprecedented edict, from the Justice Minister and Attorney General Ano Pala, says there is to be no more discussion, comment or reference in the media to the recent amendment.

He warns that media coverage of it runs the risk of being in contempt of Supreme Court proceedings in which Madang landowners are challenging a proposed marine tailings system for Ramu nickel mine.

The Post-Courier’s chief court reporter, Todagia Kelola, says they will ignore the edict if need be.

"We are still trying to understand if it’s a good piece of legislation or a bad good piece of legislation. When these guys come out to comment on it, there is nothing preventing us from discussing it. The new Attorney General, he doesn’t have any power to direct the media nor the police or any other constitutional body on making a statement on this issue."

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:15 AM

    This amendment to the Environment Act, and the government's attempt to stifle legitimate criticism of a blatantly unconstitutional power grab by the corrupt Somare regime (which has been bribed by foreign transnational corporations), is a disgrace to Papua New Guinea and the future of its so-called "democracy."