Wednesday, July 21, 2010

House closed to public: Police

THE public will not be allowed to observe parliament when it resumes today, The National reports.

NCD police operation boss Supt Andy Bawa told The National that the ban was to instill control during this politically-sensitive period, especially with the looming vote of no-confidence against the government.

Yesterday, armed police personnel stood guard at parliament’s two gates and turned away the public from entering.

A huge crowd had gathered at the gates but could not enter.

Bawa also warned that police would not allow any planned public protests or marches in fear of riots.

The crowd, which consisted of mainly young people as well as women and children, were keen to learn and wanted to be the first to know about the outcome of yesterday’s  parliament session.

Some public servants, especially teachers and landowners from Hides in Southern Highlands, were part of the crowd that waited outside the gates of parliament.

Many people said they wanted a change of government.

“The change is necessary because we, the resource owners, have not benefited from the developments taking place, especially from the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project,” chairman of the project development licenced (PDL) 1  area Takis Purawi said.

“LNG has become a political agenda for politicians while many of my people have not benefited from this project.”

Purawi, from Koroba, said he also wanted the government to be fair in its deals with the resource owners by offering better options.

Waigani Noblet Primary School teacher, Veronica Evare, said a change in government was necessary for the good of all people.

“There are so many issues to be addressed.

“We, the teachers, nurses and many others, including those in the informal sector, have been neglected over the years.

“Equal services and opportunities must be provided for all, including the rural areas, and I believe that will come with a change of government,” Evare said.

Bawa also commended the people for retreating peacefully after they were denied entry.

“There was no arrest and the general behaviour of the public was excellent.

“I commend the public for respecting the law and leaving for home quietly,” Bawa said.

Parliament will meet again today for the anticipated swearing-in of the governor-general at 10am.

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