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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 6, 2000 – The Independent)--Expatriates along with Papua New Guineans who lie or refuse to give information to census officials will be jailed for up to six months or fined K500 to K1,000 (US$ 190 to $380).

This was the warning from Census Director John Kalamoroh who said that these were the penalties under the law for those who refused to cooperate with census officials.

Mr. Kalamoroh said the penalties had been used against expatriate businesses in business surveys when they had refused to cooperate with staff of the National Statistical Office (NSO).

"Whether you are white, black or Asian, we have to count you as residents of our country," he said.

"If you just arrived, you have to be counted and if you arrive on the day or night of counting, you have to be counted, too."

Mr. Kalamoroh said the 2000 National Census was not for Papua New Guineans only.

He said he was making this statement because some expatriates thought they did not have to be counted and others were refusing to give census officials pre-count information needed to prepare for July’s head count.

Mr. Kalamoroh repeated that under the law information collected in the census was secret, private and confidential for use only to plan development for the country.

"Private records from the census cannot be given to anybody, including the taxman," he said.

Mr. Kalamoroh said an individual’s information collected from the census was destroyed after it was processed into what he called a group level.

He said the census information processed into the group level was general and would show:

For additional reports from The Independent, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Independent (Papua New Guinea).

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