PNG Post-Courier

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (April 7) – It is a dangerous world out there and we in Papua New Guinea have to be completely aware of that fact.

Some folks will rant and rave about the violence in our society, especially in the major urban centers, and it is undeniable that we have nasty crimes committed every day.

But we have so far avoided the horrific crimes against humanity highlighted by the September 11 catastrophes of the World Trade Center, the bombing terror runs afflicting Israel, Iraq and Spain.

So, it is with some dread that we hear about the availability of an essential ingredient of the sorts of explosive devices that killed many in those European and Arabic centers.

An Australian manufacturer has volunteered to pull its supplies of ammonium nitrate off the shop shelves in deference to fears for public safety.

Now it appears that a similar ingredient is found in some shops in Papua New Guinea. The knowledge of making such devices is available. Let us hope that authorities in PNG are urgently examining the situation and will take steps to prevent any such civil calamities disrupting life here.

We were alerted in dramatic fashion to the possibilities of PNG being caught up in the anti-terrorism fear sweeping the world when a senior government executive was discovered with a pistol in his carry-on luggage before arriving at Singapore.

If it had been discovered by Singaporean authorities at the airport, our official could well be facing the death penalty. That's the seriousness with which Singapore views possession of a firearm.

Of course Singapore is a world-recognized island nation with hardly any crime. Their draconian laws appear to be the vital factor.

If PNG authorities are serious about regaining credibility in the eyes of the world with our anti-terrorism preparations, we could do worse than study what countries like Singapore and Israel are doing.

April 8, 2004

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