PNG Post-Courier

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (May 24) - CRIME has got completely out of hand and there seems to be no hope of this situation being reversed in the foreseeable future.

It has ruined the lives of every Papua New Guinean citizen and their families and the greatest fear now is that it will get worse.

We say this is happening because our political leaders are not showing any real commitment to addressing this extremely serious issue. Our leaders seem pre-occupied with their own political power struggles to the extent that the important issues facing the country do not seem to be of concern to them at all.

Their failure to act is perhaps the most critical reason why crime has continued to get to this present stage. Many young school dropouts have resorted to crime for survival because they find there is no future for them.

Thousands roam the streets of our urban centers taking their frustrations out on innocent citizens. Many law abiding men, women and children have lost their lives as a result of crime or been ruined. We are a nation of prisoners. This is a serious statement to make but one that must be made. We have lost our civil liberties, peace, our rights to be free people as guaranteed under the National Constitution.

Little people suffer everyday from crime without the leaders knowing about their experiences. Many live where criminal elements live but cannot report crime for fear of their own lives. Now is the last chance to deal with the issue of lawlessness — now is the time for Parliament to seriously address this issue and find lasting solutions to it.

Many of our leaders carry firearms while the rest of us do not. They can protect themselves when confronted in life-threatening situations while the majority of ordinary people are expected to submit to the commands of criminals and do as they are told.

Our country cannot prosper nor can our people enjoy a higher standard of living unless the present high level of violent crime is substantially reduced. We invite citizens to write to us — discuss this serious subject and suggest possible solutions.

May 25, 2004

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