PNG Post-Courier

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (June 1) - Bad news is not what we are here to promote. But we as a responsible national newspaper cannot simply ignore all the crime happening around us.

Crime has to be reported to warn the public of the dangers of venturing out and a reminder to take precautions wherever they are moving wherever they are in Papua New Guinea.

The spate of armed robberies and vehicle hijacks in the capital city and the exchange of gunfire between criminal gangs resulting in the killing of an innocent six-year old child confirm the ever-increasing presence of illegal guns in our communities.

Crime must be dealt with decisively and cleaned out if our country is to advance forward. This newspaper has taken on the gun issue and is pushing it to remind lawmakers that no amount of political rhetoric will bring peace to the neighborhood, to the nation and to families unless the political leadership of this country takes affirmative action to fight crime.

All good policies of government to boost economic development, to promote agriculture growth, deliver health and education services to the vast majority of rural people and improve the living standards of ordinary Papua New Guineans depends first and foremost on crime being reduced. We make no apology to anyone for pushing this issue. Far too many innocent Papua New Guineans as well as foreign citizens have lost their lives at the hands of dangerous criminals armed with guns.

There is no exaggeration. No make-up stories and no media sensationalism. Far from it.

Too much innocent blood has been spilled by guns to delay action on this extremely dangerous weapons. We call on all law-abiding, peaceful Papua New Guineans to petition their local MPs to raise this issue in Parliament when it meets later this month.

There is no issue affecting PNG right now that is far greater than the guns issue. The leadership of this nation must act to save PNG before it reaches the state of anarchy and chaos.

Will the Government of the day tell the people what it is doing or intends to do about this crisis?

June 2, 2004

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