POST-COURIER STANDS BY RAPE STORY

Editorial

PNG Post Courier

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (May 21) – IT’S always easy to shoot the messenger, far easier than finding out if the message itself is true and what to do about the message’s content.

We in the news industry know only too well that we will be on the end of criticism frequently.

People in authority don’t like to hear or read bad news.

Some get upset by negative news because they have a genuine loyalty to their people and their country and do not want other people to think badly of us.

Others of course are sensitive about what they regard as their "turf’’ or area of interest and would like to be able to palm the negative aspects off to others, rather than facing up to existing problems.

This newspaper has copped a verbal beating since publishing a front page report alleging that four visitors to our country had been stabbed and that one, a woman, had been abducted and raped.

People in politics and the tourism industry have jumped on the report and said that Kimbe police say there was no rape confirmed in the attack and that the victims were ship workers and not tourists.

On the rape element, we think our readers can make up their own minds: A group of visitors, non-English speakers, picnicking on an urban beach at night, are set upon by a gang of knife-wielding locals.

All are stabbed. A woman in the group is taken away by the villains into the darkness and is next found wandering the beach alone, naked and with blood on her body.

She is a stranger and has gone through a terrifying experience. She refuses offers to go to hospital or to police and retreats to the ship and her own people.

That behaviour is understandable.

Our reporter on the spot spoke to various witnesses on the wharf and nearby who told of the matters that we have reported.

Police are alleged to have escorted the woman’s workmates back to the ship.

But if the victims were not willing to lay an official complaint, police would not proceed any further.

Again, this is understandable because they are working on a ship which has a schedule to meet.

This newspaper has printed pages of positive news about the boom in tourism in PNG, including that in West New Britain, and will continue to do so.

The Post-Courier stands by the original report.

 

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