ANGRY SOMARE VOWS TO REGULATE PNG MEDIA

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Oct. 4) – Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare yesterday revealed he would introduce legislation to regulate the media.

Fuming at yesterday’s front page article in the Post-Courier which detailed his discreet arrival in Port Moresby from America, the Chief told Parliament it was time the country’s daily newspapers were regulated as they continue to publish anti-Government stories.

He said this after referring Post-Courier managing director Kevin Smith and senior reporter Alex Rheeney to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee.

Sir Michael said the Post-Courier misrepresented him in its article yesterday by saying he "slipped in" upon his return from New York, where he attended the United Nations general assembly with other world leaders.

"Na mi pepa i misrepresentim mi dis monin olsem mi kam aste long balus na mi ‘slip in’, editor of the paper is Mr Alex Rheeney of Post-Courier," Sir Michael said.

"Post-Courier i wokim bikpela agenda bilong em, long ol taim daunim point bilong Papua New Guinea gavman.

"Long last Parliament, five years ol i wok long wokim dispela wok. Ol i no ripot long ol gutpela samting em gavman i bin mekim long last five years.

"Ol i wok long ripot long petty matters, interest bilong foreigners, interest bilong outside – ol i wok long ripot long dispela.

MR Speaker, ol i no toktok long development aspect last gavman i bin wokim i kam, i no toktok long hamas pela moni mipela putim long impruvim Highlands Highway. I no toktok long hamas moni mipela putim long haus sik, i no toktok long ol samting ol memba bilong parliament is expresim na toktok olsem dispela em development," he said.

Criticising the content of the newspaper, he said it was only the "bad news" ran on the newspaper’s front page.

"Na bihain long statement bilong mi, bai mi riferim bilong paper that means managing editor or managing director. Two chiefs of staff, editors and Mr Rheeney long Priv-leges Committee bilong dispela Parliament. Mr Speaker, oltaim yumi larim foreign company, organisation bilong olsem Post-Courier, i take development aspect put them last, take the negatives put them up front."

Speaking on his moves to regulate the country’s two daily newspapers, he said: "Mr Speaker, long 40 years now, I am fed up with this country still allowing the foreigners in this country to own newspapers. I will be bringing the legislation to regulate the papers. Australia does it, don’t turn your head, Australia does it. Any other country does that. We are the only country that allow the profit motivators and profiteers to get away with."

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