PNG MP SAYS RIOTERS' PERSPECTIVES NEED TO BE HEARD

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Parliamentary inquiry looking at incidents

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, May 27, 2009) – A senior member of Papua New Guinea's parliament says the people involved in the recent rioting and looting in county, need be heard during the parliamentary inquiry into the violence.

A bi-partisan committee has been setup to try and find the reason for the violence which was aimed at Asian owned businesses.

The Governor of Morobe and member of the committee, Luther Wenge, says there's a need for the inquiry to try and find out why people expressed their anger by looting and rioting.

"We go down and hear them and then after hearing them, we then decide what appropriate steps we must take to address those concerns as long as those concerns are genuine."

Mr. Wenge says those involved in the rioting could have legitimate claims which need to be investigated.

The 15 member committee will be chaired by MP Jamie Maxtone-Graham and will report back to Parliament as soon as possible.

The committee will investigate the quality of goods and services offered by Asian-owned businesses, workplace ethics in these shops and try to establish some of the reasons behind the resentment that has emerged recently.

At least two people have died in the wave of violence on May 20 when protesters targerted Asian stores and demanded they be taken over by locals.

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