Ethnic Tension In Madang Hurting PNG Tourism

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Tourism minister calls for peace and order in area

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, April 22, 2016) – Multifaceted ethnic conflict that is causing the current law and order problems in Madang town is destroying the tourism industry in the Province.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Tobias Kulang is calling for peace and order in the area, stating that tourist numbers to the once "Beautiful Madang" have decreased alarmingly over the recent past mainly due to the law and order issues.

Mr Kulang is calling on all the stakeholders of Madang Province to come together and work for peace and for the betterment of the people and Province. He says Provincial Government, police, business houses and political leaders in Madang Province must work in tandem and harmony to achieve the tourism priorities.

The latest confrontation involved the youths from one regional ethnic group that set up illegal roadblocks on the Paramed Road in fear of being attacked by an opposing group that lost properties in an earlier attack.

"The current situation is disturbing the peace and tranquillity of Madang Province as a prime tourist destination in Papua New Guinea.

"We cannot afford to sit back and watch our Province crumble in face of law and order problem. Madang Province thrives on tourism and this industry must be protected at all times," the minister said.

Mr Kulang says the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Cul ture will make a concerted effort to restore unity, peace and normalcy in the province and town, once considered the tourism hotspot in Papua New Guinea.

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture will make concerted effort to ensure that Madang town and the Province remain the leading tourism hotspot that it has always been for a long time despite all the recent ethnic related problems.

The Minister believes that the law and order problem is a serious issue for the Madang people and city dwellers to sort out and the Province must find its feet once all the different and differing conflicting parties and ethnic groups come together for the purpose of peace, progress and prosperity.

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