By PNG Echo.
PNG Echo is officially back to work after the Christmas break.
With so many things of import occurring in early January, it proved a bit of a ‘Clayton’s’ break. What happened to the usual practice of Papua New Guniean MPs exiting the country for the summer break and only returning in February for the first sitting of parliament (and sometimes not even that soon)?
Early January saw a dangerous political manoeuvre by the Opposition Leader (were the Casinos closed?) as he insisted on arrest warrants, sworn out at the end of 2013 (of which no one was aware), be carried through on Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, Treasurer, Don Polye and Minister for Finance, James Marape.
The arrest warrants cut across an ongoing investigation into the same matter being carried out by Investigation Task Force Sweep (TFS) and were contrary to the directions of Tom Kulunga, Commissioner of Police.
In fact the arrests were poised to seriously jeopardize the investigation of the TFS by pre-empting their inquiries. The arrests were ill-conceived and would have been premature had they gone ahead.
It didn’t take much for the lawyers for the Ministers to have them thrown out – there were legal holes all over the warrants, including relying on legislation repealed in 2000.
Under the circumstances, that the police (or the courts) could possibly have thought that these arrests could ever have led to a conviction beggars belief.
That the Opposition Leader, with his ready access to senior legal counsel** could have thought this also beggars the same belief. So what was the point?
It was clearly a political stunt with the most base of motives.
But Namah failed to meet his objective… and failure for Namah is becoming a familiar friend. Even the desperate spin of Namah’s ‘Barmy Army’ try as they might – and they do – can do nothing to change the reality.
Violence against women
Neither did violence against women in Papua New Guinea take a break.
This Christmas Holidays, Wass Korowi, a senior lawyer with his own legal firm decided (allegedly) to extend the concept of family violence beyond his wife (wives) to his female in-laws too.
Maybe as a perverse Christmas gift, Korowi allegedly beat his mother-in-law so badly that she will have to have a finger amputated.
What’s more, according to Lero Pat (the mother-in law) it is not the first time it’s happened. Korowi, keeping it in the family, is also accused of raping his sister-in -law.
What part of an educated man’s being thinks this is acceptable?
And so another year begins in PNG.
** Another incestuous relationship, (of which PNG has many) is that Namah has retained Alois Jerewai to represent him in this matter. Alois Jerewai was a Commissioner in the SABL Inquiry: the Commissioner that didn’t submit his report. Belden Namah and his dubious role in the huge Bewani 194,000 hectares SABL has come to light in this Inquiry that has yet to be acted upon. The fact that the report is incomplete (Jerewai’s bit) has impacted negatively on the Inquiries findings – giving the Inquiry reduced authority. Convenient for his client?