Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A worrying sign in PNG

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill is in trouble. Facing arrest for corruption, he's had student protects and now calls for a general strike to force him to resign. Just yesterday, the PNG Supreme Court overturned his stooge Speaker's manipulation of the parliamentary process, ordering a recall of parliament to allow a vote of no confidence to be held. So naturally, it's time to roll out the "anti-terrorism" powers:

The National Security Advisory Committee in Papua New Guinea is expected to give police the power to arrest anyone inciting strike action within essential services.

The Committee was convened following threats from unions in the air transport and maritime sectors, who called on Mr O'Neill to step down at midnight last night to face fraud allegations.

The Chief Secretary to government, Isaac Lupari, told the newspaper the National, that the committee could invoke two laws which enable police to arrest people advocating violence, disruption of public services and destruction of public property.

Coming from a government whose police thugs have shot unarmed protesters (and hunted them through the streets in order to beat and shoot them), this isn't a good sign. Instead it sends a clear message that the current government is planning to cling to power by force.