Who’s the Tail and Who’s the Dog Here?

By Emmanuel Narokobi

Following on from the video and Blog Posts about the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone or PMIZ, looks like some people have actually taken to the fight against its implementation. However it appears that their plans for protesting have been foiled by authorities and so they, (Francis Gem), had this to say in this weekends Post Courier:

Who’s the Tail and Who’s the Dog Here?

After getting approval from both the Governor of Madang and the Provincial Police to hold a peaceful protest march against the proposed ridiculous Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) we were told on Wednesday 7th October that the march could not take place because the Police Commissioner Gari Baki said NO. He was acting on a complaint by strong PMIZ Advocate Gabriel Kapris (currently the minister for Trade and Industry).

Firstly, Mr Baki has no right to stop a public demonstration. The law which Mr Baki is supposed to enforce, clearly allows citizens to assemble and express their  concerns. May we remind Mr. Baki and the Members of the current government in Waigani this is STILL and independent and democratic country where citizens have such freedoms. We are very clear some of our neighbours to the North have governments which do not allows its citizens such privilages.

We would certainly hope the current Waigani government and the current police commissioner are not getting advice from their friends to the North nor do we hope they are being influenced by them in how internal PNG matters should be handled. That would be a mistake on many levels.

Because we still believe in our rights as citizens of the democratic Independent State of PNG this is to inform you we will be presenting a petition to the government on Thirsday 15th October at the Provincial Government Office in Madang. The people will rally to express our STRONG opposition to the proposed disaster currently being called PMIZ.

We would like to thank both Governor Sir Arnold Amet and Provincial Police Commander Anthony Wagambie Jr. for your understanding and promotion of democracy; and the rights of the people. We wish your counterparts in Port Moresby understood democracy as much.

This is also to inform the government we have begun formal complaint procedures AGAINST PMIZ to the World Bank through their International Finance Corporation (IFC).

In addition we are about to begin legal action against the parties involved.”

Protest Organising Committee

  • Francis Gem (Chairperson)
  • James Sungai
  • Dolorose Lou
  • Hans Angmai
  • Frank Don
  • Elizabeth K. Gem
  • Alfred Kaket
  • Francis Sauna
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4 thoughts on “Who’s the Tail and Who’s the Dog Here?

  1. Mr Francis Gem and all those brave hearts of Madang deserve a Logohu Award each. They’ve started the fight back against unnecessary and UNCONSTITUTIONAL stifling of our civil rights to freedom of expression by the moron that is the police force.

    The Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary is fast becoming a privately run mercenary firm and is no longer answering its noble calling of defending and furthering civil rights and liberties in this country.

    We’ve allowed these gun totting, trigger happy and brainless individuals to run amok for far too long. We’ve survived their brutality over the years but we certainly can not allow them to now stop us from voicing our concerns when we feel there is a need to do so.

    Didn’t these guys swear to uphold the Constitution when they passed out of Bomana?

  2. Well you don’t expect to attract rocket scientists when a constable used to get K300.00 a fortnight.With the salary increase that they recieved the Police Force would be able to attract more “talent”.

    How about having something like your provincial police and national police.Something akin to the Australian Federal Police or the FBI. Those gun totting, buai market threatening mugs are useless against transnational crime,kidnapping and terrorism.

  3. Proactive Stance for PMIZ

    I think all we’ve got to know is the version of the PMIZ Protester Like Mr. Gem, et.al. How about listening also to the PMIZ initiators and promoters? We have not presented the merits of the project, only the slogans of opposing the project.

    About this halted peaceful rally, there might be a story behind it. Some people who was there heard somebody talking that Francis Gem was paid K500. per Fortnight to do this dirty job of criticizing PMIZ. I am sympathetic to local communities welfare here in our place in Madang and equally watchful about protecting our rights but not to the extent of making it a habit to criticize just to portray a kind of image for myself.

    Tuna industry is important for this country and we are aware that most of foreign vessels are feasting to harvest tuna that passes through our salt water. Most of these catches are shipped and process on foreign shores and when we import the finish product we paid a high cost. We may criticize PMIZ but I am thinking of its add on benefits. By processing PNG Tuna catch in PNG Shore we will be able to participate in many enterprise opportunities that includes jobs, work contracts, spin-off businesses, etc. It will also motivate our populace to improve their competitive skills and our institution to improve support programs. I’m sure the PMIZ needs more wielders, masons, carpenters and professionals. This will give us the PNGians an opportunity to prove our skills, creativity and professionalism and above all to showcase the product of our productive force. When exporting PMIZ products I’m sure it will showcase to the world that our people are equally capable of producing world class products. We have greater benefit if we will process tuna products in PNG shore. When thousands of people are working and earning something, this will help boost our local and country’s economy. In Madang, I’m sure PMIZ will stimulate the economy as PMIZ workers will surely spend their money to buy from the markets and shops. The shops/markets in return will improve their services and will employ more people.

    Of course, as advocates for people’s rights and if our interest is for the benefit of our people, we hope to handle things properly. The government as PMIZ promoter is in a better position to make revisions and reforms if there are flaws in the PMIZ concept. Proactively, the better way is to outline one-by-one our concerns and let them review it for consideration. Maybe, suggest to them a representation from the community group to best represent community interest. We will do it as mature people. But it is a different story when our campaigns ultimate goal is to stop the project. This kind of goal will deprive PNG people of the benefits we long been deprived from tuna which is harvested from our salt water. This is not the way to fight for our peoples rights as its impact will be the ultimate deprivation of our people. On this, those pirates who harvested our tunas are more than happy and Mr. Gem et. al. is no longer fighting for the people but for these pirates as they continue to harvest the tuna without obligation to PNG people and government.

    What do Francis Gem and his group’s ultimate goal, is it to benefit the people in this exercise or to simply stop the project? If to benefit the people then they better outline their suggestions and the mechanism to achieve them for the PMIZ and the Government to consider them but if they could not come up with a reasonable proposal then it will prove the gossips that ended Mr. Gem is receiving K500. a fortnight from his back-ups to do this dirty job of criticizing and destroying the PMIZ project in the guise of pro-people pronouncement. All we read from their press releases were anger and criticism, empty slogans and even capitalizing on some old issues against a local cannery. They are also doing a lot of generalization and seem doing good in picturing-out PMIZ as monster on people’s mind to scare them and for them to hate the government and investors. If they will go farther, then it is a clear a syndicated sabotage to the PNG economy.

    Please, as PNGians, let’s reflect more and break free from our regionalist and tribalist/clanist thinking. THINK as a COUNTRY to DEVELOP as a COUNTRY. Let’s show GOODWILL to other nationalities who have the interest to work with us and not just dump us with finish product. What we need in this country is to learn the technologies. The tuna processing facilities is something that we need to learn to handle. Through PMIZ, we will have the opportunity to learn and earn at the same time.

    JGami

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