As the political situation in Papua New Guinea escalates, allow us to quote at length from The Post-Courier, which urged its citizens – and police force – to remain calm in its editorial:

For the first time in the history of this country, Papua New Guineans are seeing another side of politics that they have never seen before.

In the last 24 months, the people of this country have seen too many precedent setting decisions by the Executive Governments and Parliament that they are bewildered. There are some who are openly expressing fear about what the future holds for this country.

There are also many who are angered by what has been happening and they may do something terrible. We urged those people to refrain from taking the law into their own hands because violence will not solve any problem. In times like this when every person in this country should stand firm and allow the politics to be played out by those who are mandated to do so.

We want to call upon all members of the Police Force to be neutral, uphold the rule of law and remain focused on protecting and serving the people of Papua New Guinea.

We urged all policemen and women to remain true to the oath they swore to uphold the laws of our sovereign nation, and must be impartial, regardless of what has transpired in the court house or on the floor of Parliament.

What happened last night was frightening, illegal and must not be repeated again. We urged the police hierarchy to launch a probe into the whole affair and deal with those responsible.

They may have their reasons but using guns to hold elected leaders in fear, take over the official residence of the head of the state is not the way to deal with any issues that they may have. We also called on all the national leaders to be mature and responsible in their handling of the situation for any wrong signal can spark off a lot of problems among the citizens, many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet.

Most of the politicians and police force of PNG have failed their resource-rich yet poverty-stricken country on almost every measure — the least they can do is attempt to keep the peace.

Peter Fray

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