By CYRIL GARE
THE recent university students’ unrest resulting in one death and destruction to state properties worth millions of kina together with looming threats of stop work by professional groups in the country as a means to force the Prime Minister to step down from Office has been labelled as acts of “domestic terrorists and insurgents”.
“These people are domestic terrorists and insurgents who must not escape. They must face the full force of the law,” Morobe Governor, Kelly Naru told Parliament on Friday.
In a seven page statement delivered during debate before voting of no confidence in Prime Minister took place at about 12pm, the lawyer cum politician said “the Constitution gives our people a number of rights and freedom which they are entitled to exercise: Section 46 Freedom of Expression, S.47 Freedom of Assembly and Association, S.51 Right to Freedom of Information, S.52 Right to Freedom of Movement, S.55 Equality of Citizens (all citizens enjoy the same rights and freedom), S. 56 Special Rights of Citizen to vote in election and hold public office”.
“It must be remembered that these rights referred to are not absolute rights but qualified rights. They are not absolute in the sense that you can exercise those rights in any way, manner and form you see fit. No! They are qualified rights in the sense that we are called upon to exercise those rights and freedom with restraint and responsibility. We are obligated to ensure that the exercise of those rights and freedoms do not interfere, violate or infringe on the rights of our fellow citizens who also have the right to exercise their rights and freedoms under the same law,” he said.
“Regrettably and unfortunately in recent times we have witnessed the exercise of those rights and freedom going beyond the reasonable bounds of the exercise of those rights and freedoms. Under the disguise of exercise of those rights and freedoms certain segments of society have seen fit to advocate extreme measures beyond the reasonable exercise of those rights and freedoms by violating, interfering with and infringing on the rights of other members of our communities by causing, issuing and actioning threats, undue influence, intimidation, harassment, injuries to persons and properties, destruction and even death.”
Mr Naru who is also leader of the Christian Democratic Party said these violations were not only caused by those supporting the call for the Prime Minister to step down but also allegedly by police against the students.
“Even professional people in our society are calling for the shutdown of essential public services and the withdrawal of labour as a means to an end. This is unacceptable conduct,” he said.
“Industrial avenues are available to channel industrial grievances. The use of unlawful means such as the call to withdraw labour to disrupt essential services to our people is improper and unlawful and the proponents of this strategy must be held accountable and dealt with according to law.
‘To the extent that breaches of the peace have occurred, couple with injuries to persons and properties resulting in death and destruction, the full force of the law must be brought to bear on those responsible. These people are domestic terrorists and insurgents who must not escape. They must face the full force of the law.”
By CYRIL GARE