Thoroughly modern PNG
The first thing that springs to mind about this sorry tale is the old adage,”you can take the boy out of the jungle, but you can’t take the jungle out of the boy!” And so it seems with local attitudes in PNG. This blog is ever quick to expose China’s momentum to expansionism, more recently in PNG. Maybe Australia would be better off saving $541 million each year and let the little shits in Beijing try to tame the local Tarzans who still believe in curses, black magic and burning aircraft costing near $40 million a piece.
Angry supporters of a losing election candidate have set fire to a passenger plane in Papua New Guinea’s Highlands. Witnesses said the Dash 8 aircraft was stopped from leaving the town of Mendi this afternoon and was set alight.
Angry protesters burn passenger plane after PNG Highlands’ election result
The nursing director of the Mendi Hospital, Anna Anda, said supporters of the losing candidate for the Southern Highlands provincial seat rioted when word of a court decision about the election reached them.
“They just went amok and just burned everything, even the Air Niugini [plane],” she said.
“I can see black smoke coming up, it’s so scary.”
Air Niugini issued a statement confirming the plane had been damaged.
“A Link PNG (their subsidiary airline) DHC-8 aircraft was involved in civil unrest at Mendi airport, Southern Highlands Province today following an election petition decision,” the company said.
“The aircraft has suffered damage when rioters invaded the tarmac, and National Airports Corporation has also closed the airport.”
Air Niugini said passengers and crew got off the aircraft and none were harmed.
The dispute over the provincial seat has already led to deaths in the Southern Highlands and attacks on businesses formerly owned by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
Witnesses in Mendi said the mob was trying to burn down more buildings in the new violence.
Mr O’Neill said the Government would hold an emergency meeting of its National Security Council and respond to the violence.
“The actions we have seen today in Mendi are an absolute disgrace,” he said.
“A state of emergency will be declared, and additional security forces are being deployed to prevent further unlawful behaviour.
“Those involved will be detained by police and prosecuted.”