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PNG Police will not allow public demonstration over Tkatchenko Saga

 The Chief of the Police in the National Capital District, NCD Metropolitan Superintendent Silva Sika, said police operations in the city will be ramped up and police will be on heightened alert from tomorrow onwards after rumours of a planned protest march began circulating.

Rumours and suggestions of the planned protest march began circulating over the social media with regards to comments made by side-lined Foreign Affairs Minister Justine Tkatchenko over the recent trip to London for the coronation of King Charles III.

A group calling themselves the Coalition of Concerned Citizens delivered a letter to the Metropolitan Superintendent’s office today, requesting police to grant approval for the planned protest march.

Mr Sika said the organisers of the planned protest march are using the social media to persuade city residents to form up at the Pacific Institute of Leadership and Governance Institute in Waigani tomorrow and walk to the National Parliament.

He said the NCD Law & Order Committee has not approved the planned protest march tomorrow because the organisers of the march have not submitted the request within the required seven days and they also cannot guarantee that the march will be peaceful.

Mr Sika said that the organisers of the planned protest march cannot guarantee that the march will be peaceful, and that given the current situation, opportunists may take advantage and cause public disorder, looting and destruction.

Mr Sika said police will also not allow any public demonstration to take place, especially at this time when world leaders, including the President of the United States, Mr Joe Biden, are coming into the country for the Forum for India Pacific Islands Countries (FIPIC) summit. The summit is intended to take place from May 21 and 22 and will be attended by the Prime Minister of India, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, and the leaders of other Pacific Island countries as well.

Mr Sika said this is a very important meeting and any disturbance by a minority group in the NCD would be a major embarrassment to the whole nation in the eyes of the international community.

Superintendent Sika said people aggrieved by comments made by Moresby South MP Justin Tkatchenko can take their grievances to court and seek redress or petition the government without going on a public protest march.

Mr Sika said police will continue to work closely with the community to ensure that peace and good order is maintained across the city.

Police media

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