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Bishops call for “responsible honesty” in PNG corruption fight

Posted on: June 30, 2016 7:43 AM
The Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is at the centre of student protests after attempts to arrest him by anti-corruption investigators were blocked by political and legal processes.
Photo Credit: Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website – www.dfat.gov.au

[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] The Bishops of the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea have warned of the “severe destruction to our nation” if ongoing political violence is not resolved through “responsible honesty”. Students have been boycotting lessons and blockading campuses for several weeks. They accuse Prime Minister Peter O'Neill of corruption and are demanding he steps down.

On Saturday one student was killed after being stabbed in a night of violence in which several university burnings were set on fire. There were fire bomb attacks on another university the night before, and earlier this month police in Port Moresby opened fire on student protestors.

In a statement, the Primate of PNG, Archbishop Clyde Igara, quoted the famous passage from Micah 6:8 (What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and walk humbly with your God) before adding that the “bishops of the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea call on all political leaders, public servants and others who are implicated, to be responsibly honest in the current political climate, because dishonesty will bring severe destruction to our nation.

“We call on those union leaders, student leaders, political leaders who are responding to the current situation to be honest and be sure that what they are doing is in the best interests of the common people, so that children and students do not become the victims of reactions to crises for self-centred motives

“We ask all Christians to earnestly pray for God’s wisdom to be revealed in this situation.”

The country’s National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate have been seeking to arrest Prime Minister Peter O'Neill on corruption charges since June 2014 but have been blocked by a series of political and legal moves which have reached PNG’s supreme court.