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Condemn PNG Government Killing Of Protesters

Condemn PNG Government Killing Of Protesters

Dear Comrades,

On Tuesday June 26 the Papua New Guinea government shot dead three students and wounded 17 others who were protesting against the IMF and World Bank, which is forcing a harsh privatisation regime on the country.

This is a further escalation of the violence against anti-globalisation protesters that we we saw in Gothenburg, and demands an immediate response from progressive forces around the world.

Attached below is a protest statement being circulated by the socialist youth organisation Resistance condemning the killings, and demanding action from the Howard government.

Please sign and circulate this statement, and return it to Resistance. Solidarity pickets are being held in several Australian cities over the next few days, and the statement will be distributed there and presented to the Australian government and PNG Embassy.

Please make your anger at this action known to the World Bank and the IMF, and to the PNG Government and the PNG Consulate or Embassy in your country.

Comradely greetings,

John Percy
National Secretary Democratic Socialist Party Australia
intl@dsp.org.au


Protest to:

PNG Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta mailto:primeminister@pm.gov.pg

The World Bank 1818 H Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20433 U.S.A. tel: (202) 477-1234 fax: (202) 477-6391 feedback@worldbank.org

International Monetary Fund, 700 19th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20431 Tel: (202) 623-7000 Fax: (202) 623-4661 email: publicaffairs@imf.org

IMF Center Tel: (202) 623-6869 Fax: (202) 623-6562 email:imfcenter@imf.org


Support anti-IMF and World Bank protestors in Papua New Guinea

On the early morning of Tuesday 26 of June 2001, PNG police teargassed and opened fire on students protesting against the IMF and World Bank, resulting in 3 dead and 17 wounded. The violence followed a five day peaceful sit-in by up to 3000 University of PNG students, workers, and unemployed outside the office of Prime Minister of PNG, Mekere Morauta in Waigani, about 10 km from central Port Moresby. The demonstrators presented a petition to the Government calling for:

* Suspend the entire privatisation scheme

* Completely sever ties with the World Bank and IMF

* Scrap the customary land registration scheme and

* If the above are not implemented, the Prime Minister should resign or face a more serious protest with detrimental consequences.

The protestors had remained in order to get a response from the government. After the crowd had dwindled to several hundred, police closed in and told them to disperse. When they refused, tear gas was used and shotguns and automatic weapons fired.

By first light when news of the shooting spread people streamed into Waigana, looting, burning and stoning as they went.

Shops, schools and government offices were closed for the day, and the streets of the capital were deserted except for some students and police. Trade unions issued a call for Morauta to step down. They also threatened to close ports, shut down the national flag carrier Air Niugini and disrupt power supplies.

The following day, Port Moresby University campus was surrounded by police, in order to keep most of the students contained.

This comes as a result of the IMF and World Banks’ instruction to the government of PNG to sell off the Papua New Guinea Banking Corporation which is the only bank owned by the government, and to be followed by the privatisation of the national airline, Air Niugini. Over the past three years PNG’s water supplies and electricity have been sold off in a hope to bail the country out of the economic crisis. However the economy of the country has continued to deteriorate.

These protests follow on from ones earlier this year when students marched to Murray barracks to support troops who had seized weapons and were also demanding that the World Bank should leave PNG, along with the government’s Australian advisers.

Alexander Downer, Australian Foreign Affairs minister has not condemned the PNG police for the shootings and he has reaffirmed the Australian government’s total support for the privatisation program.

These protests are a clear sign of the rejection of the influence of the IMF and World Bank into PNG. As supporters of the fight against these international financial institutions, protests have been initiated across Australia to actively build solidarity with the PNG activists struggle against the IMF and World Bank, and the lethal tactics used by police to disperse protestors, resulting in 3 dead and 17 wounded.

We demand:

* IMF and World Bank out of PNG

* End privatisation

* Abolish the IMF, WTO and World Bank

* That the Australian government condemns the violence against protestors in PNG

* That the Australian government gives massively increased unconditional aid for development in PNG

Endorsed by:

Please send e-mails to Resistance: nationaloffice@resistance.org.au to add your name to the statement. For information on when protests will be happening call (02) 9690 1230.


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