Commissioner of Police, David Manning, has commended Papua New Guinea’s disciplined forces for the completion of successful security operations for the high-level international leaders’ visits over the past week.
This included the Prime Minister of India, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, and the United States Secretary of State, alongside visits from the leaders of Pacific Island countries attending the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation and the US-PNG and Pacific Islands Summit.
As the final leaders leave Papua New Guinea, Commissioner Manning has made the point that professional standards and capability in the nation’s disciplined forces are evolving at a rapid rate.
“While we still have a mountain of work to do to reform the RPNGC and other disciplined forces, the high-level protection operation of the past week has demonstrated that we are moving in the right direction,” Commissioner Manning said.
“The focus and attention of the world was on Papua New Guinea over recent days, with the security expectations of partner governments placed on our shoulders, and our rank and file delivered a safe and secure environment for our guests and the public.
“I commend members of the Royal PNG Constabulary, the PNG Defence Force and Correctional Services, as well as relevant line and involved government agencies and departments for your commitment and dedication in making these summits a success.
“Working with partners, our security forces have demonstrated an enhanced capacity in implementing our operational plans to keep leaders, delegates and our citizens safe.”
Mr Manning also commended the public for being generally well behaved, despite various sectors of the community raising concerns on a number of policy issues including the signing of the Defence Cooperation Agreement between PNG and the United States.
“Our security forces have ensured calm in the Capital despite rising tensions on several issues, working directly with groups intending to protest, and preventing violence.
“This is a democratic nation, with the Constitution stating the fundamental right to the freedom of conscience, of expression, of information and of assembly and association, so long as this does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the legitimate public interest.
“Over the past week we found the right balance, with protesters exercising their rights without placing the public at risk,” Mr Manning said.
Commissioner Manning added that a heavy and effective police presence was maintained in the Capital.
“Security forces personnel effectively manned stations within the downtown area, APEC Haus at the Ela Beach, Jackson’s International Airport, road routes within the city, and hotels where the delegates were residing.
“Roadblocks were also positioned to allow for the convenience of delegates with the intention of minimal inconvenience to the residence of the city, and this proved effective.
“On behalf of our joint security forces operation, I thank the Prime Minister, the Honourable James Marape, and the Minister for Internal Security, the Honourable Peter Tsiamalili Jr, for their trust and confidence in our men and women in uniform.
“I further wish to thank and acknowledge the dedicated contribution of many key partners and stakeholders for their contribution to the success of this operation,” he said.
Commissioner Manning said these partners include, but are not limited to:
· The PNG Customs Service;
· The Papua New Guinea Immigration and Citizenship Authority;
· The National Airports Corporation;
· The Department of Foreign Affairs;
· The PNG Fire Service;
· St John Ambulance;
· Our school students who lined the streets to welcome our visitors, and
· The people of Motu Koitabu.
“All in all, I commend everyone for pulling together in this joint forces operation that ensured the reputation of Papua New Guinea was the winner overall,” Mr Manning said.
Some of the hard working officers involved in the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation summit: Francis Suwau, Second in Charge of the National Security Unit of Special Services Division, Chief Inspector Chris Smith, Director Water Police, Mr Sylvester Andama, First Assistant Secretary Maritime Security, Division of the Department of Transport, James Bisai, National Security Unit Officer, Mr Benjamin Sine, Deputy Commission for PNG Customs, Chief Superintendent Julius Tasion, Director Special Services Division.
Members of the Police Traffic providing escort duties for the delegates, stationed at the entrance of the APEC Haus at Ela Beach in the NCD.
Police set up roadblocks at various routes of the city to enable delegates of FIPIC travel unhindered during the summit which was held on Monday May 23 at the APEC House in Ela Beach, Port Moresby.
Members of the Water Police Directorate patrolling around Apec and Ela Beach sea area.