Just as order is being restored in Ecuador under a declaration of martial law and the possible expulsion of thousands of criminals back to Columbia and Venezuela, another nation hits the headlines in a part of the world that few in North America pay much attention to.
Overnight in Papua New Guinea riots erupted in the capital of Port Moresby with violence erupting in the city as its police force went on strike. From Radio New Zealand’s coverage:
Shops have been set on fire or looted in parts of Papua New Guinea’s capital Port Moresby as unrest breaks out during a police and military strike.
The protest over unexplained pay deductions to salaries of police, military, and correctional services has triggered sporadic looting in Port Moresby.
About 200 Papua New Guinea police and military personnel have abandoned work for a day to protest.
At 10am (local time) on Wednesday, police and military personnel gathered at Port Moresby’s Unagi oval in protest over what they say are hefty “tax” deductions in the most recent pay period.
The video looks all too familiar like the US in 2020 or Ecuador last night. From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC):
The protesters attempted to break into the Parliament building in Port Moresby earlier in the day (video via PTV Philippines).
Papua New Guinea: Riots broke out in the capital Port Moresby, according to preliminary data from the authorities – there are victims.— S p r i n t e r (@Sprinter99800) January 10, 2024
According to media reports, the riots began during police protests against salary cuts pic.twitter.com/E4Zs71S7QE
#BREAKING – UNREST in #PapuaNewGuinea: People have been killed, shops & businesses set on fire in the capital of Papua New Guinea after police went on strike over pay, according to the local governor.— Jack Straw (@JackStr42679640) January 10, 2024
Papua New Guinea's government has called in the defense forces in an attempt… pic.twitter.com/4eGMl79OHe
The update tonight via ABC-Australia is grim:
And from the Canberra Times:
With all of that being said, it would a period of martial law is about to descend on the capital and quite probably the rest of the nation. But besides a pay dispute, just who or what would have an interest in stirring up unrest in this somewhat isolated from the “mainstream” part of the world?
Maybe, just maybe because CNN or FNC doesn’t cover it, there just might be more to the story than meets the eye; like perhaps vast deposits of copper, gold, and other valuable minerals.
From the Post Courier in Papua New Guinea last summer:
Why else would China, the US, and Australia suddenly have such a vast interest in this tiny nation?