Police Commissioner David Manning has pointed out that professional standards and capability in the nation’s disciplined forces are evolving at a fast pace.
He made this remark, when commending Papua New Guinea’s disciplined forces for the completion of successful security operations over the past week attending the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) and the US-PNG and Pacific Islands Summit.
“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.”
He 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 PNG’s shoulders, and the 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 citizen’s 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 (DCA) between PNG and the United States.
“Our security forces have ensured calm in the capital despite rising tensions on several issues, by 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.”
Commissioner Manning added that heavy and effective police presence was maintained in the Capital, including security forces personnel at stations within the downtown area, APEFC Haus, Ela Beach, Jackson’s International Airport, road routes within the city and hotels where 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 Honorable James Marape, and the Minister for Internal Security, the Honorable Peter Tsiamalili Jr, for their trust and confidence in our men and women in uniform.
“I further wish to thank and acknowledge key partners and stakeholders for their contribution to the success of this operation.”
“I commend everyone for pulling together in this joint forces operation that ensured the reputation of Papua New Guinea was the winner overall.”