PM O'Neill condemns Tondop’s statement

​Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has condemned the statement by the sidelined Southern Highlands Provincial Police Commander Joseph Tondop calling on Southern Highlands leaders to go to the province and address the law and order issues.

The PM expressed disappointment that the sidelined PPC saw fit to make statements that were outside his responsibility.

He further urged police on the ground to carry out their duties in maintaining rule of law and investigate offences without interference from politics.

“I am surprised that the PPC appears out of touch, as reports say he was not even present in Mendi when the burning of assets took place.

“His job now is to reinforce the rule of law, which means investigating and apprehending involved in criminal acts and preventing further agitation between opposing groups.

He said elected leaders and government officials have to carry out their respective roles diligently and not seek to influence the other.

“The role of elected leaders is to work with their supporters, to manage their expectations and to calm emotions so that tensions do not re-emerge”.

Meantime, Southern Highlands Governor William Powi in a media conference on Tuesday also made the same remarks condoning the statements from Tondop.

“The sidelined PPC is fit to call on the leaders to address the issues back home.

“However, he was not even on the ground when the incident happened.

“What is your guarantee that the leaders lives will not be at risk if they go home?”

Freddy Mou