Posted By Staff Reporter
The newly appointed Papua New Guinea Minister for Tourism and Culture Justin Tkatchenko has condemned the assault on a foreign couple by suspects who were trekking the Kokoda Track on Monday.
He says the couple were held up by suspects along the track and taken to the nearby bush were they physically assaulted the British husband and sexually assaulted his American wife.
He says it come down to the people of PNG to make tourism work for the country and such incidents are contrary to what is expected. We have to look after our guests who come to our country for business or pleasure. He says when few people who offend visitors it spoils the opportunities that lies therein in the tourism industry to grow and it will take time to fix the image of the country.
Opposition leader Don Polye as also condemn the attack on the foreigners. Condemning the attack on the tourists, Opposition Leader said it painted a bad image of the country abroad at the time when the country is preparing to host the International Women’s Under 19 soccer tournament and Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting among others.
“I felt angry with the culprits when I read about the attack online in a daily newspaper in the United Kingdom.
“Such vicious act of one or two has time and time again tarnished the country’s reputation and that our tourism and hospitality sector is at stake,” said an angry Polye.
He said PNG was part of the global community which was striving for public peace and order, and that there was no place for such culprits to hide behind the curtains to bring the country down to its knees.
He assured the United States Embassy and the British High Commission that the Opposition would work together with the authorities to do justice to the victims.
Polye has commended the police for acting swiftly to identify the suspects for possible arrests.
“Our global reputation is our wealth and pride. Our alternative government will not tolerate such to happen in front of our nose when we are in government,” he said.
The Opposition Leader they would legislate tougher penalties to deter such ‘animalistic act of a few.’
Opposition’s shadow Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, and Raicoast MP James Gau has rubbished an overseas media report, describing Papua New Guineans as ‘cannibals.’
“We are the most peace-loving and friendly people on earth so come and see it for yourself without believing in stereo-type comments,” said Mr Gau.
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