• Short Summary

    RIOT POLICE HAVE BEEN STANDING BY SINCE DECEMBER 8TH ON THE TROUBLED PACIFIC ISLAND OF NEW BRITAIN FOLLOWING DISTURBANCES IN THE CAPITAL, RABAUL, AND NEIGHBOURING VILLAGES, WHICH BEGAN THE PREVIOUS DAY.

  • Description

    RIOT POLICE HAVE BEEN STANDING BY SINCE DECEMBER 8TH ON THE TROUBLED PACIFIC ISLAND OF NEW BRITAIN FOLLOWING DISTURBANCES IN THE CAPITAL, RABAUL, AND NEIGHBOURING VILLAGES, WHICH BEGAN THE PREVIOUS DAY. THE CLASHES WERE BETWEEN OPPONENTS AND SUPPORTERS OF A NEW MULTI-RACIAL COUNCIL SET UP BY THE AUSTRALIAN PAPUA-NEW GUINEA ADMINISTRATION.

    THE TROUBLE STARTED WHEN OPPONENTS OF THE NEW COUNCIL -- A MULTI-RACIAL LOCAL AUTHORITY TO ADMINISTER THE ISLAND'S 2,500-SQUARE- MILE (6,500 SQ.KM) GAZELLE PENINSULA -- STAGED A DEMONSTRATION DEMANDING A RETURN TO THE OLD-STYLE ALL-NATIVE LOCAL COUNCIL.

    THE DEMONSTRATORS, SUPPORTERS OF THE MATAUNGAN ASSOCIATION WHICH BACKS THEIR CLAIM, CLASHED WITH OTHERS BACKING THE NEW COUNCIL IN THE PORT TOWN OF RABAUL AND NEARBY VILLAGES. AT LEAST THREE COUNCILORS, SEVERAL TRIBAL LEADERS AND A EUROPEAN COUNCIL ADVISER WERE BEATEN UP WHEN TRUCKLOADS OF YOUNG MEN RAMPAGED THROUGH THE TOWN (POP. 11,000).

    THERE WAS ALSO TROUBLE AT RAPINDIK, VILLAGE ABOUT ONE MILE (2 KM) AWAY, WHICH MAINLY SUPPORTS THE NEW SYSTEM. MATAUNGAN SUPPORTERS FROM MATUPIT, ANOTHER SETTLEMENT 2 MILES (3 KM) BEYOND, MARCHED ON A COUNCILOR'S HOUSE AND DAMAGED IT WHEN THEY FOUND HE HAD LEFT.

    THE CLASHES COINCIDED WITH A VISIT TO THE PENINSULA BY MR. D.O. HAY, AUSTRALIAN ADMINISTRATION OF PAPUA-NEW GUINEA. HE WAS JEERED WHEN HE CALLED AT ANOTHER NEARBY VILLAGE, AND A COLLEAGUE WHO STOOD BETWEEN HIM AND DEMONSTRATORS WAS PUNCHED.

    SOME 17 PEOPLE WERE REMANDED IN CUSTODY AWAITING TRIAL ON CHARGES ARISING FROM THE DISTURBANCES. THEY INCLUDED THE PRESIDENT AND SECRETARY OF THE MATAUNGAN ASSOCIATION, DAMIEN KEREKU AND MELCHIOR TOMOT. FOUR HAVE SINCE BEEN JAILED.

    FURTHER TROUBLE IS EXPECTED TOMORROW (16 DEC.) WHEN OSCAR TANMUR, DESCRIBED AS THE ASSOCIATION'S PATRON AND A "DISSIDENT LEADER WITH SPELLBINDING POWERS", IS DUE TO APPEAR IN COURT CHARGED WITH NON-PAYMENT OF TAXES. THE ASSOCIATION IS REPORTED TO BE MAKING ITS OWN TAX-COLLECTIONS AND REFUSING TO HAND OVER THE MONEY UNTIL THE COUNCIL REORGANISATION IS REVOKED.

    RABAUL'S GAZELLE NATIVE MARKET, WHERE SUPPORTERS OF THE RIVAL COUNCIL SYSTEMS MIX FREELY, IS REGARDED AS A LIKELY TROUBLE-SPOT, AND THE POLICE, ALMOST DOUBLED FROM ITS NORMAL STRENGTH OF 400 RESERVES BROUGHT FROM PORT MORESBY, ARE GUARDING KEY POINTS IN THE TOWN.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA5XEK8OBZQY1YWH2D8W0RFBUA0
    Media URN:
    VLVA5XEK8OBZQY1YWH2D8W0RFBUA0
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    15/12/1969
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:17:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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