PORT MORESBY,. Papua New Guinea pledged this morning to pay police and soldiers their allowances for the recently concluded APEC summit after they stormed parliament to demand the unpaid bonuses.
Up to 300 security personnel smashed windows and trashed furniture in parliament yesterday in protest over the special allowance for helping to protect the gathering of Asia-Pacific leaders, which ended Sunday.
The outburst prompted looting around the capital, one of the world’s most crime-ridden cities.
Calm was restored after government ministers met with the protesters late last night and agreed to pay the Apec allowance plus an additional bonus to all local personnel, police spokesman Dominic Kakas told AFP this morning.
“Everything is back to normal,” Kakas said.
The lavish welcome for the international dignitaries had stirred resentment in Papua New Guinea, the poorest of Apec’s 21 member nations.
Preparations for the summit included the construction of purpose-built roads and conference centres, and the purchase of 40 luxury Maseratis to ferry visiting leaders around.
Security officers were further frustrated when they learned their special duty allowance for the summit was far less than the amount paid to foreign reinforcements brought in for the event, the Post Courier newspaper reported. — AFP