I am profoundly saddened and shocked to learn of the brutal and merciless massacre of the Women, Men and Children even the unborn in Hela Province between Sunday 7th, to early hours of Monday 8th of July 2019 in Kurida village in the Tagali Local Level Government area where 16 people were hacked to death.

I join our Honourable Prime Minister James Marape in condemning in the strongest sense such barbaric act of violence and cruelty and urge the Law and Justice System including relevant partners in the Province and District to act swiftly to address the long standing issues on tribal fights in the province.

Violence has no place in our society as it limits the freedom and rights of individuals to fully participate in the development of our country. Violence alone is costing this country a lot of resources, both in finance to curb its ever increasing trend and human resource by killing young men, women, and children from realizing their full potential in life.

Recently the scourge of violence has taken hold of our country not only in the rural areas but in the urban areas as well. A week prior, a gruesome murder of a mother of five who lost her life to violent partner in Port Moresby. Torturing of women and children accused of sorcery, cult related killings and sexual abuse of children is happening in the country and now a massacre of 23 people in Hela province just goes to show that people are not afraid to take another person’s life. Life is so precious and no individual has the right to take another person’s life. We need a collective approach to protect the lives of our families, clans and tribes to provide a secure and enabling environment for our people to live harmoniously to prosper together to make PNG the richest black Christian nation. 2 My heartfelt and sincere condolences go out to the families and tribes man of the 23 victims to let the rule of law take precedence and not take law into your own hands. Justice will be served and I urge all parties to have confidence in our justice system.

It is my firm conviction as Minister to make a strong call to end all forms of violence against men, women, children and their property. We must very serious to empower and protect our families using all the laws we have to prevent further occurrence of violence.

I call all key stakeholders to take positive actions on zero tolerance on violence in PNG Society. I also make a strong call on churches to stand up against violence on fellow human beings.

Yours in Community Development

Hon. Wake Goi, MP Minister for Youth, Religion & Community Development