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Reciprocity, revenge and religious imperatives : fighting in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea




Chiragakis, Louise

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Canberra, ACT : The Australian National University


On 14th March 1993, Papua New Guinea's then Prime Minster, Mr Wingti announced the formation of a National Law, Order and Justice Council. Replacing all existing law and order committees, the new council was to be the sole coordinator of law and order issues. Mr Wingti noted that in the past there had been 'too many committees and too little action on the law and order question' (Post-Courier, 15 March, 1993). His predecessor, Mr Namaliu, instructed a previous Crime Summit, 'To come up with constructive and even radical solutions to the crime problems which are crippling the country ... crime is like a cancer, eating away at the very heart and lifeblood of our society ... a threat to economic stability and progress' (Post-Courier, 12 February, 1991). Numerous state enquiries have been instigated in response to a law and order situation that is perceived to interfere with the development of the country and the quality of life of its people. Problems have been restated, recommendations remade and sometimes draconian measures proposed. Yet in both official and informal circles it is believed that the situation is deteriorating. Scholarly journals and government reports, editorial comment and letters to the editor, frequently express concern about the 'break-down' of law and order.






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Open Access

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