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Singirok: ‘Special weapon of God’

Published by MAC on 2004-03-04

Singirok: ‘Special weapon of God’

PostCourier, Papua New Guinea

March 4 2004

Former Papua New Guinea Defence Force chief General Jerry Singirok believes he was a special weapon used by God to put a stop to the killing and suffering on Bougainville.
A delighted General Singirok said yesterday his acquittal of a sedition charge was an act of God.

“I thank God for using me as an instrument and giving me the strength to stop the atrocity,” he said.

General Singirok said he wanted to stop a major criminal act which was to drop bombs on innocent people.

“There’s nothing such as smart bombs in this world and no way we could justify killings and the long term psychological and emotional damage that we would create as a result of a major military onslaught,” he said.

He said the government of that time wanted to use heavy-handed tactics to deal with a civil conflict that given proper logistics to the disciplinary forces in the country could have been solved without hiring mercenaries. General Singirok said some of the weapons included rocket launchers, high-powered explosives, ball ammunition, mortars, recoil propelled grenades and tracer rounds.

The top secret plan at the time was to take over the Panguna mine and secure the highways around it and put the mine back into operation while they continued fighting the Bougainville Revolutionary Army around the mine.

General Singirok said his actions at that time were not seditious and the National Court, presided over by Justice Cathy Davani ruled in his favour on Tuesday.

Justice Davani ruled that although General Singirok had brought his address to the nation to the NBC studios, “he had innocent intentions that he did not wish to bring the Queen and Head of State into hatred or contempt”. The judge said General Singirok showed that he was desperate to put an end to the contract entered by the then government of PNG to kill innocent people.

General Singirok said at that time he had three choices to make: to resign from office, take leave of office and the third, which he chose to do, was to evict Sandline International.
Sandline International was a mercenary company brought in by the then (Julius) Chan government to put a speedy end to the Bougainville crisis in 1997.

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