Papua New Guinea activists promised to continue protests despite the escalating violence, and the fact that the curfew is still in place in many parts of the Country. On Monday 25, after five days of protests and government office occupations against the World Bank/IMF's privatisation policies and programs of structural adjustment, students were attacked by the police with the result of at least 3 dead and 60 injured. During the following hours severe disturbances occurred in the country's capital Port Moresby.
Many people in Papua New Guinea are worried about the consequences of the imminent privatisation of the country's public services. World Bank/IMF plans have already had a substantial effect on Papua New Guinea, manipulating local industries in the name of "responsible resource development and management, and introducing user fees at rural clinics (resulting in a 30 percent decline in attendance). Now In return for a promised loan of approximately $US210 million, the World Bank plans for Papua New Guinea include widespread privatisation of national industries and social programs and pave the way for increased clearing of rain forests.
The Country's trade union's Council has now called a general strike in support of the students, as well as calling for international support and actions against the WB/IMF and in solidarity of those struggling in PNG. The telephone number for messages of support is (675) 325 76 42 after the country's code.
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For further information see the Country's press:
• The National