Papua New Guinea police and soldiers were not pleased with the government and they made it known.
A group of security forces attacked the parliament on Tuesday, November 20 at the nation's capital Port Moresby, breaking windows and assaulting security guards, to demand for their unpaid bonuses from the previous weekend’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.
The promised bonuses were 350 kina or US$104 per person, a significant amount in APEC's poorest member country.
The APEC Summit saw 21 leaders from across the region gather in the impoverished island country, where 40% of the population live below the poverty line. Guests were transported around in Maserati cars and were housed in cruise ships – all funded by the government. The luxury cars are reportedly now sitting unused in warehouses.
Strikes in Papua New Guinea preceded the Summit, as locals protested the expenses set aside for the hosting.
It was unknown how many security forces stormed the premises, but estimates said about 100 personnel were involved. No one was reported to be seriously hurt. The protesters were reportedly yelling accusations of corruption against the government, before storming the building.
On social media, photos showed the extent of the damage caused by the attacks.
According to The Guardian, the Police Association said it was a “slap in the face” that its security forces were not paid, when funds were budgeted for APEC precisely for their work.
“It is an absolute disgrace that these efforts are not adequately recognized,” it said.