Government deplores parliament riot
The Government of Nauru said it was
appalled and disgusted by today's riot outside Parliament House
which saw an opposition MP arrested.
The rioters went on a rampage vandalising parliament, smashing
windows, letting off fireworks and causing mayhem. They also
blocked the neighbouring airport runway causing disruptions to
travellers on the ground and in the air.
Of most alarm was the safety of several police officers with as
many as ten suffering injuries and taken to hospital after being
pelted with rocks by the protestors, none of whom suffered any
injury at all.
Mathew Batsiua was one of three suspended opposition MPs leading
the riot and was arrested on a charge of disrupting the
Suspended members Sprent Dabwido and Squire Jeremiah were also
involved in the act of lawlessness which has brought shame and
embarrassment to the Opposition.
These same two MPs were originally suspended for prior acts of
violence and vandalism inside the parliament.
President Baron Waqa labelled the illegal protest as ugly and
"The resumption of parliament should be a proud and noble
occasion. Instead, this disgraceful behaviour has interrupted the
job this Government was elected to do, which is moving the country
While the Government respects the right for anyone to protest it
must be done in a legal and peaceful manner.
"What we witnessed this morning was nothing short of a disgrace
and totally against Nauruan law which is to protect its citizens,"
said Justice Minister David Adeang.
"No country would allow violent behaviour and we are no
"This Government was elected to bring stability to Nauru and
uphold law and order, and will not condone the behaviour we sadly