The Governor- General, Grand Chief Sir Bob Dadae, has strongly appealed to the Government not to allow provinces to breakaway, but to grant them autonomy to manage their administrative and financial affairs to sustain their respective economy in close consultation and cooperation with the National Government.
Sir Bob made these remarks during his Nation’s Address commemorating the 40th Remembrance Day anniversary on Friday, 23 July 2021, adding , the idea of breaking away by any provinces, will only lead to other provinces following suit.
“In that way, we will avoid provinces initiating moves to push for independence now and in the future.”
Sir Bob highlighted that Papua New Guinea is at the cross road between prosperity and disintegration since gaining Self-Government in 1973 and Independence, without bloodshed in 1975.
“Papua New Guinea achieved its sovereignty status and recognized by the United Nations General Assembly as the 143rd Member with 600 islands.
“However, in just 45 years of nationhood, we face the most challenging times in our political history to hold this uniquely diverse country of a thousand tribes together as one nation, one country and one people,” Sir Bob said.
He said disintegration of our country was inevitable, as one of the 600 islands is adamant of exiting and continue to press for secession with three other provinces being granted the nod to pursue the highest form of autonomy similar to that of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
Meanwhile, Sir Bob paid tribute to all the fallen heroes who served with Allied Forces as infantry soldiers and carriers during the Pacific War campaign.
“On this Day we pay respect and honour the services and sacrifices of those who have served our nation.
“We also reflect on the legacy of our fallen heroes who served with the Allied Forces as infantry soldiers and most importantly carriers who used manpower muscle to move logistical support to the war front, and human casualties in bad weather and trying conditions during the Second World War.
“Today, we mark Remembrance Day for a reason. And the theme for this year’s Remembrance Day; “THEIR LEGACY, OUR INSPIRATION” says it all.”
The Governor-General also acknowledges those who have died in service to this beautiful nation and reflect on their sacrifices that ensured that all Papua New Guineans enjoy the freedom of their legacy.
“The freedom that we enjoyed today, courtesy of the sacrifices and services our fallen heroes, is second to none. But this very freedom is being abused in that many of our people, in particular, criminal elements do not respect each other’s freedom of movement, each individual including personal and State properties.”
Sir Bob further called on the Government, especially the Law and Justice Sector Agencies, to enforce the severe penalties provided under the Criminal Code Act to deter criminals from advancing their illegal operations and those citizens intending to pursue a life of crime.
Sir Bob also appealed to this group of people to cease their illegal activities forthwith, and change to become law-abiding citizens of their respective communities.
“We can appeal to criminals to stop terrorizing the business community and citizens but the Government must have programs in place for this group of people to be engaged in, if we are to restore peace and harmony in our local communities in the country.”
He urged State agencies responsible for the youths to initiate programs and projects for the unemployed to participate in growing the economy, nation-building and simply sustaining their livelihood.
“Another contributing factor to the abuse of the legacy and freedom, is ethnic violence which has become a frequent occurrence in major cities and towns.
“This type of violence must cease immediately because it defaces the good image of this wonderful country, we call home.
“Ethnic violence must not be tolerated because it defeats the legacy of our forefathers who sacrificed their lives so that we all can live together in peace and harmony in diversity.”
Sir Bob admitted that this is the greatest challenge our generation face to demonstrate that the legacy of our forefathers is a true representation of our identity in the modern world.
“Remembrance Day legacy serves to remind and call on us to appreciate and commend our fore bearers for their services and sacrifices and most importantly, inform us of what they would expect of us today as we face our own generational challenges,” Sir Bob added.
Papua New Guinea has set aside 23 July each year , as a very significant and special day to remember those who have sacrificed their life to bring peace and freedom that is being enjoyed in the country today.