Sunday, October 02, 2011

Morobe leader Utula Samana dies


Firebrand former Morobe politician Utula Samana died at his home at 6-Mile outside Lae in the early hours of today (Sunday).

Lae-based medical doctor Mosey Sao confirmed the death of Samana, from Saigara village in Morobe Patrol Post,

Sao said the cause of death was not known, however, added that Samana had been suffering from the debilitating effects of Parkinson's Disease for the last couple of years.

Parkinson's disease is a disorder of the brain that leads to shaking (tremors) and difficulty with walking, movement, and coordination.

Parkinson's disease most often develops after age 50.

It is one of the most-common nervous system disorders of the elderly.

Sometimes Parkinson's disease occurs in younger adults.

It affects both men and women.

Sao said he and other supporters of Samana went to 6-Mile this afternoon and took the body to the Lae International Hospital morgue.

 Samana was a graduate in arts from the University of Papua New Guinea (1974) where he majored in politics and public administration.

Following his work as provincial planner and then premier of Morobe province, in July 1987, he moved into national politics when he unseated Boyamo Sali for the Morobe Regional seat.

Samana was Morobe Regional MP until 1992, when he was unseated by his longtime rival, Jerry Nalau.

He later became Secretary for Department of Agriculture and Livestock and and PNG Ambassador to the United Nations, among others.

Longtime friend and supporter, Paul Itama, said all of his friends and supporters were saddened by the sudden death.

"He was a kwila post for all of us in Morobe," he said.

"He was a very-decisive leader."

Samana is survived by his two wives and children Yaungtine, Nuki, Cher and Galiki.

Morobe provincial government is expected to take over funeral arrangements including a state funeral for Samana.

Former Samana chief-of-staff Ben Micah, now chief-of-staff to Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, is also helping with funeral arrangements.


  1. Anonymous11:27 PM

    he was a very good boss as well as his spouse Mrs. Fungkec Samana. Our deepest sympathy to his beloved family. C of NY

  2. Anonymous11:19 AM

    My deepest condolences to the Samana family. beng of NY

  3. I worked with Utula in the UN and visited PNG several times. One of the things that made him so controversial was the way he wanted to change the status quo for all emerging countries and particularly for PNG. He had studied extensively the governments of The US, Europe and Australia as well as their economies and wanted desperately for something similar for his beloved PNG. I worked with him on several projects in Lae and Morobe Province to improve agriculture production and to try to give work to local people and improve the local economy.

    I am not a political person and do my best to avoid any of it. I can tell you this. While I am sure, as is true of everyone in politics anywhere in the world, Utula was able to improve his life style as a result of his position when working with the United Nations, his heart and focus was on helping the people of PNG to improve their lives. Not one time did I ever hear him say, "I am doing this so I can do better." It was always, "My people need help if we are going to improve my Country"

    My Deepest sympathy to His wife Fungal and his Children. He truly made a difference in PNG

    Doug Burdette USA