Friday, September 05, 2008

I'd like to know your thoughts on 33 years of Independence

Hi to all you guys and gals out there.

On Tuesday, September 16, Papua New Guinea celebrates 33 years of Independence.

It has been a turbulent 33 years and I’d like to have your thoughts.

Either make a comment at the bottom of this post or email me on so that I can put together all your thoughts as a vox pop before the big day in 11 days time.



  1. There are times to say thank you and today is the time. When people go through life, one day they always sit back to think and appreciate what happened yesterday. For me, September 16th will be the special day for PNG and my life because I have the greatest opportunity to say thank you to a man I owe a lot. He is non other then the Grand Chief and Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare. The incumbent was the founder of my beautiful country. Despite the economic and social turmoil we as a country went through because great man like Chief Somare and others always had confidence in this country of ours.

    The aliens said we will fail. But we said no, we will go ahead. PNG is an example of a black nation that can stand for 33 years. And now is the day, after 33 years and we are still going. When loved one dies, we spell out condolences and speak high of his achievements and what he does for others. When Chief Somare dies one day, the nation will moan, the region will be socked and the world will convey their condolences. That is the Somare, 33 years ago found this nation, today is our Chief, amongst all the chiefs from the highlands down to the coasts and across the oceans.

    Its no use conveying my appreciation of what Chief Somare has done for us as a country when he dies tomorrow. Today is the time to say thank you. While Chief is able to read this appreciation, I would like to salute my Chief, my Prime Minister and my mentor. PNG will remember you, and I will treasure you. Thank you for taking PNG from independence to today.

    Histories are not made by nations but made by great thinkers with wisdoms and leaderships. Chief Somare, you have just done that. PNG celebrates its 33 years of Independence and I am so proud to join the nation you had in your heart. PNG will remember you in the thousand years to come.

    You gave me the blood, the heart and the soul to be a proud Papua New Guinean. I love my country and the people of PNG. Lets join our hands and work together as brothers and sisters for the betterment of our great nations.

    God bless PNG.

    Mathew Yakai
    Changchun, China

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  3. After 33 years of independence, I ponder and ask, Why have we done so poorly after all these years? I see the name 'independence' as a window curtain and inside the house is empty because there isn't any tangible developments throughout all corners of PNG especially when you look at rural areas in terms of infrastructure and service delivery. The motive is clear. I think there are three impediments which I think that undermine the foundation of development for PNG to prosper.

    1. Politics - It has advantages and disadvantages at all levels of government. With more than 20 political parties, it is difficult to work collectively with like-minded leaders to ensure good governance when their policies are not transparent and implemented, while their agendas and motives are diverse. Cheap political point scoring and power hungry politics is one thing and vivacious, candid and unprejudiced politics is another. For the past 32 years, it seems to us that the former was ubiquitous. We can make little progress if the number of political parties is minimized with few parties with sound policies to lead the country with less politics. No matter what political party an MP is affiliated to, all who form the government must be loyal to each other to work collaboratively to fully implement the Government’s policies;

    2. Corruption - Is a result, it is not a cause. To deal effectively with corruption, one must not look at treating the symptoms of corruption but must deal with the cause. Effective prosecution and punishment is not dealing with the cause but the symptom. In the public eye, the outcomes of some of these high profile cases are dubious. The judiciary system needs to have more teeth. The Government’s Medium Term Development Strategy will bear fruit when the law has its course. If prosecutions were done accordingly, perhaps it should send a chilling message to daylight robbers who habitually embezzle from the public coffers. The most important tool to minimize corruption is being honest to yourself, your fellow country man/woman and the nation at large; and

    3. Mismanagement - For all variety of reasons, honesty and integrity are becoming noble words in this day and age. No matter how much honesty it takes, greed and shrewdness in dealings are common symptoms that need to be eliminated by a vibrant law and justice sector. Mismanagement and corruption may go hand in hand and they both are here to stay for the reason that leaders and people in positions of trust cannot be trusted. The current scenario in the Finance Department and countless similar cases yet to be solved and those implicated needs to be prosecuted are classic examples. What the situation requires is for all of us to work together. Ultimately, as Papua New Guineans, we must stop pushing members for handouts because they will manipulate their RDF and non-discretionary electoral funds to give what the people want and that will distort development plans for each province and PNG at large. Unless the above factors are confronted headon, PNG will not prosper maybe for another 33 years or who knows; maybe decades.

    God bless PNG

    David Ketepa Ulg

    Michigan, USA