Sunday, August 29, 2010

Appeal for all to closely work together to resolve the Bulolo issue


In light of the recent upraising ethnic clash in my district last week, I would like to appeal to all parties from the local tribes and the Sepik settlers to lay down their arms and allow for the national government led team under chief secretary Manasupe Zurenuoc to negotiate a way forward.

I appeal to all politicians from Morobe including the Morobe Governor to support in any way possible and to closely work together with all the stake holders on the ground, including police and  national government team, to find a way forward.

By addressing the conflicting parties separately will only send different messages which can hamper the efforts of the other negotiating parties such as police, national government, district administration and the other stake holders.

I would also like to appeal to provincial treasurer, provincial administrator and the governor to work together in this time of need.

Morobe Province is hard hit by the rise of cholera in Tewai Siassi electorate while ethnic clashes have taken their toll in Tewai Siassi, Finschhafen and Bulolo districts with the loss of lives.

The accusations of misapplication of funds from the administration against governor are not a new thing it has been brought to light by different administrators in the past.

 The issue continues to surface again, therefore, relevant authorities must step in to intervene against those claims because the last thing we want happening is to see total chaos in the Morobe administration in this time of need.

My district administration has spent over K100, 000 for voluntary repatriation, care centre rations, police and administration and has advised the Morobe provincial government through the then chairman of the provincial law and order committee Benson Suwang to carry on from there.

 The governor has given his assurance and support to continue from where I left, while the committee will find a way forward to deal with the genuine settlers.

The provincial government came short, but I cannot blame them here, as we all understand that the administration does have some serious cash flow problems, as recently highlighted by the provincial treasurer.

The recent clash was liquor related and I call on provincial government lawyers to deal with the matter forthwith to bring back the ban.

 Numerous concerns were raised when the ban was lifted by the liquor operators in the district.

The liquor outlet operators must now choose between the lives of innocent people and their profit driven motives.

 This is not the first time they have challenged the liquor ban in the district as they have done so since the Watut/Biangai conflict in 2009.

There was also another delay caused by the Wau Bulolo urban manager, who was given the task by the law and order committee to furnish a report for the committee to present to the provincial government, quantifying the damages and other factors that had contributed to the ethnic clashes.

The Wau Bulolo urban manager has since disappeared into Port Moresby with the report, which has practically stopped the provincial law and order committee to pursue its cause in advising the provincial administration and relevant aid organisations such as Red Cross, AusAID and others who only rely on official report and confirmations before their engagement.

With the high level investigation team being sent from the police headquarters and the disappearance of the Wau Urban manager with the report to Waigani swamp, this can only mean that this situation of Bulolo has been politicised.

 I am now appealing to the government especially the Prime Minister Sir Michael that if those orders came from him, then we have to put our differences aside, and deal with the people - especially the suffering and the displaced mothers, children and elderly people.

I commend the latest initiatives by the Prime Minister's Department through chief secretary Manasupe Zurenuoc to have sent a team to the ground last week under instructions from the Prime Minister.

 I look forward for their advice and assistance and as my joint district planning and budget priorities committee is ready to step in by redirecting programme funds should urgent needs arise.

I appeal to the chief secretary and the provincial administrator to help locate the Wau Bulolo urban manager in Waigani and send him back into Wau with the uncertified report to the Morobe administration.

 The urban LLG office and the market has been locked since his absenteeism and the Wau culverting programme is about to commence, for which we need him on the ground to assist.

I would also like to convey our thankyou and gratitude on behalf of the affected people to various business houses in Lae together with Morobe Mining Joint Ventures and PNG Forest Products for their help in donations in keeping the care centre up until the recent incident.

 Your timely help and assistance will go along way of us knowing that you all do care for us the people of Bulolo and Morobe in such a difficult time.

Should the care centre situation stabilise, your continued assistance will be welcomed by all, and in particular I as political head of the affected district appeal for your continued support.

Now that the national government through the Prime Minister's Department is taking the lead on this issue, my support is there and ready for the next course of action upon the advice and support from Waigani.
Sam Basil

Bulolo MP

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