PNG’S INDEPENDENCE is tantamount to the right of every citizen to govern their own house in village, town or city.
Independence gives our beautiful country the right to govern itself and to own its destiny.
Independence empowers me as a PNG citizen to interact freely with everyone in my own country and in the world. It also mean that, as a citizen of PNG, I can say what I feel and see happening in my country and I can say it without fear or favour.
A lack of independence means that the most important decisions of our country are able to be taken by foreign interests.
This is already present in our country, with parliament and government proving their inability to safeguard the people’s well-being and welfare for many years now.
Independence is the right of Papua New Guineans to be properly governed under a home-grown constitution which sets the framework for our democracy.
Our constitution protects our human rights, language, culture and traditions; and our nationality. Independence means an enjoyment of all things PNG; including fully benefiting from our economic development.
Sovereignty provides our people with power to stimulate national development: agriculture, commerce, industry, immigration, the negotiation of international treaties, expanding markets and promoting foreign relations and investment.
To me, independence means self-government, our own government, ruling ourselves, freedom from all forms of political subjugation, direct control. Not being influenced by any other country.
People agree to be governed so that their rights (life, freedom, happiness) will be safe-guarded. The job of government is to protect the rights of the people. A government is good when it does this.
The government must do what the people say, because the people made it. When the government does what the people say, it is democracy.
In PNG, this does not always happen - making the people suffer, despite many changes of government since Independence in 1975.
Sometimes the government we have acts badly and not in the national interest. On many occasions it has not protected the rights of the people.
When this happens, the people start to think of a new government, a good government, one that will protect their rights.
Sometimes the people of this country are alienated by the many problems the government has not addressed. Sometimes these people want to make their land into a new country.
Many Papua New Guineans have felt this way for many years.
It is easy to see why they do not want to be part of the old, bad PNG.
Papua New Guineans must be free to say what they want of their government, and they must be listened to.
All people in PNG are equal. God wants every person to have rights. Sometimes bad people in our government try to take away these rights (life, freedom, happiness).
It is smart to change things with much caution. People should not cast off an old government for a silly reason. They should do this only when the government does something very bad.
The people should cast off the government when it tries to take away the rights of the people. There has been a betrayal of PNG for many years by politicians and bureaucrats for apparent personal gain.
These same betrayers were earlier defenders of workers and fighters for the poor. But they have since governed for apparent personal gain and promoted corruption and made our people suffer.
These acts of betrayal will eventually destroy PNG.
For the ordinary citizen, Independence and its related annual celebrations has little meaning.
After 35 years they are not impressed in any way with a badly governed PNG.
Independence celebrations have been reduced to a mere show off for government.
A brief excursion from the inability of the political leadership to suppress crime and violence and improve the quality of life for every man, woman and child in our country.
Many, perhaps most, parts of PNG are in abject poverty and cannot change for the better until the country has fresh, new, visionary leadership and a progressive and transformational government.
We seem not to have the political will today. But we pray for the coming of a new dawn with a new crop of young political leaders who our people hope will save our beloved country for tomorrow’s generation. May God bless my country and its people.
Happy 35th birthday, PNG!
Papua New Guinea marks the 35th anniversary of its emergence as an independent nation next Thursday 16 September.