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Somare: We honour a giant who has fallen


KUNDIAWA - It is an honour to celebrate the life and death of a giant who has fallen.

Sir Michael Somare lived life to the fullest and with enlightenment. The Grand Chief is one of a few great politicians and advocates of democracy like Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

No one ever questioned his mandated power and authority, which he never misused and used for the common good.

Michael Somare was born and raised in a disciplined family when PNG was in a transition period. He experienced the old traditional culture and the modern culture and he embraced both.

He had a deep affection for cultural values and norms as well as Christian principles.

His public life was deeply rooted in self-affirmation meaning that he lived for the service of others.

He accepted others are they are and treated them as equals regardless of who they are, poor or rich, educated or uneducated and regardless of status.

Michael Somare is a political icon who led his country into independence without bloodshed.

He applied his mediation skills in dealing with complex issues during the pre-independent period when regional discord was strong with Papuans wanting to separate from New Guinea and parts of the New Guinea Islands also wanting to separate.

Highlanders also didn’t want to be independent so soon and were still confused.

With diverse cultures with and many conflicting structural and underlying issues, Somare was a problem solver and a peacemaker.

He listened carefully to every issue he came across. He asked for consensus rather than impose his own decisions.

Another milestone the Grand Chief have achieved was the PNG Constitution, which experts say is one of the best in the world.

He selected the right person to head the Constitution Planning Committee, John Momis, who gathered the best brains of the country to draft it.

I was privileged to have experienced and to witness independence in 1975 when I was in high school.

The name Michael Somare was a household name in the 1970s; the name behind self-governance and independence.

Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare was not only a politician but a role model of a family life, sticking to one wife and being a faithful Catholic who never lost sight of his spirituality.

He did so much for this country and our appreciation cannot be measured in monetary terms. It was priceless.

He was a great nationalist who stands tall amongst others.

May God grand him eternal peace.


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Philip Fitzpatrick

A comment from Iain Millar on the Exkiap website today:

"As far as I can make out the highest ranking Australian to attend Sir Michael Somare’s funeral was the Aust. High Commissioner.

"This is a disgrace for 'the Father of his Country'; one would expect the courtesy of a Minister or even the Governor General.

"Does this government ignore PNG because of ignorance or is it apathy?"

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