Papua New Guinea King’s Birthday Honours
Mr Speaker, we are not your enemies….

Is Marape more autocratic since the US deal


PARI - From the time the US-PNG Defence Cooperation Agreement was signed last week, there have been indications that prime minister Marape is behaving more autocratically.

I have the feeling that PNG democracy is heading down the death highway under Marape's rule.

When the news was reported that Biden was going to visited PNG, Marape appealed to Papua New Guineans and the media to be cautious in making comments about the visit.

We were even told that we should appreciate that the leader of the world’s biggest economy had chosen to visit our country.

In one breath of flattery from another country, Marape decided to further dilute the people’s democratic right of free speech, the media’s right to publish without restriction and even the right to protest.

We writers, among our responsibilities, are avid carers about PNG as a democracy, hence we can express political views like you’re reading here, unlike some of our elected members of parliament who couldn’t even locate the USA on a world map.

What's more, Marape has now proposed an amendment to the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership.

The reason seems to be a wish to strengthen his power and use the amendment as a tool to defeat his political rivals.

If Marape was determined to fight corruption, Justin Tkatchenko would never again appear in public. But he’s still around; we can still see him attending parliament: further evidence that Marape is not working to end corruption.

Marape has lodged a formal complaint with the police against Samson Komati, who has made certain allegations against police commissioner David Manning in relation to the Peter O'Neill case. Another indication that the Marape government is trying to silence anti-corruption advocates.

We are weary of such matters. The PNG Think Tank Group of which Komati is a member is itself a legally registered organisation using social media and other internet platforms to hold the government accountable on policy, legal, political, economic, social, infrastructure and other matters.

As an anti-corruption activist and the CEO of the PNG Think Tank Group, Komati promotes honesty, accountability, transparency and prudence in decision making, and wants to raise awareness about good governance and efficiency in the public service.

It is understood that the Marape government has filed a complaint stating he should be arrested. Were this to happen it would be a dark time in PNG history.

Even an uneducated person can see that the pursuit of is a political witch hunt.

Our democracy is eroding every day these efforts are made to silence freedom of expression.


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