Independence Day. Papua New Guinea press review

On the 16th of September 2020 Papua New Guinea (PNG) celebrated the 45th Anniversary of gaining Independence. Celebrations take place during the week. The 8th Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Hon. James Marape delivered the speech to PNG citizens at Independence Hill near the PNG National Parliament. PNG Prime Minister arrived to the celebrations with his wife Rachael Marape and daughter Rayvirna Marape. Mr. Marape has called on all citizens to unite in order to achieve greater prosperity for the country: « To get to our destination of a well-developed nation, each of us must play a role. All of us must commit to building a Papua New Guinea that future generations will be proud of […] I have commenced the work of restoring good governance, empowering our people and shifting the balance back to the national interest, rather than the interest of a small few, » Prime Minister stated. Mr. Marape also gave thanks to PNG’s founding father, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and Sir Julius Chan. Mr. Marape thanked them for the work they have done for the country, and paid his respect for them taking the country to where it is today. Mr. Marape also appealed to the children and youths, the group that makes up 30% of the population, to be part of the PNG’s growth. [1-3]

It is noteworthy that on the 16th of September 1975, PNG Prime Minister was only four years old when he witnessed the raising of the flag at the time of Papua New Guinea’s independence. [4]

PNG’s founding father, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare is happy with the way the country has progressed in the 45 years since Independence. According to Sir Michael Somare, it was progressing just the way he had dreamt when he was advocating for Independence: «Back then, foreigners thought we will never run the affairs of our country […] But today, we have Papua New Guineans as pilots, drivers, engineers and many others […] Because the dream I had for this country, I thought everyone in PNG will be educated and will run our own country. I had these thoughts 45 years ago when I was a young man […] Today, Papua New Guinea is a proud country, » said PNG’s founding father, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare. [5]

Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare also wished Papua New Guineans a happy Independence and commended everyone for their contribution to the nation as a whole. [6]

In turn, Former PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says that «Independence Day is a time for us to reflect as a Nation, to give thanks for all that we have achieved in the past 45 years, and to make plans to get national development back on track […] We live in a country of enormous potential […] When we built roads, bridges and airports in recent years, our people immediately put these to good use and built businesses and created more jobs». Mr. O’Neil also marked that agricultural production grew, new transport companies expanded, small businesses got bigger and people right around the country benefited. «Before we hosted APEC many people around the world did not know where Papua New Guinea was, but after we had been seen in the media in every country of the world many more doors were opened for trade and development, » Mr. O’Neil said. [7] [1]

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