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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (September 14, 1999 – AAP/The National)---Many Papua New Guinean men were too drunk to work and women often failed to turn up at their jobs because they had been beaten up, Parliament Speaker Bernard Narokobi said yesterday.

In a statement to mark the country's 24th independence anniversary, Mr. Narokobi said he was concerned about PNG's "national behavior."

"Our lack of personal discipline and self-control lead many of us to excessive use of alcohol and violence," Mr. Narokobi said.

"Often men are too drunk to go to work. Women are too busy nursing wounds inflicted on them by their husbands or boyfriends to go to work."

Mr. Narokobi described alcohol abuse as easily PNG's "number one enemy" and said PNG's lack of respect for guns was the "nation's terror."

He said the life of Papua New Guineans would not improve unless the people improved their moral integrity and self-control.

He also said PNG cultural practices, including funeral ceremonies, the payment of bride prices and constant claims for compensation were eating into people's wages, leaving them with nothing to create new wealth or improve the quality of life.

For additional reports from The National, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The National (Papua New Guinea).

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