NEW BRITAIN GOVERNOR ASKED TO APOLOGIZE TO HIS PEOPLE, JAPAN, U.S. ANDPNG GOVERNMENT

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NEW BRITAIN
GOVERNOR ASKED TO APOLOGIZE TO HIS PEOPLE, JAPAN, U.S. AND PNG GOVERNMENT

NEW BRITAIN, Papua New Guinea (October 27, 1999 – Post-Courier)--- Former East New Britain Premier Sinai Brown yesterday called on Governor Francis Koimanrea to apologize to the people of the province for embarrassing them "a second time'' last Friday.

Mr. Brown also called on the Governor to apologize to the people of Japan and the United States and the Papua New Guinea Government.

He spoke out after a report yesterday highlighted how Mr. Koimanrea had kept dignitaries waiting two hours without giving an excuse and later wanting to re-present his speech, which earlier had been delivered on his behalf by a member of his cabinet.

The occasion was the official opening of a new radio station by Japanese Ambassador Tatsuo Tanaka and Communications Minister Peter Waieng. Also present was U.S. Ambassador Arma Jane Karaer, NBC and provincial government officials.

Mr. Brown said the first occasion of embarrassment was when Mr. Koimanrea stood for the prime ministership claiming it was what the people of the province had wanted him to do.

"Nobody in this province knew about his motives until we learned about it in the press,'' he said.

"What happened on Friday was a protocol disaster, not known or experienced before in this province,'' he said.

Mr. Brown, who was Premier of the province for more than 10 years, said there should be no excuse for turning up very late.

"He was the host and should have been the first one there to receive the guests, no matter what happened,'' he said.

He said in other countries, the governor would have been forced to step down. The governor should not have tried to repeat his speech, since somebody had already delivered it.

"He should not have even asked the American Ambassador for money,'' Mr. Brown said.

Due to protocol procedures, the two ambassadors would say they did not mind and were not troubled by his actions, but "deep inside, they must think we are an ungrateful lot."

Mr. Brown was not officially involved with the opening of the studio, but said he did not mind as most of the projects being undertaken such as the studio, Tokua airport and the new four-lane road were part of the original package negotiated by him as Premier and other key officials.

Mr. Brown, now a businessman, said such actions were lowering the good status of the province, which he and other past leaders had built up.

The Governor's office at Vunadidir could not be reached for comment yesterday, while officials from the Japanese Embassy were in a meeting and unavailable for comment.

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

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