PNG'S PRIME MINISTER SIR MEKERE CALLS FOR EFFORTS TO REBUILD IN 25TH

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ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE SPEECH

By Richard Dinnen

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (September 16, 2000 – Radio Australia)---Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta has called for a redoubling of efforts to rebuild and further develop the nation.

The call was made at celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of PNG's independence from Australia.

Sir Mekere Morauta gave the keynote address at the main Independence Day celebration at the Sir John Guise stadium in Port Moresby.

He said independence had freed Papua New Guineans from the old colonial masters, but real freedom won't be achieved until all people have proper and equitable access to health and education and the opportunity of a decent income.

Sir Mekere called for frank recognition of the country's failures from which lessons can be learned and a better future shaped.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

 

PAPUA NEW GUINEA SILVER JUBILEE: NEW BANK NOTES TO CELEBRATE ANNIVERSARY

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (September 16, 2000 - The National/PINA Nius Online)---The Governor of the Bank of Papua New Guinea, Wilson Kamit, has announced the release of new Papua New Guinea Silver Jubilee bank notes to commemorate the country's independence anniversary celebrations.

The new K2, K5, K10, K20 and bank notes retain all existing design elements, including size and security features. The one significant modification is the overprinting of the PNG Silver Jubilee logo on the front of all the notes in full color.

The central bank is also issuing limited quantities of K2 folders and K2 uncut full sheets as special commemorative issues.

Mr. Kamit said the Bank expects to raise K 50,000 (US$ 18,925) as profits from the sale of the numismatic items, which it will donate to the National Events Council in acknowledgement of the importance of the occasion to PNG.

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

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

 

PAPUA NEW GUINEA CELEBRATES 25TH INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY

By Richard Dinnen

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (September 17, 2000 – Radio Australia)---Papua New Guinea's 25th independence anniversary celebrations are continuing with tens of thousands of people taking part across the country.

A host of foreign dignitaries are in the capital, Port Moresby, for the occasion.

Indonesia's Vice President, Megawatu Sukarnoputri, is the highest ranking of the foreign VIPs.

Australia is represented by Senator Robert Hill.

A dawn flag raising ceremony began the proceedings followed by a daylong commemorative function at Port Moresby's Sir John Guise stadium.

Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta told the large crowd he remains confident PNG can resolve the many problems that have beset it over its first 25 years.

He called for a redoubling of the effort to bring basic services, such as health and education, to all Papua New Guineans.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

 

PAPUA NEW GUINEA SILVER JUBILEE: VOLCANIC ASH CLOUDS RABAUL CELEBRATIONS

By Jack Metta

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (September 16, 2000 - The National/PINA Nius Online)---Ashfall over the past couple of weeks has shrouded the township in a mist of gray dust and ashes, forcing the local Silver Jubilee events council to shift activities from Rabaul to Kokopo.

Council chairman Boas Koro said it was regretful that the venue had to be shifted, but there is little hope of the ash fall from Mt. Tavurvur relenting during the next couple of days.

Six years ago - days after the province celebrated PNG's 19th anniversary of independence from Australian rule – Mt. Tavurvur and Mt. Vulcan erupted, burying most of Rabaul town under tons of ashes. It forced a large scale repatriation of residents to resettlement estates in the hinterlands of the Gazelle Peninsula.

Mt. Vulcan has since become dormant while Mt. Tavurvur seems to be reminding all and sundry that its sixth anniversary of eruption is on Tuesday.

Its relentless emissions to date has prompted the Rabaul Volcanic Observatory to warn people to avoid as much as possible the ash fall and dust.

In a public appeal to the people of East New Britain over Radio East New Britain, Assistant Director of the Rabaul Volcanological Observatory Ima Itikarai said: "Sulphuric and other chemical emissions from the volcano is harmful if inhaled in large quantities." People, therefore, should wear protective clothing and masks.

He said the increased activity on Mt. Tavurvur is due to a build up in gases inside the volcano. That is why the volcano is spewing ashes rather than solid organic matters.

Those areas directly affected are Rabaul town, Malaguna, Nodup, Tavui, Nonga, Toleap and the north coast area.

An assembly of floats, speeches by local dignitaries, choir items by various groups, presentation of Silver Jubilee of Independence Awards, traditional singing, sports, a dinner, a ball and a fireworks display have now been moved to Kokopo.

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

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

 

PAPUA NEW GUINEA SILVER JUBILEE: 'YOU HAVEN'T BLOWN UP LIKE FIJI OR SOLOMONS'

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (September 16, 2000 - Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---Well-known author on Papua New Guinea affairs and former kiap James Sinclair has expressed confidence that there is a bright future ahead for this country.

Arriving with his wife Jean to join in the Silver Jubilee of Independence celebrations as a guest, Mr. Sinclair said while PNG still had problems to get over, he believed the country would succeed in the end.

"It hasn’t been as good as we’d all like. Everybody knows about the problems that Papua New Guinea’s got but, on the other hand, here you are. You haven¹t blown up like Fiji or Solomons," he said. "Democracy still prevails; rule of law still prevails; power changes hands in a democratic way.

"³People are only too glad to criticize Papua New Guinea, but the fact remains, you are trying hard and you’re still trying, and for somebody who’s been associated with the country for 52 years, I come up here and I still love the place and I still love the people.

"I have the utmost confidence that in the long run it will still work out."

Mr. Sinclair, who last served as district commissioner of the Eastern Highlands just before independence in 1975, has written 26 books on various topics about PNG.

Now a resident of Queensland, Australia, he has been a regular visitor to the country. Mr Sinclair said he had a strong attachment to PNG because of his long background.

"I met my wife up here and my children were all born here, so while I’m living in Queensland, I never really left Papua New Guinea," he said.

"When I was a schoolboy, I came across some books written by some old time field officers, and right from the time I can remember, all I wanted to do was come up to Papua New Guinea.

"I was 20 years of age when I did. Here I am, riding 73 and still here yet. I’ve lived in this country 30 years and I spent my whole time, full-time writing books about Papua New Guinea."

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

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

 

PAPUA NEW GUINEA SILVER JUBILEE: AUSTRALIA'S GIFT: SPORTING MILLIONS

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (September 16, 2000 - Radio Australia/PINA Nius Online)---Australia is giving Papua New Guinea an AUS$ 3 million sports program to celebrate the nation's Silver Jubilee of Independence from Australia, Radio Australia reported today.

Australia's Prime Minister, John Howard, says Australia is proud to have had a role in fostering Papua New Guinea's nationhood and bringing about its independence 25 years ago.

The Silver Jubilee Sports Program is worth AUS$ 3 million over four years to develop community based sports and recreation activities.

It also includes some short-term scholarships at the Institute of Sport in Canberra.

Mr. Howard says Australia remains as committed as ever to an independent, prosperous and self-confident Papua New Guinea.

Celebrations will continue in Papua New Guinea today.

Festivals and cultural shows are being held across the country to celebrate the milestone.

The celebrations began yesterday at Ela beach in Port Moresby, where thousands of people gathered for singing, dancing and canoe races.

Radio Australia's Richard Dinnen reported large crowds have gathered at festivals and cultural shows across the country.

He said: "Here in Port Moresby, large crowds have turned out at Ela Beach and the Hubert Murray stadium for performances by traditional dance groups, parades, canoe races and even a performance by Chinese gymnasts.

"Across Papua New Guinea, similar events are being held in thousands of towns and villages. The main event occurs ... on the actual anniversary date. Leaders and visiting foreign dignitaries will attend a commemorative ceremony at Independence Hill, close to the PNG Parliament.

"There's great enthusiasm for these celebrations. One man told me they're bigger than the Sydney Olympics -- which he referred to as the sports carnival down south."

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

 

PAPUA NEW GUINEA CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (September 15, 2000 - The National/PINA Nius Online)---There were echoes of Papua New Guinea's Independence Day at Jackson's Airport this week as dignitaries and overseas residents long associated with PNG began arriving in Port Moresby for the 25th anniversary of independence.

A high-level delegation from China came earlier in the week, followed on Tuesday by Senator Robert Hill representing the Australian government.

And then one of PNG's legendary figures arrived - Dame Rachel Cleland, whose husband Sir Donald was the longest serving post war Australian administrators of the twin territories of Papua and New Guinea.

A respected author, Dame Rachel is one of the few living links with the early days of the post war Australian administration. She lived in PNG for more than 27 years.

Indonesian Vice-President Megawati Sukarnoputri was due in next. Today the busts of two of the founding fathers of Indonesia will be unveiled at noon at the National Botanical Gardens - including one of Ms. Megawati's father, former Indonesian President Sukarno.

As in 1975, overseas journalists and cameramen have also begun to arrive in Port Moresby, this time to record the nation's Silver Jubilee celebrations.

Included in a crowded agenda of events and activities, there will be a firework display tonight beginning at 6:45 on Paga Hill overlooking the capital.

Saturday, Independence Day, will begin at 5:30 a.m. with the raising of the flag on Independence Hill overlooking the nation's Parliament House.

For much of the day the center of activity will be the Sir John Guise Stadium, which will host the Nation on Parade program beginning at 9:00 a.m.

At 10:25 a.m. the Royal Australian Airforce will honor PNG's independence with a fly-past, and the Prime Minister will deliver the Silver Jubilee keynote address to the nation at 10:45 a.m.

Pageants and traditional dancing figure strongly in the day's activities.

The flag will be lowered at Sir John Guise Stadium at 4:00 p.m., to be followed by a pageant, and the Governor General will give his Silver Jubilee address at 5:35 p.m.

More fireworks will signal the 25th anniversary of independence at 7:15 p.m., just as they did on September 16, 1975.

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

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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