By Colin Taimbari

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Nov. 3) - Two Sepik members of parliament have brushed aside comments that the proposed radio station, Central Sepik FM in Maprik, would divide the East Sepik province.

Local Maprik MP and Works Minister Gabriel Kapris and Ambunti/Drekikir MP Tony Aimo said the FM station was a major development for the central Sepik area after 38 years of neglect.

Mr Aimo said it was only proper and fair that such vital services are not concentrated in Wewak, but distributed to the districts.

He said the electorates of Ambunti-Drekikir, Yangoru-Saussia, Maprik and Wosera-Gawi would all benefit from the service.

"We, the new breed of leaders, have vision and creativity and as politicians we are delivering and the people are excited. They are happy that they are now seen results. They are now seen developments," he said.

The MPs were responding to comments by East Sepik provincial administration press spokesman Bruce Samban, who claimed building the station in Maprik would divide the province, adding that it should be built in Wewak.

However, Mr Kapris said such comments are very shallow and uncalled for because the radio would benefit far more people, especially in the rural areas.

"There's no hidden agenda to break away (from the rest of East Sepik) and Mr Samban should know that as a former premier," he said.

He said equipment for the K300,000 station was already on the ground in Maprik and its 60 meter tower can allow for EM TV and digital mobile telephone services for the five electorates.

Mr Kapris said with Papindo building a K1.2 million supermarket in Maprik, people will not travel 3-4 hours to Wewak for shopping or other basic services and risked being robbed or even killed.

"So these are real tangible developments for the area after so many years of neglect. It's not about moving the provincial headquarter of East Sepik province to Maprik, that's not our intention," he said. 

November 3, 2003

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