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By Philip Dowa

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Mar. 10) – Morobe Governor Luther Wenge yesterday called for the resignation of Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare for what he described as "mishandling the affairs of the nation".

Wenge also said he wants Police Minister Bire Kimisopa and Chief Secretary to Government Joshua Kalinoe removed over the "embarrassing Australian proposal that is intended to weaken the national security".

He described these men as "weak leaders" for agreeing to the posting of Australian officials in key government departments. They do not represent the true interest of Papua New Guineans, he said.

Mr Wenge also strongly objected to the plan to give immunity to Australian officials, saying it was the Australians who invited themselves into the country without PNG asking them.

"We are not a failed state and Australians have no right to dictate what is right and wrong for PNG," Mr Wenge said.

He stressed that they have no right to overlook PNG laws and impose their own standard.

"Three soldiers from the U.S. were imprisoned in Japan for raping a girl. If the U.S., which is a powerful country and its soldiers can be treated under the Japanese law even when they were invited by Japan, why should the Australians be treated differently?"

He said from what he was reading and hearing in the news media, he believes that Australia and New Zealand have a hidden agenda to take over the Pacific Island nations.

Mr Wenge said PNG’s friends from Europe and Asia are willing to come in and help in the development process if Australia pulls out.

March 11, 2004

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