Solomon Islands Team Leader To Arts Fest Dies In PNG

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Director for Culture Tahimao was attending Festival of Arts

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, July 7, 2014) – The leader of the Solomon Islands team attending the 5th Melanesian Festival of Arts has died in a hotel in Port Moresby.

John Tahimao was the director for Culture in the Cultural Division, Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

He was scheduled to speak at the Melanesian Forum on Saturday under the topic of regional cultural development strategy.

However, participants and other speakers who were waiting for him to turn up soon found out that he had died the night before.

One of the participants had informed the Post-Courier that Mr Tahimao died in his hotel room and his body is currently in a morgue in the city.

The cause of his death is not known.

Meanwhile, Culture and Tourism Minister Boka Kondra expressed his sadness over Mr Tahimao’s death when making his closing remarks at the forum later in the evening.

He also noted that the forum had earlier had a few minutes of silence for the late Mr Tahimao.

According to information given by the forum program, Mr Tahimao had initially joined the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 2008 as the deputy director of the Solomon Island National Museum.

In 2009 he assumed the role of Director of the Cultural Division .

He was instrumental in the development of the country’s National Kalsa (culture) Policy that was adopted and launched in 2013 and the development of the proposed Bill on Traditional Knowledge and Expression of Culture that is waiting tabling in Parliament.

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