By Online Editor
For 38 years after Independence, we in Papua New Guinea (PNG) struggled as a nation to find our footing in this world, not that we never did, but at one stage, we were sure of it. I’m sure that when our forefathers, those who sat and wrote our beautiful constitution had a vision for our country and what it would be like today. They knew about the despair and loneliness of the urban cities, they saw people’s happiness and social security being diminished in the name of economic development, that human society became alienated as a the result of the current system. And that is why they cautioned us to be careful about the kind of development we bring into our resource full and beautiful country, and that every development should be pursued only through careful consideration of the consequences upon the social and spiritual fabric of our people. They warned us that for every development that takes place, we must first think of the well being of our people and what this development will do to our people, in every aspect of their lives, socially, economically and spiritually. That includes every woman and men, daughters and sons, bubu man’s (grandfathers) and bubu meri’s (grandmothers), our children and our children’s children, all citizens of this nation. It doesn’t matter what status they have in the community, whether they live in our cities or towns or the most remotest place in PNG, formally educated or not, all of our people matter! That is our cultural norm; we respect and take care of our people! That is our Melanesian way, one of our traits that identify us.
Today we hear of all kinds of violence against our mothers and sisters, we hear about brutless killings in our streets, we know of greed and corrupt dealings within our government system, we hear of billion kina investments in our country with no evidence of benefits to show, we see the destruction on our land, our forest and even our seas. We see the peril of such rapid exploitation of our natural resources and yet our leaders are ignorant of the fact that our small island country is slowly loosing all its natural wealth and beauty. We may one day wake up to see deserts and deserts of land, bare of trees, and huge craters where minerals were extracted from and our river systems polluted by mining activities and void of life and our children not having the opportunity to experience the beauty of it all.
And waiting for the government to wake up and save us may not happen in our lifetime. The system has confused their minds. We, as people of this nation need to start taking back our land and resources. Take it all back. And if we must use it, we must use it according to our own ways, with respect and consideration for the benefit of our community and our people. We need to wake up now and reclaim our future.