04/05/2012 16:30


President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government John Momis gave the keynote address at the celebration of ‘Media Freedom Day’ at Divine Word University in Madang this morning on the theme “Challenges to Media in A New Environment.”

“This a favorable time for Papua New Guinea – he said – in spite of present difficulties and struggles”. He commended the Trade Unions, the students, the Churches and the NGOs for standing up against a Parliament that had ceased to recognize the Constitution as the supreme law of the country. “But the Constitution is not a document drafted by foreigners – as Deputy Prime minister Belden Namah affirmed sometime ago – Momis said; rather we finalized it after the largest consultation exercise ever undertaken in the country”. John Momis is now one of the few surviving constitutional fathers. “We even delayed the independence process - he added – in order to make sure that all sectors of society would be consulted and involved”.

But now Momis can see a new form of colonialism “by black men”, regularly bribed, and who do not hesitate to trade the dignity, the resourses ad even the life of their people for personal benefits. “They manipulate the purpose of political parties and state institutions; and ironically the people they betray and exploit are the same that elect them in office”, he noted.

Media also risk aligning with opportunists and exploiters when they do not denounce the rogue connection between foreign investors and national leaders. But they cannot do it when they are owned and controlled by the same political and financial powers.

According to Momis, new political leaders must be educated enough to understand the modern world and to lead the transition from ‘independence’ to ‘interdependence’. People cannot live without others, and countries as well. However, interdependence must be respectful of people’s resources, rights and life: “Politicians should not be allowed to develop personal estates abroad with public funds since their people have no money for health and school fees”, Momis lamented.  (CBC Communications 040512)