ON behalf of Manus citizens studying, working and living outside the island province, I would like to congratulate governor elect Charlie Benjamin and Member elect Job Pomat for their victory in the general election.
I would also like to thank the people on the island for mandating both men to represent us in the next five years.
At this juncture, I would like to appeal to the Peoples National Congress (PNC) party to please consider our elected leaders and our people’s aspirations with an elevated interest, especially when considering the significant role this particular province plays as we share a common international border with three countries.
These are only two of the multibillion dollar products Papua New Guinea misses out on due to international theft and there’s nothing we can do about it unless we the island dwellers are adequately equipped with fast boats and arms to provide a ‘coast guard’ type of operation along the border stretching from Indonesia to the west, Northern Marianas to the north and Kiribati to the east.
Our local population in far flung islands, atolls, sand dunes and submerged reefs have reported time and again the presence of foreign ‘fast boats’ with heavy artillery threatening our local fishermen who can only stand and watch with gaping mouth while the intruders escape with fish, clam shells, trochers and sea cucumber.
Our people are natural seafaring people and we are willing to assist government agencies police our ocean but we are handicapped.
The Manus people on the island and throughout Papua New Guinea and the world are denied our rights to freely travel between the Admiralty Islands and the Papua New Guinea mainland due to the non-availability of reliable sea transport since Lutheran Shipping ceased its operation to and from Manus.
Action should be taken for a viable sea vessel which can be subsidised by the provincial or national government to serve our island populations as far west as the Vuvulu islands.
The airfare charged by Air Niugini is very expensive.