UNIVERSITY of Technology Vice-Chancellor Dr Misty Baloiloi yesterday challenged Papua New Guineans to accept responsibility for creating a future for our children.
Dr Baloiloi said the challenge for all Papua New Guineans in 34th Independence anniversary is to recognise that “the responsibility for creating a better future for us and our children is ours”.
Dr Baloiloi was the guest of honour and main speaker at the Lae Independence anniversary celebrations yesterday.
He said: “Our public life is always a reflection of our spiritual and moral values.
“Sadly, the political and commercial culture that we have today is reflecting our worst values of abuse of power and authority for self gain and profiteering at the expense of the masses.
“Our children have now become the objects of our fears and our shame, instead of being the objects of our hopes and pride,” Dr Baloiloi said.
He acknowledged that despite many challenges and difficulties faced by PNG in inheriting the political and economic structure and system from its colonisers the young nation had survived and had been able to maintain a democratic system of government for 34 years.
He challenged citizens to toil the land and build the nation and not become “rent collectors”.
Dr Baloiloi told the people of Lae: “Being poor and living in poverty does not necessarily generate violence.
“It is the loss of individual and communal hope that creates violence.
“We are now experiencing what the great civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King Jr warned about decades ago – that there is nothing more dangerous than to build a society, with a large segment of people in that society, feeling that they have no stake in it; who feel that they have nothing to lose.
“People who have a stake in their society protect that society, but when they don’t, they unconsciously destroy it.”