The National- Tuesday, January 25, 2011
By JUNIOR UKAHA
MORE than 200 people turned up at the Bomana Correctional Service staff training college yesterday to participate in a remembrance ceremony held by the Correctional Services of Papua New Guinea.
The event was held to remember Correctional Service (CS) officers who lost their lives during the course of their duties.
The ceremony started at 10am with a remembrance march by CS officers followed by speeches from invited dignitaries and the laying of wreaths to remember fallen officers.
CS Minister and Ambunti- Dreikikir MP Tony Aimo, who gave the keynote address at the gathering, said that the fate that met the warders during the course of their duties were acts of selflessness and love for PNG.
“These are heroic gestures of humbleness, commitment and dedication to their jobs; nobody should forget that,” Aimo said.
“Regrettably, I do not have records with me to acknowledge and pay tribute individually to those fallen officers,” he added.
CS commissioner, Richard Sikani, who made the opening remarks, said that many warders have lost their lives while executing their jobs as officers of the disciplined force.
He said some officers lost their lives while moving detainees from one prison to another while others lost their lives during prison riots and yet others lost their lives during national duty call-outs.
Sikani cited the 10-year Bougainville conflict as the worst case in CS history where warders, including civilians, were massacred by the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA).
A survivor of the Bougainville CS massacre, Supt Michael Waipo, 67, of East Sepik recounted the 1990 Kuveria Jail killings at Arawa.
On that day four warders lost their lives and other civilians and warders were injured.
He said the experience was deadly as they (CS officers) were ill-armed and outnumbered by the rebels; however, they managed to fight back with courage and determination to save themselves.
The CS commissioner saluted Waipo and other officers who were engaged in missions throughout PNG and said though it was 21 years since the Kuveria massacre.
The remembrance ceremony and the laying of wreaths signified the historic tradition of the CS to ponder on the hard work and love their fallen brothers and sisters have committed to the nation as members of the disciplined force.