Fix Hela first: Namah

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OPPOSITION Leader Belden Namah yesterday told Prime Minister James Marape to first sort out the “violence” in his home province of Hela before trying to “take back PNG”.
In a diatribe directed at government policies on law and order, Namah questioned Marape in Parliament what he planned to do “to take back the towns from warlords, criminals and trigger-happy police officers”.

Rabaul MP Dr Allan Marat (left) and Opposition Leader Beldan Namah at a media conference in Port Moresby yesterday. – Nationalpic by KENNEDY BANI

In particular, Namah highlighted during a “Questions without Notice” session the July 8 massacre in Marape’s Tari-Pori district in which 24 people including children and two pregnant women were killed.
Namah asked Marape if he had visited his district since the killings and whether the perpetrators had been arrested.
He said the incident was reported here and overseas, with Marape later issuing the warning to the criminal elements: “I am coming for you”.
“Can the prime minister tell the country now if any arrests have been made?” he said.
He told Marape that if he wanted to “take back PNG”, he must first take back Tari-Pori and Hela.
Marape in reply said Tari lacked police manpower, with only 60 officers to look after more than 400,000 people.
“For a place like Tari, you do not need community police. You need operational police and prosecuting police,” he said.
“As prime minister, and because it happened in my electorate, I cannot be greedy by mobilising resources to attend to that one matter as law and order issues are prevalent in the country,” Marape said.
He however gave Namah a pat on the back as the opposition leader, and reminded MPs on the government benches to heed advice from the other side.
“We are a democracy which requires our Opposition to be at work. And he (Namah) is just doing what he is supposed to do which is very good for the country,” Marape said.
“For those of us on this side of the house, let us not take personal offence when they raise matters of public importance. I am happy he is promoting Tari in a better light for me. So let me also commend him on that.”
Marape said the July incident was still under investigation. He thanked the families of the women and children killed for refraining from payback killings and allowing police to deal with it.
Namah also took a swipe at Hela Governor Philip Undialu and Defence Force commander Brigadier-General Gilbert Toropo for their roles during a gun-surrender ceremony in the Komo-Margarima district of Hela. Namah condemned Undialu and Toropo for celebrating with locals after the surrendering of guns.
“Why are we celebrating when we are supposed to be arresting them for being in possession of these guns? What is the bigger message?
“Are we saying that you can kill with those guns then come back, surrender them and we will celebrate?” he said.


  • In my view Belden Nama needs to make statements in a more matured and senior manner, the comment on PMJM to take back tari before you can take back PNG. This is a childish comment a senior parliamentarian can make, fixiing Tari is is district duties where Namah as no right to make cynical comments. PM does’t talk to the nation about what’s going on in Vanimo green, that in my opinion is a childish personal attack. Namah and his team must provide technical and high standard arguments because taking back PNG is a national development slogan PM has put up. Namah will be one of the worse PMs this country would have if he wins the bit in the future..

  • Constructive criticism is what is needed here. Be a team player and offer solutions to such matters rather than flogging them from behind for personal gain. Take back PNG is a duty that every Papua New Guinean should positively embrace, especially you members. It should not be idiotically reduced to one particular geographical location or event just for the sake of indulging one’s personal desire. There are many problems in our country and we need you members to work together to fix them. Set you pride aside and work as a team, save PNG. Our future depends on it.

  • Taking Back PNG starts from your fire place in the sense that we all individual Papua New Guineans have to take back ourselves, our families, our tribes, our districts, our provinces and the country as a whole. Fix yourselves,your attitudes and behaviors, families, tribes, districts, provinces and in that way we are fixing our country. Belden Namah wasn’t wrong but the kind of words he choose to use here are insulting but otherwise he is a trained military man who doesn’t care about anyone but the country which he signed oath to protect regardless of whoever or whatsoever.
    Too much talking without any action is regarded as assumption and assumptions are the root of all Fuct-Ups and we must not forget that.
    Opposition Leader – Too good you are!!!

  • Respond by Mr Marape shows a national leader; not selfish with resources and he is able to stand and speak as a national leader and as such, I salute you for being our Nations’s Prime Minister. We need a leader who will think about the 8 million. It is individuals, communities, clans, etc our duty to ensure we abide by law, we do not put ourselves at risk and to remind ourselves to resolve conflicts in peaceful manners. Alot of us right through out PNG are educated, community leaders and we know the value of life – as such we know that killing is not right so those who choose to kill each other, does it have to be questioned whether parliamentarians step in to solve this??? people wake up now we are in the position to choose what suits us! if killing be the choice, do it, why do we choose to do what we do?????? THINK BIG

  • Namah childish thinking will grow older with him and he will never be a PM in this country but will be the opposition leader in his entire political carrier. As a national leader be constructive in your words and please work collaboratively for better PNG. We mandate you leaders to develop this nation but not to argue and criticize each other, the citizens are still waiting for your deliverance and not interested in your political rhetoric and fancy stories.

  • How did Mr Namah wants PM to fix Ela first? PM JM is not only a leader for Tari/Pori or Ela, he is leader for the nation. Other provinces need issues to be solved and if PM only attends to Ela then what about other national issues? Who will attend to this? Senior MP Mr Namah, try and use your head. I don’t think one day you will become PM or you’ll fix Vanimo Green. Your electorate need more service deliveries and yet you are shouting like a hawk in the tree. Fix Vanimo Green River first…..

  • lets contribute together as a citizen of this beautiful nation to take back our country. don’t point fingers to PM or whoever, individuals contribution can make big difference to take back Papua new guinea.

  • Belden has always been a very outspoken and firebrand person – one who shoots from the hip, sometimes without properly thinking things through. I would have thought he would have grown wiser and more pragmatic in his approach to problems and life in general with the passing of time, but maybe it seems some habits die hard.
    Anyway taking a swipe at the PM in the manner he did is a bit below the belt. All leaders should be focused on the general economic situation in the country as a whole and put their heads together to work out strategies on how to navigate the country out of this economic and financial quagmire the previous PM had blindly piloted the nation into.

  • Talking like a childish will never make any potential difference in the history of PNG politics. Namah will never be PM any one time till he close the chapter of his political dilemma. Talk in a sensible way which will have national impact.

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