Fix Hela first: Namah

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By REBECCA KUKU
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.

12 comments

  • 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

  • PMJM is very open and friendly in receiving and responding to the question raised by Opposition leader Belden Namah.PMJM is a very concerned father and open minded with caring heart,who has that ability of equal distribution of abundant resources.As a result,having the desire of concerning to his people,he has to be critical,analytical and equal.Therefore,”take back PNG” is a slogan what PNG is after.Good respond PMJM and question Opposition leader BN.

  • Prime Minister JamesMarape is a virtuous and visionary leader unlike Peter O’neill as he (PMJM) is taking affairs at national level first. Thats right! We must trim our backyard first before we go out, we must not be hypocrites or great pretenders lets do some thing realistically attainabe and achievable not fantasizing all the time. A job well done PM jAMES MARAPE.

  • We all should stand together as one nation, one country and one people to take back PNG and it is not only to do with the Parliamentarians but civil societies as a whole.

    • PM is the game player to take back PNG, but he needs supporters to support him kicked the ball into the net, to take back PNG… civil societies must stand together, no matter (ethnicity, tribalism, regionalism, provincialism, etc.) to ensure PNG become what PM wants it be.

  • 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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