Govt warned to ignore autonomy calls

National, Normal

The National, Friday 12th April, 2013

 A LAE businessman has warned the O’Neill government not to entertain any more demands for autonomy from other provinces. 

Kandaso Napi said the government must not bow down to pressure from any provincial or regional groupings who are thinking of following the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

He said that Bougainville had a special case that led to the granting of autonomy. 

“If other provinces are allowed autonomy, all provinces would follow the suit and this would be problematic,” he said.

“The last thing we want is a disintegrated country ruled by 22 or so tyrants and warlords. 

“Many governors and others in authority who come from resource-rich provinces continue to think that they can run their own affairs and manage their finances better without the government which is overstaffed by lazy public servants who do not carry out government directives, policies and the law in ensuring that these provinces receive what is rightfully theirs. 

“This may be true but they must always put the interests and welfare of PNG and its people by taking into consideration what is stipulated in our constitution and the chain reactions that would ensue if they do succeed in their selfish push for self-rule.” 

“Wouldn’t it be logical for these leaders to  try to change the laws governing the distribution and management of funds derived from these resources to suit themselves instead of dividing PNG into states?”

No single tribe or group should egocentrically lay 100% claim to these resources as they are mere custodians of the land on which their ancestors first settled when they discovered that particular island area during their seafaring and nomadic days. 

“The resources are a creation and blessing of God for all to benefit. The landowners and provincial governments on whose land resources are discovered only have a partial right to these resources as custodians and therefore, they must not demand and hold the people of PNG to ransom by pressuring the National Government for autonomy and other forms of self-rule to pursue their parochial interests.”

Napi added that the national government should instead promote and encourage the country’s ever increasing teenage population to look beyond their ethnic, local, provincial and regional lines to grasp the opportunities for creating a united and peaceful PNG.