National repentance day

Letters

THE National Repentance Day that falls on Aug 26 every year is a national public holiday that is duly sanctioned by the National Parliament.
However, our good friends from the United Nations (UN) system in PNG do not respect this very important day in our nation’s calendar.
Instead the UN take two Muslim holidays in PNG to observe the start of Ramadan and end of it. It seems the UN forgets that PNG is by constitution a professed Christian nation.
We have nothing against Muslims or any other regions and beliefs.
But given that you are operating in PNG, constitutionally Christian, you would have the courtesy to respect the country, the people, and our belief system.
The nationals who are working in the UN are given the option to either be at work or take annual leave to attend National Repentance day’s events.
I understand this has been raised by national staff on numerous occasions to replace a Muslim holiday with the National Repentance day but never gain any traction.
From what I understand, the United Nations system is operating in the country at the request of the Government for the various UN agencies and programmes.
Part of the condition is to support the government in technical areas and observe the laws, rules and customs of the country, even if you don’t like it.
But they continue to defy an important public holiday observed across the country for many years.
I would like to request the Minister for Foreign Affairs to summons the UN Resident Representative to explain why they continue to disrespect our National Repentance day?
The UN is made of all the member states and country offices are only an outpost or secretariat.
The continual disrespect of a duly sanctioned national holiday is a total disregard of the host country.

Digani Nosanamba
Waigani, NCD

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