Simet suspended over Noumea trip debacle

National, Normal


CULTURE, Arts and Tourism Minister Guma Wau has sidelined his first secretary and National Cultural Commission director Dr Jacob Simet last week.
Wau did this after he was excluded by Simet and other delegates from the Cultural Commission during their trip to Noumea, New Caledonia, for 4th Melanesian Arts and Cultural Festival which was held on Sept 12.
A frustrated Wau sidelined his officer and then wrote to Simet on Sept 14 to inform him of his suspension.
Simet was also asked to explain why he (Wau), as the minister, had been left out from the trip.
“I accepted the invitation for this official trip but my final preparation, including my itinerary and travelling allowances, were not  prepared on time and even a date change for travel was not mentioned to me,” he said.
Wau said he was disappointed that as minister responsible he was not present at the festival to even cut the ribbon for PNG to be the host of the 5th Melanesian Arts and Cultural Festival in 2015.
“It is very frustrating that the PNG government was not represented in this festival,” he said.
Wau also questioned why he was asked to travel on a commercial flight while Simet and his delegation from the National Cultural Commission travelled on a chartered plane to New Caledonia.
Wau has given him seven days to reply.