The National – Monday, July 4th 2011
IT has been a while since I touched on all matters political.
I believe Sir Michael Thomas Somare’s departure from the political scene is viewed with a tinge of sadness.
Papua New Guinea politics will miss a fire-brand politician and perhaps one of the best at relating to people across the socio-economic and political spectrum.
There is no doubt he was able to mobilise support and galvanise public opinion to influence national and international affairs in PNG and the South Pacific region.
It is a pity he will no longer play a role as we move full steam ahead with major developmental projects such as the LNG projects in SHP and Western.
Sir Michael danced beautifully through the negative criticisms to lead us to Independence and later through the neatly cultivated lawns of Parliament House as regional member for East Sepik.
It was a beautifully choreographed dance – a mixture of vision, hard-nosed political insights and instincts combined with a dedication and commitment to follow the beat of political kundu drum.
Given his ability and capacity to adapt to the different dances of the four regions – southern, NGI, Momase and highlands – also allow others to participate and be part of development and prosperity.
Sir Michael belonged to an era in which the nation saw the rise of some PNG’s brightest political stars such as Sir John Guise, Sir Albert Mari Kiki, Sir Obia Olewale and Sir Kingsford Dibela among others.
This also saw the rise of its diplomatic elite such as Gabriel Dusava, Sir Kina Bona, Lucy Bogari, Peter Donigi and Michael Maue.
Sir Michael’s contribution to politics in PNG and his service to the Commonwealth will long be remembered with many firsts.
As he leaves the political scene, I would like to pay tribute to him:
“It is sad you are leaving the political scene given that there are few political fire-brands in the house. Our nation needs leaders who can and must use the art of politics to make what appears to be impossible, possible. And not use the art of politics to make what appears to be possible, impossible.