Sir Michael leaves hospital, expected in PNG this week

National, Normal

The National, Monday, May 16, 2011

PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare has been discharged from hospital and is expected back in the country this week.
Family members told The National last night that Sir Michael was discharged from a hospital in Singapore at the weekend and, when he had regained his strength, he would board the plane to Papua New Guinea.
According to family spokesperson Betha Somare, the prime minister “is okay”.
The reassurance came as rumours over the weekend spread of Sir Michael’s demise.
But, Sir Michael’s family members who are with him in Singapore, said the recovery “is slow because of his age”.
His son Arthur Somare also said in an interview with EMTV that Sir Michael was on his way to recovery and could be back home anytime shortly.
The Papua New Guinea Trade Union Congress had slammed doomsayers who were spreading the rumours on the prime minister’s health.
Congress general secretary John Paska said the prophets of doom had no decency and respect for a fellow human being by spreading such nonsense.
“We condemn such people in the strongest term and urge law enforcement authorities to investigate such people and bring them to justice,” he said.
Paska said the prime minister had done a lot for this country with more than 42 years of uninterrupted service to the people and the nation.
He said Sir Michael had undergone an operation and appealed to everyone to pray for his recovery instead of spreading unfounded rumours.
A statement from former health minister Sir Peter Barter on Saturday dismissed rumours on Sir Michael’s well-being.
“His family’s with him and they’ve asked people to stop making up such stories,” he said.
Sir Peter said the Somare family needed everyone’s support to pray for Sir Michael’s full recovery.
PNG Vision 2050 senior officer Joseph Sukwianomb said in a text message that the rumours were of a malicious nature.
He said the prime minister’s condition “is stable, and he will need our prayers”.
“Keep the spirit of prayers going,” Sukwianomb said.
It was understood that chief secretary Margaret Elias had arrived in Singapore.