Confusion reigns over Remembrance Day holiday in AROB

While the rest of PNG were working yesterday (July 25), the Autonomous Region of Bougainville was on public holiday.

This major confusion silently went unnoticed. It was also in breach of the Public Service Standing Orders of Papua New Guinea.

Remembrance Day fell on Saturday, July 23, according to the Standing Orders. There shouldn’t be any break on Monday unless a public holiday falls on a Sunday. Like Easter Sunday, the holiday is on a Monday.

According to a circular received by Loop PNG in Buka from the Bougainville Administration, last Saturday was a public holiday, Monday was marked as a public holiday as well (in lieu of holiday falling on a weekend) and Tuesday (today) is a normal working day.

The circular was addressed to all acting secretaries, district managers, Bougainville administration and business houses, including banks, post offices, etc.

Amazingly, all state-owned enterprises were open on Monday.  The post office was open with the bank, including the biggest business on the island, Jomik Trading.

This mix-up has angered former BRA General Sam Kauona, who said a big loss was made yesterday. And the pay per hourly count has also gone to waste.

“They have big respect for the PNG Remembrance Day and did nothing about our UDI (Unilateral Declaration of Independence). Such is a one-sided affair. We made appointments and to our surprise, we came to see offices closed,” Kauona said.

“Those who are responsible for this confusion must be scrutinised and disciplined for making a mockery out of the Bougainville administration,” he said.

(The Remembrance Day being observed in Port Moresy last Saturday.)

Peter Tseraha