Vanuatu Law Reform Committee mourns for late Sir Michael

The Vanuatu Law Reform Commission (VLRC) has conveyed its heartfelt condolence to the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission (CLRC) and the people of PNG for the death of the late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare.

Head of VLRC Lawson Jack Samuel in his email to CLRC Secretary Dr. Mange Matui, said the hearts of the VLRC staff are with Papua New Guinea at this time of sorrow. 

“I have been watching the proceedings at the national haus cry for the last nine nights, and I could not holdback free-flowing tears and It is very hard indeed not to, especially for someone who is not only from Sepik or PNG but a true leader of Melanesia,” Mr Samuel said.

He acknowledged PNG’s fatherly figure role to Vanuatu in their quest for independence and freedom when PNG deployed soldiers in 1980 to stop rebel elements from disrupting Vanuatu’s transition from a colony to an independent sovereign nation.

Mr Samuel said the loss of the Grand Chief is the loss of a library of information and knowledge for the people of Melanesia, describing it as a “difficult vacuum” to fill. 

 “The challenge is on us to carry on that legacy in our national roles to congregate people of diversity in achieving our goals and objectives as one people, one solwora (ocean),” he said.

Dr Matui thanked Mr Samuel and his staff for their heartening gesture in the true Melanesian spirit, adding that the passing of the Grand Chief is not only uniting Papua New Guineans but fellow Melanesians and other Pacific Islanders in the region as well. 

Salome Vincent