Grand Chief

Sir Michael lie in state

At around 10 am the coffin arrived at the Parliament house, where the casket draped with the PNG Flag was carried and escorted by pallbearers who are members of the disciplinary forces, from the entrance of the Parliament House, and into the Parliament Grand Hall. 

The body will lay in state as the Parliament conduct a special parliamentary sitting in honor of the Grand Chief. 

The coffin was received by Parliament Speaker Job Pomat. 

Governor General, Sir Bob Dadae and Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika are part of today’s proceedings. 

GG to visit Enga

The Governor General will be received by Governor Sir Peter Ipatas on arrival in Wabag and to a guard of honour at the Provincial Assembly Hall and later in the evening, attend a State dinner hosted by the Enga Governor.

The Governor General will visit Take Anda Enga Museum, tour the Sirunki Agricultural Farm and pay a visit to Enga College of Nursing and the new Enga Provincial Hospital construction site.

The feeling of triumph, jubilation

During the flag lowering ceremony in Port Moresby yesterday, Governor General Bob Dadae said for the first time ever, the spirit of unity and oneness dismissed all doubts and fears of succeeding as a new nation.

“The passion to now be identified as a Papua New Guinean was demonstrated in many areas – in politics, education and academic attainment and sports. The shared determination to excel was driven by the strong passion to stand tall and to be counted as a proud Papua New Guinean,” said the GG.

Somare: PNG-China relationship still strong

Grand Chief, Sir Micheal Somare, said this on Wednesday night, when recalling the establishment of this diplomatic relationship.

He said PNG was the first in the Pacific to establish this, while other countries were still figuring out communist China’s globalisation move.

Sir Michael signed an MOU with China then, a move he says he does not regret to date.

PNG has continued this partnership as China emerged from nowhere to being a powerful developed nation to date, he said.

“And PNG is greatly honoured for this relationship,” said Somare.

Somare’s wisdom and knowledge to be missed

Prime Minister O’Neill said this when acknowledging Sir Michael’s final speech in Parliament today.

O’Neill said Parliament will be a different place when it convenes after the National Elections.

He said today’s sitting marked a milestone for the country and Sir Michael as the curtain came down on his illustrious political career.

“Honorable Members, I thank the Grand Chief, Sir Michael Somare, for his contribution to Papua New Guinea, to the National Parliament, and for guiding us to Independence.

Grand Chief Somare to boycott Parliament farewell

This will certainly disrupt Parliament when it resumes on Tuesday.   

National Events and Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko confirmed to Loop PNG that Tuesday’s Parliament’s business is dedicated to farewell Papua New Guinea’s first Prime Minister.

Tkatchenko said when parliament sits; Sir Michael will make his farewell speech as a Member of Parliament before Prime Minister, Opposition Leader and Speaker make their reply.

Somare urges NA to have fighting spirit

In his final speech to NA on Friday in Port Moresby, Sir Michael also advised the party and its members to work together for the common good of the country.

“Spirit bilong fait i mas stap wantaim yupela National Alliance,” said the Grand Chief. (National Alliance must have a fighting spirit).

He added: “Don’t let your country down.”

Sir Michael also highlighted the August 2011 incident where he was removed as Prime Minister while receiving medical treatment in Singapore.

He said while many thought him to be gone, he said it was not his time.