BY MARTYN AWAYANG NAMORONG
THE NAMORONG REPORT
ACTIVISTS, WE SALUTE YOU FOR YOUR COURAGE. You are doing a great thing by showing the government the people have a voice – that O’Neill and the whole parliament have forgotten that they are accountable to us.
But we also ask you, what are you marching for? The deferrals of the elections, perhaps, or the Judicial Conduct Act, or the other unconstitutional actions by parliament in past weeks.
These things are deplorable, and you are right to stand against the government on them. They cannot go unchallenged. But they are only symptoms of a deeper, darker problem.
There is a deeper abuse of the Constitution going on, and it is not related to any particular government or politicians. It has been happening for years, and it will happen again after this next election, whenever it takes place.
I’m talking about the abuse of the deepest principles of the Constitution, the National Goals and Directive Principles. In essence, these say that our country should be ruled by our values, and our ways.
Your country is not currently ruled by your values. They are ruled by the law of economic growth, big industry and foreign corporations. We argue this is why the system has become so corrupted, allowing government’s like O’Neill to do the things most Papua New Guineans are against.
Think of the millions of women and men throughout PNG who won’t be speaking out because they live in remote areas. The election deferrals mean little to them. They know that the result will be the same, whether elections are held now or in six months time – another government will be elected who utterly neglects them, just like the last one.
Their children will continue to die due to a lack of access to medical services, something that could be easily fixed if this or any other past or future government puts people before profits.
Until we create a political structure that truly reflects our traditional ways, we will continue to have leaders like O’Neill, like Somare. We will continue to have a Parliament that passes laws that stifle the judiciary and abuse electoral rules.
So when you march today, remember this is the beginning of a longer journey. You may well win the battle, to have the elections on time or the judiciary act repealed: and that will be a wonderful victory for PNG.
But then we have to win the war – to take back PNG for its people. Based on
values that serve us, not them.
Finally – stay peaceful. Don’t give them any grounds to say we are violent and unreasonable. The only strength we need comes from numbers, and we have them – 7 million of them.
Martyn Namorong’s Take the Truth to Australia Tour begins on 20 May