ONE year after he ordered the destruction of a precious part of Papua New Guinea’s heritage, PNG parliamentary Speaker Theo Zurenouc has embarked on a public relations campaign designed to justify his actions, which were widely condemned at the time.
Last week Speaker Zurenouc entertained Fr Victor Roche, general secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference, and six other PNG church leaders to a five-hour meeting which included lunch.
“He explained to us why the existing totem pole with the carvings was partly removed,” said Fr Roche.
“The totem is still standing there. Part of it was cut and removed. The reason was, according to him, that the carvings did not represent most of the cultures of PNG nor did it have any meaning.