TWENTY-FOUR people who have lived in Papua New Guinea for more than two decades have been granted citizenship of their adopted country.
Most of the new citizens are businessmen, some married to Papua New Guineans, who have lived in Port Moresby for up to 30 years and wanted themselves and their family to be inducted into the PNG community.
Over the years they had contributed in many ways to the country and had children who were born in PNG and attended schools here, making PNG their home.
Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato, who presented the citizenship certificates, said the moment had arrived for them “to stand tall and proud with their fellow citizens of our great and beautiful country, Papua New Guinea.”
"The decision to forego citizenship of your former country is certainly not an easy one to make,” Pato said, “and I must therefore commend you, recipients for your courage and determination.
“Out of the many who applied, you sitting here today are the chosen ones to be awarded with citizenship.
"I noticed you all are able to communicate in Tok Pisin and other local languages and have also attended haus krais and funerals. Some of you hold permanent residency visas," he said.
Among the new citizens are two from Nigeria, one from Sierra Leone, one from New Zealand, four from Bangladesh, two from Malaysia, one from Vanuatu, one from Taiwan, one from the United Kingdom, one from the Philippines and 10 from China.