LATE last week prime minister Peter O'Neill demonstrated the leadership Papua New Guinea needs as we look forward to our 40th Independence celebrations on 16 September this year.
In a coming of age statement, Mr O’Neill for the first time spoke out publicly against Indonesian oppression of the ‘Melanesian family’ in West Papua.
The timing was just perfect. His criticism of Indonesian oppression of "our families" in West Papua and his call to engage in mature and honest dialogue could not have come at a better moment.
It represented a momentous point in the 50-year history of the emancipation of Melanesia from colonial rule.
The fears that gripped the West and international organisations like the United Nations about the momentum of Communist expansion had all but withered away by the close of the last century.
This year’s state of the union address by United States president Obama set the agenda and tone for 2015.
Fifteen years into the new century, he said, America must lead the world again - not with "wanton wars" but with intelligent diplomacy and mutual understanding.
"This is because, the world has truly become a small village with key drivers like the broadband internet and the plethora of opportunities and challenges it unleashes into the e-everything world," he said.
When Peter O'Neill made his bold statement on West Papua, he was conscious of and attuned to the ideology-led decisions that gave rise to the oppression of the Melanesian people of West Papua.
There may even be a connection to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement in the United States and elsewhere, which seems to have extended from Missouri to the shores of the mighty Pacific Ocean and her Melanesian inhabitants.
Brace yourself for the ride. This is the decade for liberation and freedom in Melanesia - economically and politically.
Despite Papua New Guinea’s many missteps over our 40-year life as a nation, I am optimistic that, with Peter O’Neill’s statement last week, we are on a true and virtuous pathway.