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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

Governors forge Sister-Province relations

The New Ireland and Milne Bay provinces have forged sister province relations, which is a first for PNG.

Sir Julius Chan, Governor of New Ireland, and the  Governor for Milne Bay, Titus Philemon,  made the announcement at the New Ireland Day celebrations at Konos on Wednesday July 27.

“We were honoured to have as a special guest Titus Philemon, Governor of Milne Bay, f or our New Ireland Day celebrations. This was not only a celebration of New Ireland, but of the deep relationship between New Ireland and Milne Bay,” Sir Julius said.

Governor Philemon addressed thousands on the first day of the New Ireland Day celebrations, in which he noted the many progressive programs that New Ireland has introduced since Sir Julius became Governor in 2007.
He said: “New Ireland has shown the way, and we in Milne Bay are watching closely.  In Milne Bay we have taken a number of innovative steps as well, and I am confident that the establishment of a Sister Province relationship between our two provinces will build on these advances. Together we will do much more than we could do alone.”

Sir Julius said: “The National Government has failed us. The National Government is like a mob of crows, fighting over who gets the biggest piece of wealth, stealing from the people everything they can.  In New Ireland and Milne Bay we are eagles, not crows.  We soar on the wings of dreams.  The dreams of the Malagan Declaration are that the people should get free education, care for our elderly and disabled, roofs over their heads, sweat equity when they labour to clear land for crops, subsidised shipping and more.  We – and Milne Bay – have made these dreams and others reality.  Together we will soar even higher on the wings of our dreams.”

Both Sir Julius and Governor Philemon said that the key to a better future is greater autonomy for the Provinces.  This should include much greater control over both non-renewable resources, such as mining and oil and gas, and renewable resources, such as forestry and fisheries. “If the provinces come together, if the provinces become unified, then they can force unity on the country as a whole”

Governor Philemon said: “Milne Bay suffered hugely with the Misima Mine.  We received almost nothing, and the aftermath is a disaster.  We need greater autonomy so we can avoid such a disaster in future.  In Milne Bay now our main resources are renewable resources, and we insist that we be given greater control over them because right now they are being exploited with very little benefit to the people.”

Former Prime Minister and finance ministers said: “This is the wave of the future.  This is a sign that the people of New Ireland and Milne Bay, the people of Papua New Guinea, intend to take their country back from those who have hijacked it for their own self-serving purposes.  The people have had enough.  We demand the autonomy to chart our own futures.”

Sir Julius and Governor Philemon said that a Memorandum of Understanding will be drafted to formally launch the Sister Province relationship, and that it would be signed within a few weeks.

Press Release

Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on 2:02 AM. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article

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