Posted by PNG Today
PM O’Neill made the comments as Papua New Guinea woke up to a New Year with minimal reports of disturbances over the festive period.
“People in communities right around our nation have been able to enjoy celebrations with family and friends and welcome in the New Year.
“I thank members of the public and communities leaders throughout the nation for working together and enabling our people to enjoy time together."
The Prime Minister said there were isolated incidents of altercations, often involving alcohol, and opportunistic crimes, but this is to be expected around the world.
"In any town in any country you will always find a few individuals who lack respect, but they are in the minority.
"But we have seen for the greater majority that people were able to enjoy themselves and see in the New Year.
“This has been the same for the last few years and is a change from the problems of decades past.”
The Prime Minister said 2017 should be a year when foreign media take a fresh look at Papua New Guinea and move beyond the old stereotypes.
“While some foreign media might like to pick up on isolated incidents and try to make them seem mainstream, all who live in our communities know that Papua New Guinea is a county that is changing.
“We do not have the problems of past decades and life is constantly improving around the nation.
“There is no doubt that we have so much work ahead to continue to share the benefits of development, but we are moving in the right direction.
“2017 will again be a year of growth and development for Papua New Guinea.
“I invite foreign journalists to be a part of this development, to get out from behind closed doors and to really visit our communities and get to know the people of our diverse nation.
“Papua New Guinea is an amazing country with so many interesting stories to tell."