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Foreign Affairs Minister Tkatchenko apologizes for labelling Papua New Guineans "Primitive and useless animals"

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape says Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Justin Tkatchenko has apologised to the people of Papua New Guinea for remarks he made on Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

PM Marape said he was also offended by Tkatchenko’s remarks, labelling social media critics of his daughter as “primitive animals”, but had accepted the minister’s apology and asked all Papua New Guineans to do likewise and forgive him.

PM Marape 

“We should not be labelling our citizens as ‘primitive animals’ even if they have wronged us” he said.

“Deputy Prime Minister Hon. John Rosso and I summoned Minister Tkatchenko today to explain the circumstances behind the public outburst, especially against his use of the words ‘primitive animals’ on ABC.

“DPM Rosso and I expressed concern about the use of these words, to which he responded that it was not directed at all Papua New Guineans, but a spur-of-moment response to social media attacks on his daughter.

“Minister Tkatchenko apologised to me and to the country for his remarks for the use of the words ‘primitive animals’.

“I advised him that as Ministers of State, and Leaders of our country, we carry a huge responsibility in how we respond to public scrutiny of our conduct as well as that of family members.

“Minister Tkatchenko apologised to the country, to me, to Cabinet and the Government for his remarks.”

PM Marape apologised to PNG for Minister Tkatchenko’s unsavoury use of words but appeal to the country to rise above these issues.

“I appeal to our people that we should rise above these issues and stand united as one people, one nation, one country – regardless of colour or creed,” he said.

“We are a unique blend of ethnic diversities, and as Christians, we can forgive each other.

“I am also offended like some some of you but our national character is put to the test and on the brightest spot light and we must show the world that we can forgive those who offend us”.

“In less than two weeks, we will be hosting US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Hon. Modi, in what will be one of the most-important events in our 48 years of nationhood.

“We will also have 16 other Pacific leaders coming to PNG at the same time.

Minister Tkatchenko

“This will be a momentous and historic occasion - which should rally our nation together - and we should not let this issue stand in the way.

“I ask our citizens far and wide – who have been offended by Minister Tkatchenko’s remarks – to forgive him. The spotlight of the world is upon us now and for the next 10 days until the two global leaders arrive.

“There can be no greater reference for our national character than us showing the spirit of forgiveness”.

Next : Discussions Underway for an Australian NRL Match to be played in Papua New Guinea: PNGTPA

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