Today, Papua New Guinea celebrates its 44th year of Independence with its flag hoisted proudly at the Independence Hill in Port Moresby. Independence Hill is where the new flag of the country was first flown, symbolically marking its independence from almost 70 years of Australian administration. The ceremony usually starts with a procession followed by the blessing and raising of the country’s flag – a flag of red and black with a Raggiana Bird of Paradise and five-pointed stars depicting the Southern Cross.

Photo Courtesy of PNG breaking news.

 

I won’t be dwelling on what had been or what are the festivities during this occasion but it would be good perhaps to highlight key points of Prime Minister James Marape’s first Independence Day speech, which are:

  1. Economic Independence, his first and foremost priority “born of Pangu Party’s dogma of complimenting the political independence the Pangu Party led PNG into in 1975” envisioning PNG as the richest black Christian nation where no child is left behind. Stressing further that Papua New Guineans must benefit from resources in their own land, ocean and airspace.
  2. Being the eighth (8th) Prime Minister he pledged his firm commitment not to be bought or sold to corporate and individual greed but to stand resolved for the greater good of the country.
  3. He called on his countrymen to work together to secure the nation’s future, irrespective of the colours of their provincial flags by joining hands under ONE national flag with diversified tribal songs blending into a united national anthem.

Quoting John Kennedy in his speech, he said not to ask what the country can do for them but what the people can do for their country.

He ended his speech stating, “Let us start this by taking back PNG in our mind and actions.”

Happy Independence Day Papua New Guinea!

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