Papua New Guineans, stand up for democracy !

25/03/2012 13:36

University of PNG students lead a protest march against the O'Neill government's

controversial Judicial Conduct Act last Friday. Picture courtesy of Cybele Druma/

The Truth As It Is - PNG


By Cybele Druma @ The Truth As It Is - PNG

When the media is compromised and reports only government propaganda;

When the judiciary becomes a rubber stamp via the stripping off its independence, court orders are unenforceable, police treat Judges with contempt, disdain and as criminals;

When legislators see fit to bulldoze through laws that have not undergone the necessary and proper consultative and analytical processes (which require time) before being passed, and when the very essence of such laws hold no clear benefit to the advancement and wellbeing of the people, rather, gives overwhelming power and authority to these legislators and the government of the day;

When, the government supports the suppression of people’s right to freedom of speech, information and to protest, and uses intimidation tactics and threats reinforced by police refusal to approve permits to exercise such constitutionally enshrined rights;

When petitions are further screened by parliamentary committees and edited to a diluted form, or never make it to the floor of parliament;

 When the public gallery of parliament is closed to the public during parliament sessions, so the public is prevented from witnessing debate and receiving information which is an important part of the checks and balances processes;

When the separation of arms of government has been eroded, and which increasingly each day we are seeing, two of those arms (legislative and executive), fusing into one;

People of Papua New Guinea do not be fooled into thinking that just because there are no army tankers or soldiers on the streets, that everything is ok. It is not, and right before your eyes, your democracy is being pulled out from under you. It began the day you chose to ignore the illegitimacy of this government and what constitutional breaches it utilised to wrestle itself into power. Thus you reap what you sow!

The slippery slide away from democracy has been planned and implemented ever so subtly and gradually, with populist policies hypnotising Papua New Guineans, that by the time everyone’s eyes are wide open, it will be too late! We are already in the grips of a DICTATORSHIP!

To date, TAIIPNG (The Truth As It Is – PNG), has been the social networking group to stand up and be counted, despite criticisms. We have been walking the talk since January this year. We walked in support of the judges on the opening of the legal year.  We organised a talkback forum on FM100 Thursday, March 15, 2012. And we handed a petition to the Opposition Leader Wednesday March 21, 2012. The truth we saw in the beginning has now dawned upon our very own critics. PNG sleep no more. If there were ever a time to stand united, it must be now.

Thus, we call upon all of PNG to unite and stand up in the name of democracy, our constitution, our children and the future of PNG, and tell the leaders NO MORE! I call upon our good brothers and sisters in the disciplinary forces to stand with us. How long will you remain silent while you see the evils in this leadership being perpetrated upon us your country men and women, your brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers? We must unite so the voice of ONE PNG is heard by these leaders, and the people have their day and their say! PNG CARPE DIEM (SEIZE THE DAY!)

  • Since the publishing of this commentary in The Truth As It Is - PNG Facebook group on March 22, 2012 students from the University of PNG led a protest march against the O'Neill government's Judicial Conduct Act a day later.
  • The PNG civil society led by the Community Coalition Against Corruption (CCAC) is now coordinating with UPNG students and other stakeholders for further action with a view to forcing government to recall parliament to overturn the law.