NEW IRELAND Governor Sir Julius Chan has warned of a revolt by the People of New Ireland, if the National Government continues to strangle its advancement, by holding back hundreds of millions of kina, which rightfully belongs to the province by legally binding agreement.
Fed up with the National Government's attitude, Sir Julius announced in Kavieng on Friday the New Ireland Provincial Government was referring to seven of the nation's top public servants to the Ombudsman Commission for insubordination and defiant disregard of Political Leadership directions as the province steps up its "Give Back Our Money" campaign.
And Sir Julius has called on all New Irelanders to support the moves by the Provincial Government to seek all legal avenues available to direct the National Government to restore their rightful benefits.
More than K400 million in share benefits under the Lihir Mine Memorandum of Agreement, much of which have been pre-assigned to fund major economic, social and infrastructure development projects and programs under the Malagan Declaration are being withheld by the National Government.
Noting protracted power outages in Kavieng, strained medical service and government cash flow constraints since the start of the New Year, a disgusted Sir Julius directed his anger at the Prime Minister, the relevant Government ministers and the senior public servants "accusing them of negligence, lying, misappropriation, misconduct and corruption."
The New Ireland Governor further accused the National Government and the state bureaucracy of deliberate sabotage of projects clearly planned and outlined in the Malagan Declaration and the last three provincial budgets.
"We cannot allow the National Government to continue to insult and exploit our people. No more must we allow government ministers and bureaucrats to divert and misappropriate our inheritance," he said.
"These people are in direct violation of the National Goals and Principles of derivation in forcing us to our knees to beg them for what is rightfully ours, derived from our soil. How can they in their right mind, be so inconsiderate in not remembering the suffering we have gone through; the cultural destruction, increased social disruption and invasion of our rights to peaceful existence that once exist."
The Provincial Government has consistently over the last three years petitioned the National Government for the funds to be released as the planned major projects to impact the province's development and the lives of the people are being delayed beyond acceptable limits.
The Prime Minister himself promised during the an official visit of the province, a year ago in February 2009 publicly announced before the Provincial Assembly that he will honour and release K92 million from the outstanding Lihir MOA funds to support the province's budget to allow work to commence on major development and infrastructural impact projects. These projects are incorporated in the Lihir MOA but have been neglected since 1997."
Sir Julius pointed out that while Sir Michael did in fact direct the various arms of government to facilitate the payment of K92 million of the 14 years outstanding benefits, he and his government must accept culpability for the diversion and misappropriation of the New Ireland people's money to buy the expensive government toys such as the personal Falcon Jet and other dubious expenditure.
"Sir Michael's failure to deliver on his promise resulted in a deficit of K65 million in the 2009 provincial budget. This is political assassination of the worst kind. I have never isolated any province or groups during my reign. In fact the Sepik provinces had received special consideration in my time from roads to schools, agriculture and health services. Why now should he choose to belittle New Ireland, the hen that lays the eggs?
The National Government's attitude is tantamount to direct violation of equal distribution and derivation of wealth. And I am calling their integrity and competence into question under section 27.4 of the National Constitution. It is a smear of the constitution, it is wrong of virtue and creates a vacuum of suspicion and incitement, pushing the people to start thinking of their future in a united, dominated political entity where the small are discarded and their wealth robbed."
"I have lost all patience trying to follow the law. We abide by the constitutional laws but our patience is running thin. What more can the provincial government and my people do? We are exhausted being treated like small kids knowing we produce over K600 million each year for PNG.
"As one of the founders of this nation, I am forced to agonize over the thought of autonomy or even total separation. Most certainly, small provinces like New Ireland will never have the democratic strength to reach its destiny.
"We need to govern ourselves. Never doubt that New Ireland can stand-alone. We will be ten times better."