It is with a heavy heart that I recall the words spoken three years ago on the passing of our beloved father of the nation, Grand Chief Sir Michael Thomas Somare. His loss was felt deeply by the people of Papua New Guinea, and his legacy will forever be ingrained in the hearts and minds of all those who knew him.
Sir Michael had a special bond with Bougainville, and his relationships with our past leaders, including the Late Sir Paul Lapun, the Late Sir Donatus Mola, the Late Sir Alexis Sarei, and the Grand Chief Dr John Momis, were built on mutual respect and trust. These leaders, together with Sir Michael, worked tirelessly to shape the political and socioeconomic structures of our great nation.
I would like to pay tribute to Sir Michael’s contributions to the Bougainville Peace Process. He played a crucial role in bringing about peace during the Bougainville Civil War and was instrumental in creating the autonomous arrangements for Bougainville during his final tenure as Prime Minister.
On behalf of the people and government of Bougainville, I share the grief of all those who mourn the loss of Grand Chief Sir Michael Thomas Somare. His passing marked the end of an era of leadership that laid the foundations for Papua New Guinea. We will always be grateful for his unwavering commitment to our nation and his tireless efforts in bringing about peace.
May God bless Bougainville and Papua New Guinea.
Hon. Ishmael Toroama, MHR
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