Bougainville President Ishmael Toroama was in the New Ireland Province for two days as the guest of Governor of New Ireland Province and former Prime Minister Grand Chief Sir Julius Chan for the New Ireland Day celebrations on Thursday.
President Toroama was accompanied by the Minister for Education Thomas Pata’aku, Minister for Primary Industries Geraldine Paul and the Chief Secretary Shadrach Himata.
“My coming to the New Ireland Province to celebrate with you your provincial day is at the behest of the Governor Sir Julius Chan,” President Toroama said.
“I have come to pay homage to Sir Julius Chan, the last man standing, on his legacy as a leader both at the national level as Prime Minister and his role as a chief and leader of the people of New Ireland Province,” President Toroama added.
“The people of New Ireland and greater PNG are truly privileged to have you as a leader, a founding father and a man who envisioned prosperity and stability for the country,” President Toroama said.
President Toroama said that his visit to the province would strengthen the traditional and historical bonds that has long existed between the people of Bougainville and the New Ireland Province and encourage cooperation at regional level for New Guinea Islands provinces.
“There is an argument that celebrating provincial days encourages partisanship. It states that provincial days threaten the nation’s state of union by promoting division between the state and the provinces,” President Toroama said.
“The strength of Papua New Guinea lies in its unique diversity and cultural heritage. The National Pledge clearly states that this is the source of the strength of the people of this country. We should never be made to feel ashamed or guilty of our identity as a people,” President Toroama said.
President Toroama added that people must embrace their heritage and learn from its principles so that it will guide them on a path that respects our people, our society and more importantly ourselves.
Also present at the two day celebrations was the Japanese Ambassador to PNG Nobuyuki Watanabe which was held at the Kavieng Stadium.
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