The late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare will be laid to rest at the Kreer Heights in Wewak, East Sepik Province has per his Will.
This was announced by Prime Minister James Marape and a body of cabinet after close consultation with the Somare family regarding this matter.
According to the Prime Minister, the Independence Hill was the intended resting space for the Late Grand Chief because of the status he holds as the father of this country however it was his Will to be buried in Wewak.
“The late Grand Chief had already signed his Will when he was alive ensuring that his resting place to be at the Kreer Heights.”
“The family have decided to honor and stand their fathers Will and have him buried at Wewak.”
The late Grand Chief had picked that site for his resting place, not only his but also his good wife, Lady Veronica.
“He picked that site back in 2009 when he was Prime Minister has the final resting spot, a tomb for him and his wife and had constructions done on the area already.”
“ Grand Chief Somare is no ordinary man, He is the father of this country, he is the first Prime Minister, He is iconic and he deserves a special place.”
“And so his will and words must be honored also in passing.”
“I feel insignificant to stand against his will as one person despite being the Prime Minister.”
“His children also feel insignificant in the context also when the father of the country has willed to be rested at Kreer Heights.”
Prime Minister Marape further apologized sincerely to every Papua New Guinean who wished for the Grand Chief to be buried at the Independence Hill.
“I beg for understanding from the country, it was not a light decision, there were tears involved, verbal fights even but he has willed to be buried at Kreer Heights and I am in no position to tamper with his wish.”
“Even in his death, there was a wisdom behind the call for him to be buried in East Sepik.”
Family Representative Arthur Somare thanked the Prime Minister and his Cabinet Ministers for their understanding and the final decision.
“He was a father to so many Papua New Guineans and after so many years of service to PNG now I can take father home to rest, Thank you.”
A monument will be built at the Independence hill in his remembrance but his bones will go to Kreer Heights, which is now a national heritage site as affirmed through Cabinet Decision.
The late Grand Chief’s State Funeral will be held on the 12th of March at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium.