“Bigotry and racism have no place in any society, including Papua New Guinea (PNG).”
These were the remarks of MAGNA CARTA PNG’s spokeswoman Shirley Kaupa speaking on behalf of seven other CSO’s, who are demanding several specific recommendations towards PNG’s Foreign Affairs Minister & Moresby South MP, Justin Tkatchenko, in the wake of his comments about social media critics towards his daughter.
She said Members of Parliament, as elected officials and representatives of the people, have a duty to uphold and promote values of respect, equality and justice for all citizens, regardless of their race, ethnicity or other personal characteristics.
“For Civil Society Organizations, accountability is one of our main pillars for a transparent government.”
“Using derogatory or discriminatory language can contribute to division, prejudice and social injustice, which can harm the social fabric of a country and undermine its democratic institutions.”
“Therefore, it is important for leaders to promote inclusivity and respect and to use their platform to foster understanding and cooperation among all members of society. Shirley Kaupa explained that it is common for Ministers to face criticism and scrutiny from the public and media and even though this is a challenging aspect of the job, it is also an essential part of ensuring transparency and accountability in governance.
“If a Foreign Affairs Minister or any other government official uses derogatory or discriminatory language towards citizens of their own country, it can create division and harm social cohesion, as well as damage the reputation of the country on the world stage.”
As a result, MAGNA CARTA PNG is demanding that the Prime Minister and other authorities take appropriate actions to address such behavior which may include disciplinary measures or other consequences, and they strong condemn the Foreign Minister’s statement.
They outlined a number of calls for action including;
1. For the Marape-Rosso Government to immediately sack the Foreign Minister and replace him.
2. Put a mechanism in place to govern Papua New Guineans international representation.
3. Provide feedback of tax payers’ money used to fund the 31 people and their significance at the event.
4. An open apology from the Foreign Minister.
5. Recommend that mandates must be fully committed citizen’s interest.