The East Sepik Governor, Allan Bird has voiced great disapproval over the conduct of Internal Security Minister, Peter Tsiamallili Jnr, and has called on the Minister to step down from office.
This is regarding what he says are questionable statements made by the Minister.
The Governor in a recent statement said that considering Tsiamalili’s conflict of interest in representing the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, whilst at the same time promoting his aspirations for the Autonomous Region of Bougainville’s political future.
Governor Bird further stated that it is inappropriate for a minister of state to use their position to promote his political agenda on the international stage while the issue is being dealt with in parliament.
“Tsiamalili in his recent trip to the United Nation’s General Assembly, took advantage of the privilege to represent the country as a minister and instead used the opportunity to discuss the independence aspirations of Bougainville.”
“The minister has also released a statement on his position on the path for the ratification of the referendum, which clearly depicts his conflicting political roles.”
The Governor added that while he appreciates the Minister’s mandated position as the regional member, Bird believes that representation of the Country on a ministerial level should encompass putting the country first and provincial duties second.
“As a regional member, Mr. Tsiamalili is within his right to discuss issues important to his constituency and progress his concerns.”
“However, as a minister of state, you cannot be playing for two teams.”
“The obligation and expectation of our ministers to is to represent the island of PNG, its’ people and it’s sovereign national agenda, not secondary duties.”
Meanwhile, the Internal Security Minister and Bougainville Regional Member, Peter Tsiamalili Jnr has pushed refuted the claims and calls made by Governor Bird.
“I am aware of a Statement issued earlier by Governor Alan Bird, MP calling for my resignation from the National Executive Council.”
“In his Statement, Governor Bird has questioned my ability to balance competing interests as Regional Member for Bougainville and as Internal Security Minister.”
“As Governor Bird has noted, I have been in New York to attend meetings on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.”
“One such meeting was the Ministerial Meeting of the Peace Building Commission. I addressed this meeting in my capacity as Internal Security Minister.”
He stated that contrary to reporting in one of the dailies, he did not use that meeting to advocate for Bougainville’s independence but rather, spoke to the need for the United Nations to continue to support peace building initiatives globally.
“I noted the importance of preventative diplomacy as a means of reducing conflict and the importance of trust between parties. In doing so, I spoke to Papua New Guinea’s very clear foreign policy as “friends to all, and enemies to none”, that enables us to work with all countries.”
The Minister added that he spoke of the need to advance peace by peaceful means and the need for this principle to be applied in a global context, emphasizing the need for tact, sensitivity and mutual respect when negotiating the path to peace.
He added that he took note of the impact on Papua New Guinea, including the people of the Atolls region in Bougainville who were the world’s first documented climate refugees and called for global solidarity and support to combat the impacts of climate change and the potential security challenges that arise from it.