By Steven Sukot
(In 1975, when PNG was born, our fathers released a prophetic statement over the life of the nation…now 36 years on, I just want to remind us of this prophecy)
What the Constitutional Planning Committee wrote when the nation was born is actually a prophesy into the life of the nation at its birth. It is a normal practice in Melanesia for the old and wise to speak into the life of a child at birth when dedicating and blessing the child. This is in fact a prophetic statement on the eve of the independence of Papua New Guinea. Every sons and daughters of this land should know and understand this. What the nation is encountering today with the overdrive emphasis on extractive industries especially in the mining, petroleum, oil and gas development might become a curse. The eyes of wisdom saw the future unfold 36 years ago and issued the warning. With the Vision 2050, medium term development strategies and economic policies we pursue as a nation, be warned, that our dreams will become nightmares if we despise this prophecy.
Lest we forget;
We see the darkness of neon lights.
We see the despair and loneliness in the urban cities.
We see the alienation of (the people) that is the result of the
present machine orientated economy.
We see true social security and (the people’s) happiness being
diminished in the name of economic progress.
We caution therefore that large-scale industries should be pursued only after very careful and thorough consideration of the likely consequences upon the social and spiritual fabric of our people…
There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that a significant number of people who live by the fruits of multi-million dollar multi-national corporations live in misery,loneliness and spiritual poverty.
We believe that since we are a rural people, our strength should be essentially in the land and the use of our innate artistic talents.
(Papua New Guinea Constitutional Planning Committee, 1975).