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Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape has paid tribute to Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and called for a “week of silence, peace and calm as we in somber pay respect to this one person whom our country owes much”.
“Papua New Guinea, it is with great sorrow and grief that I announce the passing of the Father of our Nation Grand Chief Sir Micheal T Somare.
“Our nation honours this Great Leader, the founding and longest serving Prime Minister of our country and I appeal to our citizens and residents for a week of silence, peace and calm as we in somber pay respect to this one person whom our country owes much, he is unmatched by anyone of us who comes after him,” Marape said in a statement.
He deserves our unified respect now too at passing and for ever into our future as a nation, said Marape.
“To Lady Veronica, Bertha, Sana, Authur, Dulcie and Junior, all grandchildren and the tribal family and the people of ESP, we thankyou for allowing this giant of a man to be our national father too.
“I thank the family too for allowing me to spend some quite moments with him few days ago in which I now see as a privilege of the highest order. His words linger.
He is universally loved in our country, may his memory bind our nation still. Long live his memory,” Marape said.
Prime Minister Marape said the late Sir Michael Somare will be accorded a state funeral.
“My cabinet will meet today to announce a formal State funeral programmes and our flags all over our country and missions is to be flown lowered until we formally come out of mourning.
“Our nation enters our mourning period, where ever you are until further announcements. I will personally precede over this period of national mourning.
With tears I say, Rest in Peace Papa,” Marape said.
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