Monday 31 August 2020
H.E. Grand Chief Sir Bob Bofeng Dadae, is calling on the public to refrain from making unsubstantiated statements and spreading false rumours on social media sites regarding public figures and senior statesmen of this country.
Grand Chief Sir Bob made the call following widespread rumours on a Facebook Page today that supposedly announced the demise of former Governor General Grand Chief Sir Paulias Matane.
Grand Chief Sir Bob said he was both dismayed and disgusted that individuals saw fit to post and spread unverified information regarding a well respected senior statesman and former Governor -General Grand Chief Sir Paulias Matane.
“Such actions by members of the public to post at will and spread unverified information suggesting the demise of our former Governor General is not only grossly disrespectful, it is totally wrong and unacceptable.
“Those responsible for such behavior must face the brunt of the law. Freedom of speech does not give one the right to post unverified statements and slanderous remarks against others and senior statesmen who have served our country with such dedication from before independence and after.
“As a nation, we are fortunate to have in our midst the likes of Grand Chief Sir Paulias Matane.
“Knowingly posting unsubstantiated statements without proof concerning such outstanding men of high standing only goes to show one’s immaturity and insolence. Such attitude must not be tolerated,” the Governor General said.
Grand Chief Sir Paulias Matane was the eighth Governor General of Papua New Guinea having served in office from 2004 to 2010.
Sir Bob said Grand Chief Sir Paulias has a long and illustrious career: he was the first Papua New Guinean Secretary of a government department (Department of Business Development, later renamed Department of Commerce, Trade and Industry) and the first Papua New Guinea ambassador to the USA, United Nations, Mexico and High Commissioner to Canada in 1975, among other notable achievements.
He has traveled the world extensively and has written more than 40 books.
Acting Official Secretary Mr. Bill Toraso says the Office of the Governor General has been in touch with the family of Grand Chief Sir Paulias Matane, through his former Private Secretary Mr. John Waingut, and can confirm that the former Vice Regal is well at his home village of Viviran, in Toma, East New Britain province.
Grand Chief Sir Paulias Matane’s son Edward Matane says the family is focused on celebrating Grand Chief Sir Paulias’ life and not on negativity such as those posted on social media today.