|35th Independence Anniversary celebrations at UPNG 16 September 2010|
The celebration of nationhood is one moment in our lives when we celebrate our Independence from our former colonizers. We think of Independence as a political event that changed the political landscape in Papua New Guinea. We also think of Independence as an act of orchestrated collective will to free ourselves from the shackles of colonialism. In every celebration we renew our strength and vision to be a progressive and free nation. Our sense of nationhood is refreshed, revitalized, and re-energized in such a way that whatever we do we resolve to abide by the Constitution that holds us together.
The Constitution of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea is the single most powerful document in this nation. It is the source of law, state, politics, and the foundation upon which the visions of the nation was engraved in. Since Independence in 1975, one would think by now the Constitution should become available to every citizen of Papua New Guinea.
After 35 years of Independence the people of this diverse nation must renew their belief in the nation. The nation as a concept is in need of some serious rethinking and reframing. It is to the best interests of a nation to have its people know the foundations on which the nation is founded on. It is to the benefit of the people of this nation that the Constitution is made available in different forms, formats, and languages. Every Papua New Guinea has the right to read, see, hear, and use the Constitution to develop and prosper as a proud, informed, and free person.
The Constitution is the voice of the people of Papua New Guinea. The Constitution speaks from time to time when its foundations are challenged, tested, and hijacked. It remains the most powerful document in this heterogeneous society with a thousand tribes. If every citizen has the right to know the Constitution then it means the government must do everything possible for its people to have a copy of the constitution.
If the Constitution is a single most important document in our nation we must also observe one day in a year as the Constitution Day. Since the fifth and final draft of the Constitution was adopted on 15 August 1975 we should observe that date as the Constitution Day. Such a day will insert in the minds of people the importance of the Constitution. It will also be a day for us to remember those who founded the Constitution.