by Eric Haurupma – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The Catholic Bishop Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands has voiced concerns on the alteration of the national anthem during the 2015 Pacific Games Opening Ceremony.
They say it is a grave mistake as it is against the National Identity Act of 1971.
This week, the Chief Secretary to Government, Sir Manasupe Zurenoc, provided clarity; the National Identity Act only recognises one official national anthem.
He says it’s possible to change words, but the Act requires careful and informed debate.
The National Executive Council can advise the Head of State to revise the words but that would only be done after proper consultation.
The Catholic Bishop Conference strongly condemns the Pacific Games alterations, saying the words in the National Anthem thanking God for his goodness are intentionally omitted by “un-godly forces”.
A call has been made to the Pacific Games Organising Committee to ensure that the National Anthem is sung in its original form in the closing ceremony.