While the relationship between journalists and politicians in many countries is frequently strained, in Papua New Guinea things are very different.
CU Birthday cake
Somare enters and stands by cake
Member of the press
Somare cuts cake
Members of the press
Somare talks about birthday wile champagne is poured
Somare speaks about tour of Highlands
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Background: While the relationship between journalists and politicians in many countries is frequently strained, in Papua New Guinea things are very different.
Last week the Chief Minister Mr. Michael Somare arrived at a normal press briefing to find that the Port Moresby press corps had laid on a birthday cake and champagne - Mr. Somare was 38 on the day of the conference. The cake read 'Happy Birthday Chief'.
With the celebrations over Mr. Somare announced that he ad his cabinet would be making a tour of the Highland areas in May. After visiting the Goroka show Mr. Somare and his ministers will travel around the highlands explaining why the country should accept independence on December 1st as scheduled.
In recent months there have been signs that the people of the highlands were less than an enthusiastic.
Last month over a thousand Total women marched through Rabaul in protest against the forthcoming independence. This was significant since the Tolai people were, until recently, in the vanguard of agitation of establishing an independent Papua New Guinea.
That they are now having doubts is attributed to lack of confidence and lack of trust in the Port Moresby Government.
Clearly although Mr. Somare has no problems with his relations with members of the press, he does have problems in other, perhaps more serious, areas.