Moresby bilum market mum wants change with PNG elections

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Prime Minister Peter O’Neill continues to defend the country’s economy as the PNG election campaign continues. Video: EMTV News

By Kiwiana Ngabung in Port Moresby

She had a bright smile and was very welcoming, seeing us walk through the craft market.

Papua New Guinean craft sellers such as Sila Silbol now feel the pinch of tough economic times. Image: EMTV News

Sila Silbol is a Papua New Guinean mother of five, who sells bilums (traditional string bags), accessories, “laplaps”(wrap-around cloths) and other craft at a local craft market in Port Moresby.

Originally from Simbu, Sila now lives in the Moresby North-West area and survives on the income she makes from selling crafts.

Sila Silbol and other sellers can now feel the pinch of tough economic times, saying she makes less now than what she usually used to make.

And she wants something better for herself and her family.

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When she was asked about services in her area, of which Labi Amaiu of the People’s Progress Party is the member of, she explains that without money, services cannot be provided.

This is what she feels, is needed.

“Moni stap na sevis bai kam [tasol] nogat moni ya. Man holim moni, sevis i kam ol bai mek yus lo displa sevis.”

She says she sees little or no beneficial impact of services in her area.

Silbol, who wants to see the change in government, is happy about women contesting the elections this year, and encourages women in Parliament.

She supports female candidates because they understand the needs of everyone, and have the “people” skills.

She believes the 2017 general election will take its course with the “right people” elected into Parliament and has confidence in her candidates for the Moresby North East and National Capital District (NCD) Regional seats.

The two-week Papua New Guinea general election is between June 24 and July 8.

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