Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, widely regarded as the founding father of independent Papua New Guinea, was in a critical condition in Port Moresby last night fighting cancer, reports The National today.
The 82-year-old former politician and his wife, Lady Veronica, had been preparing this week to go overseas for treatment, the newspaper said.
A family member said last night: “It is with sadness that I advise, on behalf of the Somare family, the serious illness pancreatic cancer that has befallen our father, Sir Michael, is at a critical stage and we as a family, along with his medical teams, are giving him the utmost care that he deserves.”
The National said that Cardinal Sir John Ribat celebrated a special Eucharist with Sir Michael and Lady Veronica yesterday at his hospital bed at the Pacific International Hospital in Port Moresby.
The ABC correspondent in Port Moresby, Natalie Whiting, posted a twitter message saying Cardinal Ribat had “released a statement on behalf of the family asking the public to pray for Sir Michael and advising he is receiving palliative care in Port Moresby”.
#PNG‘s first Prime Minister Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare is in a critical condition with pancreatic cancer. Cardinal Ribat has released a statement on behalf of the family asking the public to pray for Sir Michael and advising he is receiving palliative care in Port Moresby.
— Natalie Whiting (@Nat_Whiting) February 21, 2021
This post was originally published on Asia Pacific Report.