BY NED GAGAHE
A father Dr Jack Siwainao from Are Are, Malaita province, has pleaded with the prime ministers of Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea for the deportation of his two daughters whom he says are living illegally in PNG for more than two years without a PNG visa.
Dr Siwainao is the head of the Labour Ward, infertility clinic and the obstetrician gynaecologist ultrasound services at the National Referral Hospital (NRH).
He was married to Grace Gou Nama A’o, from Kairuku, PNG and had two daughters Mercy Aninono Siwainao, nine years old, and Cinderella Aroahia Siwainao, 5.
The family had resided in Nine-One area, Henderson, East Honiara until the covid-19 pandemic.
After some disagreements with her husband, Grace left with the girls to PNG where she lived until her sudden passing in September this year according to one close relative.
“The next thing we know she had already left. Then soon after the Pandemic we heard the she had passed on. It’s a sad thing,” the relative said.
Siwainao had come out publicly yesterday and pleaded with both prime ministers to deport his daughters back to the Solomon Islands.
“I am Dr Jack Siwainao from Malaita Province, Solomon Islands. I was trained at UPNG as an undergrad and postgrad. I did my specialist training under Professor Glen Mola, late Professor Amoa and all the O&G Specialist Consultants at Port Moresby General Hospital.
“I hold a position as a Specialist Consultant Obstetrician Gynaecologist at the National Referral Hospital in Honiara, for the past 7 years. I am in-charge of the Labour Ward, Infertility Clinic, the O&G Ultrasound services and Postgraduate Obstetrics and Gynaecology specialist training in Solomon Islands,” he said on his Facebook account.
“My daughters travelled with their mum Grace Gou Nama A’o, who from Kairuku to PNG on the 12th of December 2019.
“Both of them were born in Honiara, and are both Solomon Islanders.
“Mercy Aninono Siwainao (passport number: 118582), born 17th April 2013, now 9yrs of age.
“Cinderella Aroahia Siwainao (passport number: 118615), born 30th March 2017, now 5yrs of age.
“My daughters and I usually had video chats on messenger, on Saturdays, 4pm, PNG time. The last time I have ever spoken to them was, on the 5th of August 2022, exactly 107 days ago. That was prior to their mother’s death.
“Their mother died at Port Moresby General Hospital on, 10th September 2022, with a background history of long-standing uncontrolled hypertension (2012-2022).
“After their mother’s death, I tried to talk to them but I was not allowed to.”
Siwainao said he recently inboxed the person Mr John Himina who is an administrator of some sort, working at Wewak or Sepik on facebook and told him that he was going to get his daughters back, but Himina claimed custody of the two girls.
“I inboxed Joshua Himina who is an administrator of some sort working at Wewak or Sepik on facebook and told him that I am going to get my daughters back. He claimed that he was officially married to Grace, so he is my kids’ legitimate and legal guardian. He claimed to be a better father and more spiritual to take care of my kids.
“I am surprised that someone who claims to be more spiritual, signed marriage vows (on 9th August 2022) at the Magistrate, to a legally married woman, not yet divorced. And now using that the unlawful marriage certificate based on lies that Grace was never married to claim custody of my children. Nothing is more spiritual than living in adultery, with a legally married woman. BIGAMY is a crime. I still have our marriage certificate with me.”
Siwainao said that his late wife Grace had admitted to him that fake PNG passports were created for the girls.
He said instead of being born in Honiara, their birth place was changed to Buka, North Solomons.
Siwainao said that his late wife also told him in March 2022 that their girls are using their stepfather’s surname Himina.
He said they got into a heated argument about her changing their children’s identity without his prior knowledge, or his permission.
“Changing my children’s names is a treason to my people of West Are, West Kwaio, East Are Are and Olomburi in East Kwaio, in Malaita Province. Our name is our identify. My children’s names tie them to all the land they own on Malaita Island. They don’t own any land in Sepik or have ancestors in Sepik to be called Himina. This is insanity.
“I tried to get to the girls but I received threats, in my pursuit of my daughters.”
Siwainao said November 20, 2022 marked exactly 71 days since the passing of his late wife Grace.
“Today, it is 71 days since Grace passed away. Out of respect for Grace and her family, I remained silent, bearing the pain of not knowing the whereabouts of my kids, and not talking to them.
“The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 7 “sets out children’s right to be registered immediately after birth, to a name, nationality and, – as far as possible – to know and be cared for by their parents.
“All that have happened to my daughters, Mercy and Cinderella, are a breach to this UN Convention that both our countries (Solomon Islands and PNG) have signed.
“In my experience of working in PNG, sexual assault or rape is a daily happening. I fear for the safety of my daughters, living in PNG without their biological mother who usually drives them around. The perpetrators who usually people known to the child.
“Grace wherever you are today in your life after death. I trusted you so much to allow our kids to go with you. If I had known that you would do this to our children, I wouldn’t have allowed them to board that flight with you. You have unlawfully changed the identity of our children, left them in the hands of Joshua, a man not related to them by blood, and you are gone. I am sorry but today, I have decided to speak up for the freedom of our children cos they would not speak for themselves. I hope you have asked God to forgive you for all these criminal things you have done to our kids.
“To me, the changing my children’s identity and the use of threats, amount to human trafficking and kidnapping – I think this is serious crime.
“In January 2022, Grace, you said to me as you were feeling sick (blood pressure 180/120 mm Hg), ‘Jack, if anything happens to me (meaning if I die), please take our girls back to Solomon Islands’. I promise, I will.
“I wrote (dated 22/09/22) to the PNG High Commissioner to Solomon Islands in Honiara and attention to Immigration PNG but received no written reply. I received a phone call once, and that was it. I had asked for the deportation of my daughters back to Solomon Islands. On the 28th of October 2022, I again wrote to the PNG High Com. Since I had no response till today.
“Today, I have decided to take the story my daughters to the media in order to get a faster response.
“I therefore call upon the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Honourable James Marape, PNG Police, and PNG Immigration to deport my two daughters living illegally without visa in PNG for more than 2 years to Solomon Islands, as soon as possible.
“I also call upon our Prime Minister, Honourable Manasseh Sogavare, and our Attorney General, John Muria Junior, to liaise with the PNG Government, to ensure my daughters (Solomon Islands citizens) return safely, home.
“I am asking all my friends, colleagues, families, my patients, Save the Children, Women Organizations, please advocate for the return of my daughters – please repost this story your walls.”
When contacted yesterday, the PNG High Commission in Honiara promised to release a statement on the matter.
But they have not done so when this paper went to the press last night.