I write this as a citizen of this country and as a member of the media community.
I knew Rosalyn Albaniel as a senior at DWU. She was a year ahead of our class. We all knew her as a beautiful person who always spent time with our lot. She was a practical person, caring and always had time for our crazy sense of humor. She had the time to laugh.
Later on, only her life would show her strength of character.
After the loss of her first boy, we saw her struggle through it. Then when her second child passed, she battled on. Her strength was incredible.
When we last met in Port Moresby, she was still the Rosalyn we knew. But weighed down but all that had happened. She didn’t give me her usual witty handshake. She gave me a big hug and asked how I was and how my wife and children were.
After writing about the problems within the health system, she emailed me asking if we could collaborate on a feature story about the difficulties she faced when she took her two boys to hospital.
We didn’t get to do that.
Her passing was sudden and it hurts me as well as my wife. We both knew her as the kind, fun loving person. Not one burdened and hurt.
The circumstances surrounding her death were not clearly known when we got news of her passing. In my view, her aunt with support from uncle, Dennis Albaniel, made the right decision to expose an issue that would have remained hidden.
In front of a packed church, she told everyone, her niece Rosalyn Albaniel, was physically abused for many years. She suffered a lot. Whether, that was the cause of her death that night, we do not know and we can’t speculate at this point.
However, her family took pictures of bruises on Rosalyn’s lower and upper back. There were also, injuries to her jaw, neck and ear.
As a senior member of the PNG media, I support the call my colleagues and friends. I am appealing to her family to conduct and autopsy if one has not already been done. The circumstances surrounding her death are suspicious and, in my personal view, warrant a proper police investigation.
Rosalyn Albaniel was a mum, wife, sister, friend and a public figure in her own right. Her death, like the deaths of many other women, deserves a clear explanation.
If she died of recent or prior injuries or if she died as a result of beatings, it must be investigated and the matter brought to a close. We cannot allow the cause of her death to be swept under the carpet without an autopsy.