TRIBAL FIGHTING IS PNG’S POINTLESS GAME

Editorial

PNG Post-Courier

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Dec. 30, 2009) – ON December 11 in Papua New Guinea (PNG), the MP for North Waghi and Deputy Governor of Western Highlands, Benjamin Mul was attacked in his electorate.

During the attack, Mr. Mul was thrown to the ground three times and he suffered injuries to his body. The attack was over an argument over the venue for a ceremony that was staged where he was to hand over a cheque to a school and the fight prompted a stone throwing match [with] his supporters.

Politicians in the Highlands are held in high esteem. People see them as the source of money, goods and services and if one is attacked like in the incidence involving Mr. Mul, a full scale tribal fight is on the cards. However the stone throwing match did not develop any further, for the MP had stepped in and stopped it. Yesterday he came to the Post-Courier to publicly announce that he had forgiven those who had attacked him. Furthermore he urged his tribe and his loyal supporters to also forgive those that were involved in the attack against him.

We proudly boast to the world that we are Christians but we still hold on to grudges, guns, bows and arrows and bush knives so when a little problem crops up, we quickly think fighting is the only way to deal with it.

In the highlands, this is true. Hatred and fighting has set many communities back by many years. Where there is fighting, there is no economic activity, no permanent buildings or homes, no government services like schools or aid posts and many lives were lost, particularly young men while whose who are alive, live a life of extreme poverty.

As you are reading this editorial, somewhere in the highlands, there are groups of people talking about going to fight their neighbours and are counting their guns.

It is sad that our people go to church service on Sundays and on the other days; they take up arms against their neighbours to kill, rape and destroy. It is high time; we take stock of what tribal fighting has done to our lives and on PNG and say no to this age old game.

And what better time to do that than this Christmas and New Year period. Christmas is a time for giving and sharing so let’s offer our love to our neighbours, forgive them for the wrongs they have done to us and ask for their forgiveness.

In the New Year, let’s make a fresh start in our lives. Let us live as one people, under one flag, with one national anthem and as one country.

Let this be our New Year resolution.

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