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Subject: Can Tribal Fight be Eradicated Once and For All? MY THOUGHTS


Author:
Fr. Robert Plews Laka, SVD (My Thoughts)
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Date Posted: Fri, Dec 29 2006, 06:39:58pm

My dear brother and sister Engans.

Many seasonal greetings of peace. I was silent for sometimes after proposing the topic of Tribal Fight in this forum. I had reasons for being away. Firstly my academic work. I am now in the Philippines to finish my PhD. At the same time, I have been working on my PhD Dissertation, which I am happy to share with the like minded Engans and Papua New Guineans when I have defended it. For those who might be interested in my topic, I am working on: Empowerment, the “Tapping” of Innate Power for Participatory Development. Well, this is not the issue here, though it has kept me silent for some times.

My dear Engans. I am very much blessed to have your thoughts expressed regarding the topic. I noticed that many of us, almost all of us in this forum have expressed our thoughts against what had destroyed the image of our beloved Enga. After reading your much appreciated thoughts and contribution, I feel that, our approach to the said topic would be participatory in nature. By this, I mean, we are to go back and start with our people. We are live with our people, educate our young brothers, cousins and uncles. Nobody will not listen to us the learned children of our villages. After reaching certain level of schooled people, I believe People will listen to us when we go to them. When we talk with them and listen to them I believe there will be the respect we earn. By doing so, we would help them to make informed decisions that would one way or the other contribute to peace making process. When this approach is taken, I would give a second thought in terms of location. Thus, POM, Madang or other places besides Enga would be ruled out, although, thoughts, suggestions and opinions coming from these areas would be highly appreciated. Wabag would be an idle location, if I may say so.

The reason is my beloved Engans, we all are products of Engan Blood and we have the spirit and charisma of any peace loving Engans who disgrace Tribal Fights. Though we may be victims of the said topic, yet the quest for avenge of the lost of our loved ones still linger in our hearts, whether we like it or not, whether we are aware or not. People would put pressure on us to take revenge. My father was shot, my uncle was slaughter and I remember carrying the dead corpse of my step brother to be buried. The pain of revenge boiled down through my nerves, yet, I told my own brothers and tribes men, “one life is lost, there will be no more lives being lost”.

Dear brothers, dear sisters, conflict resolution talks and other possible talks may help. We must also make the distinction between conflict and violence or tribal fight. Conflict is not synonymous with violence. I read the book by Archbishop Doug Young of Mt. Hagen, titled: Our Land is Green and Black. He talks about conflict resolution, where preventive measures have been taken, but this seems to be forgotten. People lacked interest, but that does not mean that people would not step in when need be. The idea of conflict resolution is very much appreciated. It would arm a person to stand in as mediator for any warring tribes but I believe it all begin in us. The biggest question I would like to pose here is: if it happens to me that my loved one is killed, would I as an educated person of my tribe challenge my people to lay down their weapons? I salute those who would. I believe by doing so, we might eradicate tribal fight in our province.


Further more, for those who have suggested me to be the chairperson of the interim committee of this topic; I appreciate your opinion about me. I will not let down your thoughts about me, however, I would like to see this as a voluntary work, simply because I as a son of Enga wish very much that my people live in peace and I will take a voluntary approach to intervene if need be. I have done it before and I will do it. To do this, I prefer to stay back in PNG. At this moment, I am out of the country, but sooner I will be going back home, PNG, to Enga if and when I am released by my superiors for my research. I will do a little bit of awareness campaign about the election that people make informed decision to vote for their leaders. I will also use my position on occasion that are necessary to talk on issues on tribal fight. An informed decision to be made by our people through us by our awareness talks and campaign is the vital point I see.

But in the mean time, if anyone living in Wabag would wish to take any action plan, I would very much appreciate it. I will share my opinions on this.

The late Andersen Aipit’s contribution in this forum is very much lauded. I believe, people like him in public/political offices, would be in some position to really carry out action plans. We may hold meetings for awareness campaign, going to our own villages and giving talks. To travel from one district to another would be costly, thus, to make use of radio Enga for talk back programs would be necessary but again, I don’t know if radio Enga is on the air after its transmitter station when down to ashes. We need people in public offices to really make this a policy, to stop trouble fight once and for all through executive decisions.

However, what would be necessary primarily is to make our own awareness campaign from where we come from. Maybe we would exchange ideas and points to talk about, but the initiative to organize a public talk in our own districts would be a good starting point.

Another possibility would be that, sometimes during the election time, a public talk in Wabag town would be great. If everyone is in favor of holding one grand rally in Wabag Town, then let someone in Wabag start sending notes to the people of Enga. I may not make it due my superior’s decisions. I will come if they give me the permission to travel. However, I will write to the 17 catholic parishes in Enga for a grand rally if someone is willing to initiate it. For my brother/sister Engans of other Christian faith like Lutherans, AOG, SDA and others, you may also do the same. Let us set a date for a grand rally. One day’s talk at a grand opening and later on following it up in our own districts would be good.

Dear Engans, I have talked too much, sorry for that. But what am I saying here? Two points:

First: If we want a grand awareness campaign, someone in Wabag please organize a date and place and let us know. I will contribute by writing email to my brother priest in Enga to pass the message for this event. This can be done when the country and the province is going into polling.

Second: Not all of us are in PNG, nor have the same time for break and holidays after studies and work. The issue about Tribal Fighting is a sickness that is imprinted in the hearts of young and old Engans, which can be eradicated once and for all. The big responsibility remains in us schooled Engans. We ought to take a personal initiative and interest in our own districts and villages to start an informal campaign about the consequences of tribal fights during our own time. Let us express our regrets and hopes when we go home for breaks. Let us make our young and old know that we as learned children of our villages do not like it. Let us express our sentiments to our own people; I know they will listen to us. Let us put our heads together in the little way that we can think of.

Grand rallies and talks can be organized when those living in PNG and those living abroad who could make it during Christmas come together. A good timing for a grand rally is tangible.

Em tasol and I am looking forward to hear from you my dear brother and sister Engans.

Note: If I am given the permission to go to PNG for my research and data collection, I will organize a rally before the coming polling begins. I will take the initiative to pass the message around, in EMTV, FM and AM radios for the invitation. I wish to ask those in this forum to make a sensible, reflective and thought provoking speech in this rally if we push through. We will invite all intending candidates if they want to be part of it. Enga needs change from her children like you and me and we’ve got to make our Enga Proud of Us. May God bless Enga, May Tribal Fight be stopped for the good of our children.

Fr. Robert Plews Laka, SVD
University of the Philippines, Los Baños.

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Replies:
[> Subject: Re: Can Tribal Fight be Eradicated Once and For All? MY THOUGHTS


Author:
Corner Man
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Date Posted: Mon, Jan 29 2007, 07:13:04pm

Of all that is being said about your stated Subject,” Can Tribal Fight be Eradicated Once and For All?". 'NONE' have mentioned the root cause of this existing problem. I am sure it's not a political or personal fare. It is obviously a Spiritual matter that has Complex Links to the Physical Ethno-Egotistic Attitude of Engan Ancestral Ethnicity (Super-hereditary Status). Solely, Politics(al) involvement has made it even worse in the yesteryears.

Before anything else is thought to be the solution to achieving the subject of discussion here(not even a awareness campaign), I strongly recommend a Socio-Ethnical Study for the general population (probably involving NGOs) to establish the connection between individual attitude/character and group interactions to identify the possible causes to why the subject of interest occurs & recurs. Such a Study will involve the studying group spending up to a months stay in selected areas with locals and it is guaranteed that their arrived findings will shock nearly all of us.

Corner Man

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[> Subject: Tribal Fights can be called Tribal Solutions


Author:
Kembol the Klever
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Date Posted: Tue, Jan 30 2007, 04:20:23am

Hey Priest! Happy New Year! I see you are at it again, gathering material for your dissertation perhaps? Good for you. Nothing like using other peoples' brains for your own selfish good. Oh I agree with you. It's your job to appear to be priestly. Soft demeanour and compassionate eyes. We know all the sly tricks you priests use to con humans. You are using tribal solutions as a means to achieve your doctorate are you? How about sitting you in the front row of your clan's next fight and then feeling how exciting it is to know that an arrow or a bullet can come whizzing through the air at any time to crack open your skull? Now that is exciting. Brings us closer to God when we are excited.
No, Priest, tribal solutions can never be changed unless the tribes want to change it and so far it seems we all prefer tribal solutions to any other form of anger management.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Tribal Fights can be called Tribal Solutions


Author:
Max
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Date Posted: Tue, Jan 30 2007, 07:22:34am

Kembol the Klever,
At leastyou make sense now. Send the Priest where the action is (YAND NENG) and I bet, he'll feel what it takes to have balls, real BALLS.

Over-Educated personals (Phd, masters or what ever) with their mordern incoperated ideas to totally eradicate a well rooted traditional problem that has existed for ages, stop and go home, Enga-land and really, really find out. If not, Mr. Laka, don't think you can make people realize and rectify their problems overnight.

Come out of your Dreams.

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Tribal Fights can be called Tribal Solutions


Author:
Fr. Robert Plews Laka, SVD
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Date Posted: Tue, Jan 30 2007, 01:31:50pm

Kembol and Max,

Thank you for your comments. I appreciate them, but this will never stop me and those who wishes to do something good for Enga, for we are sons of Enga. If you ask me to go to the frontier of the fight, (yanda nengge), well mind you Max, I have. I have received arrows and bullets. I have experienced what tribal fight is. It has never been will never be a dream to me, to find a solution. I know what it is before and after being a priest. This is nothing new to me and I wasn't spared from being a victim. An Engan is worth dying for, my friend. I don't even have anything to hold onto as a priest. What do I possess? Nothing, but what I care is the victims and the good name of you and me as Engans. I don't even mind dying even if this is what you think. I am just nobody and I will always be nobody, wishing everybody to live a life that is worth living then to throw it away in tribal fighting. You and I have very, very short life to live, not only because of any religious convictions, but that is a fact. We don't live up to a hundred plus years. We have only a limited span of years to live and let us not through it away through be reckless kaim, and one of that is tribal fight. Let us stop it.

Kembol, if you think that this is my selfish motive for "using" people to get my materials for dissertation, well, I don't need people like you for my thesis if I am writing something about tribal fight. I am an Engan and I can and will write something based on my Engan experience simply because I AM AN ENGAN. Sorry kaim, you have understood me wrong, for tribal fight is not my dissertation for PhD. Even if I may have done so or others willing to do so, it is never a selfish motive, rather a collective one for the good of all. Maybe this is a naive idea you expressing my friend.

I agree with you that tribal solutions can never be changed unless the tribes want to change it. But my question is no tribe consists without any individuals like you and me. If people like you and me contribute collectively, then I guess we can make a difference instead of resolving to tribal fight as a means to an end.

Well kaims, don't think that I will give up. I will never turn my back to see how many are with me. I will do it alone even if need be. I will stand up for this even if it would cost my life. I don't mind it. I may die, but there will be many who will still bring it forth.

My two kaims, I bid you peace. Let us share something collectively. Don't hide behind your pen names to promote negative images of OUR Enga.

Fr. Robert Plews Laka, SVD

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[> Subject: what causes Tribal fighting?


Author:
ozzie
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Date Posted: Fri, Feb 02 2007, 10:52:07am

What are the main issues that cause tribal fighting? is it just over land or other stuff?

I read in my local paper this week (Australia) that a tribal fight in Hagen has been going on for the past 26 years.

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[> Subject: The changing face of tribal warfare


Author:
-
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Date Posted: Sun, Jul 01 2007, 06:53:24pm

For anyone interested about this topic, there is a documentary on ABC Foreign Correspondent this Tuesday

http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/content/2007/s1964976.htm

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[> [> Subject: Re: The changing face of tribal warfare


Author:
pngean
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Date Posted: Thu, Jul 05 2007, 01:58:32am

True true.

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[> Subject: Re: Can Tribal Fight be Eradicated Once and For All? MY THOUGHTS


Author:
wanpela meri
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Date Posted: Tue, Jul 03 2007, 11:15:49pm

Why have the serbs and croats fight? Same thing. The original reason often becomes lost. Each side ends up believing they are the victim and need to avenge themselves.

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