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Subject: Mother Enga


Author:
Fr. Robert Laka
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Date Posted: Fri, Aug 11 2006, 06:41:32pm

I have been spending most of my free time reading the happenings in our country and our province (Mother Enga in particular), in the two newspapers online and of course this precious webpage, ENGA WAI PII, (thanks to the maestro).

After considerable amount of time in keeping in touch with PNG through the net, it is sad on one had, while it is a pride on the other.

It is sad to see and hear about the negative images painted upon Mother Enga in terms of its progress. Enga is blessed with the abundance of resources that is more then enough to bring her to the world standard of economic competition and prosperity. However, it is sad when the motivation of progress is being diverted to some individualistic self-centered expenditure, which blind-dens the very nature of progress. Most of the citizens of Engan have been misinformed about the concept of Free Education System in the Province which has been attributed to the Governor Ipatas. Well, I do not blame the ordinary Engans for doing that because free education system as a beneficiary, is not the initiative of Mr. Ipatas to pay school fees for Engan students in the province and the country. It is a basic human right. All children of a nation or a province have the right to free education. That is a right and that right does not have to be deprived. Elected members become the agents of their citizens to utilize such beneficiaries. They do not exist to govern on their own. “Takaingen muru penge da” (Their mandate to govern is not hereditary, rather a matter of representation of the majority through the power of the ballot box).

For us educated Engans, we should not be carried away by this saga. We’ve also got to know that Education in terms of expenditure in terms of indirect cost is not free. There are some expenses what is understood as Free Education. Strictly speaking it is a squandering of money in the name of free education, which does not benefit the total population of Enga. Money is invested in the human resources of Enga in order to have the Benefits of Education for the Engans but, so far, 1 out of 50 has returned to give back to the Enga government for the money spent. We all have taken for granted what has been spent on us to be educated and prefer working somewhere else rather then going back to Enga. Well, I do not blame you for that.

Further more, we must not buy an educated fool’s preconceived notion of the governor of Enga as being the most progressive governor in the country. My question is then: How does one measure “progress” when the basic human right services are lacking in the province? How can someone measure progress when we don’t see any building that can be classified as a hospital to cater for all the Engans who are sick? Do we call it a progress when most of the Engan children do not have their rights to education when there is constant tribal fighting and the law and order is lacking, or when teachers don’t teach and receive pay just because he/she is a supporter of the governor? How do we measure progress when the feeder roads of the remote parts of Enga are not being maintained for the delivery of goods and services? The list goes on. I have traveled around the whole of Enga and have heard the sentiments of the people.

Critically speaking, if we look at the performance record; in the past 10 years if Mr. Ipatas had paid the school fees of the Engan children, where are they? Are jobs being created for them in the province? In the past 10 years, has there been any hospital put up instead of the colonial building still standing without any proper medical facilities; in the past ten years there would have been good telecommunication system or radio Enga net work coverage. In the past ten years, all the feeder roads in Enga would have been upgraded and maintained, in the past ten years, there would not have been a major change in the administrative offices, education offices and other public offices that are the channels of development in Enga. I don’t see any of that so far. Is this call progress or success?

My fellow learned Engans, the old Engan mentality of “kalai pingi akali” does not justify the realities that are happening in Enga. Look carefully, ask the majority of the voiceless people and they will speak their heart out. We are not creating a “governor’s fan club” in Enga, we are talking about Economic competition, Education and health Excellence. We are buying ideas that are pertained to evaluation and monitoring of public funds and proper accountability. We are for a leader who can accommodate the public servants who have a heart to serve without aftering fat pay slips. We are looking at punctuality and consistency in terms of holding public officers through professionalism. This is what I label it: Progress.

Any elected leaders “suspected” of any misconduct in public offices is subjected to the law and the law decides. It is not a question of when did it happen (time element factor), rather, How did it happen. If the law is being manipulated (which I believe is) through monopoly, nepotism and bribery, PNG won’t move, so as Enga. It will remain in the dark, despite being one of the riches provinces in the country.

On the other hand, it is a pleasure to realize that there are enough educated sons and daughters of Enga who wish to move Enga into a competitive province in term of economic, social and political progress. This is the PRIDE I have. I have kept in touch with many Engans within PNG and abroad who express the same sentiments as I do. I am happy to share what I have in mind with them. After all, Enga will always be our mother and we the children of Enga have so much to contribute to decorate her. We don’t have to be educated fools and learned idiots to be carried away by the attitude of “mi save tu”.

Any one who wishes to react to this reflection, I would stand being corrected if I am wrong, however, I suggest, you must understand contextually the content of my reflection, lest the argument might be an editorial jargon.


Fr. Robert Laka (Tsikiro Tange )
wannealupee@gmail.com

Student
Slovenia - Europe

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Replies:
[> Subject: Re: Mother Enga


Author:
West Engan
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Date Posted: Fri, Aug 11 2006, 07:38:28pm

The National, August 11 (2006)


Mockery of judiciary

NEVER in any sovereign country, besides the Third World, would we find a constitutionally-elected leader released punitively after being found guilty on monetary charges.
It is a slap in the face for democracy and sends out a message that administrative abuse, corruption and misappropriation can be forgiven with money.
The verdict handed out by Justice Panuel Mogish to Enga Governor Peter Ipatas was unjust and may have serious repercussions on the country’s future leadership.
In the US, such a verdict would have been challenged, warranting further investigations into the nature of the relationship between Mr Ipatas (who is the principal owner of the contractor) and the unethical bureaucratic handling of Government contracts.
Panda Builders was given the benefit of doubt because Justice Mogish claimed provincial public servants failed to report, and that the company was the only one bidder which had the expertise and resources to construct classrooms and other education facilities.
Justice Mogish failed to comprehend the locale of the MP’s home turf on which the construction occurred and that, under the Local Level Government Administration Act, the governor has the power to exercise significant financial and administrative dictation that is appropriate.
Unfortunately, the policy appropriately grants the rights and powers of the provincial governor enabling him to hire and fire bureaucratic administrators and provincial executive council members, who in turn have administrative powers over ordinary public servants and provincial policy issues. This then creates a rigid authoritative regime headed solely by the governor.
The good people of PNG and Enga, including tertiary students of major universities and college institutions, are blinded by a “cargo cult” mentality believing that “free education” alone can alleviate the under-development issues of poverty and unemployment rampant throughout Papua New Guinea.
The exhilarating promise of employment is only temporary and Engan graduates will be rudely disappointed by the scarcity of jobs, regardless of the knowledge and skills acquired from institutions ever diminishing in intellectual capacity.

PNG development fighter,
Via email

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[> Subject: Well said, Fr. Robert!


Author:
KLagaipT3
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Date Posted: Mon, Aug 14 2006, 09:41:04pm

I would like all Engan scapers to take the time to carefully read the message Fr. Robert has imparted. I couldn't have said it better! It irritates me each day to see how politics has destroyed our province to the point of manipulation, nepotism and corruption in the bureaucracy let alone the silent condonement of such social crimes by the people (whether from fear or favor).

Fr. Robert clearly tells us that Education is not a privilege but a basic human right! The Enga Provincial Government's annual budget surpluses derived from an ownership stake in the mine (PJV) is not coming from Ipatas' father nor his back pocket! It comes from the mineral wealth stored in Engan soil and should rightfully be distributed to the sons and daughters of Enga. If not for education, better quality roads, and hospitals equiped with state-of-the-art medical apparatuses could have been introduced. But no, Ipatas has conveniently created for himself an image as "Savior" (who has he saved from death?) and "workhorse" Governor (how much time does he spend between work and pleasure? You tell..)

The good people of Enga need to clear the mud out of their eyes and remove this warlord womanizer of a politician and have him replaced by one more competent both intellectually and morally come 2007.

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[> [> Subject: Can you justify Fr. Robert?


Author:
Evaluator
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Date Posted: Tue, Aug 15 2006, 01:48:56am

It was a sound paper written, Fr. Robert. I am not a Catholic nor, religious, but I see the points you mentioned. I guess there are a lot of loopholes in Enga. I have no reaction to what you said. I would love to read and critique on it but so far I have none. However, I have two points to make:
1. You said: "the school fees being paid is a squandering of money in the name of free education, which does not benefit the total population of Enga". How can you justify a poor villager who has two children in school which the "free education" has relieved their burden?
2. Are you this Fr. Robert Laka the former Chaplain of Divine Word University? or you are Fr. Robert Lak, the late Fr. Lak. Please clarify.

Evaluator

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[> [> Subject: Oh what a superb dinner darling


Author:
Sari Songster (Tra lala lalaaaaaaaaaaalllaaaa)
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Date Posted: Tue, Aug 15 2006, 06:12:38am

I know that darling Peter will always want meat with his dinner. You know that Pete has a big appetite, don't you all, and that Ipatas [we are allowed to call him Ipatas] is not really a womaniser but a true and valiant stalwart of fidelity.
But his love of foreign meat always has us worried. My lady friends always tickle me under the chin when I speak lovingly of Ipatas.
Then I do the washing of his clothes and this is when I break into prose
Tra lala
Pete
Tra lala
is meat
Tra lala
what a lovely song
Tra lala

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Oh what a superb dinner darling


Author:
Bonbon (Sari Songster Mr. Ipatas' Meat)
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Date Posted: Thu, Aug 17 2006, 08:13:44pm

Not to mention the time Mr. Ipatas was up your arse. You speak so highly of him. Your were the meat for Mr. Ipatas that night. Up yours, all the way he went.

Ever since then, you have been saying tra lala. Its the pain he caused you that you can't hold.

No wonder.

B

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[> [> [> [> Subject: Nahh, he's the Sari Sock Cucker!


Author:
Anti-Sari Songster
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Date Posted: Thu, Aug 17 2006, 09:42:13pm

Bonbon,

How dare you insult Ipatas' lover!
Tra-la-na-na-na!
He bites, he sucks, he's everything a queer man could ask for!
Tra-la-na-na-na!
Last night, Ipatas served him his fill
Tra-la-na-na-na!
After a hearty serving of Ipatas' famous meat he asked to chill!
Tra-la-na-na-na
So Ipatas gave him warm milk
Tra-la-na-na-na
Songster drank it all (like the pussy he was!)
Tra-la-na-na-na
Sari Songster. He's brave, he's strong!
Master of Suck, Master of Song!
As he took the duck, Ipatas drilled the puck!
You see it's a hockey game they play, that keeps him sore all day
Tra-la-na-na-na ("Iiyaga Songster ero nengke yo!!!!")

Anti-Sari Songster

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[> [> [> [> Subject: Ipatas and I are just good friends


Author:
Sari Songster
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Date Posted: Fri, Aug 18 2006, 07:00:08pm

No insult taken, dear ones. I am beyond insults. Whenever a song enters my head I feel all gooey inside anfd I have to just sing tra lala and I know that everyone is joyful and triumphant and Peter glows all heaven like in his majestic beauty.
Oh
Tra lala
When I sing Oh
Tra lala
My heart goes zing
Tra lala
Oh peter
Tra lala
Why must you be so cruel
Tra lala
because you are my god
Tra lala

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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: Oh, do you really FEEL so!


Author:
Anti-Sari Songster
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Date Posted: Sun, Aug 20 2006, 12:01:24am

"Ipatas and I are good friends", says the Songster!
Tra la nengke, nengke, nengke!
He gets all gooey in his head from Ipatas' leftover milk
Tra la nengke, nengke, nengke!
But he's so happy he'd rather bend
And again let Ipatas sink in his rear end
Tra la nengke nengke, nengke!
Songster he's brave, he's strong!
To take anything, extra long!
But unfortunately for Ipatas!
His small tool put up a fuss,...
Songster complained
"I don't feel cained!"
Tra la nengke, nengke, nengke!
So he had Ipatas bring a vibrating rod from Sydney Red..
And received all the beating on his rose colored bed..
Poor Songster, Poor Queer Transvestite..
He'll never complain of sharp words up his II-YA-KITE!
Tra la nengke, nengke, nengke!
(Sari Songster ero nengke yo!!)

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Oh, do you really FEEL so!


Author:
Anon (Sari Loves anything)
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Date Posted: Sun, Aug 20 2006, 10:42:28am

Sari Songster loves sucking Ipatasen pong, Tra la la. Sari stands by waiting Ipatas to put his duck into a wet pussy and then Sari goes over to suck it clean nice, Tra la la. Sari loves sucking after Ipatasen pong and loves sucking Ipatasen II-YA-KITE, Tra la la.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Oh, do you really FEEL so!


Author:
Kinal Taeng
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Date Posted: Sun, Sep 17 2006, 06:55:43pm

Sari Songstar,
Please do not rubbish the name Sari in your silly thoughts because you do not speak for all in Sari. You could try using your name instead of Sari.

Tnks
Kinal Taeng

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[> Subject: Re: Mother Enga


Author:
B
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Date Posted: Fri, Aug 18 2006, 07:22:46pm

Hey Sari, whoever you are, you are a fool, stupid, dump, hithead and a big *******. You are one hell of a sick frick. Eb Ipatas pong ong nak mai.

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[> Subject: My response to the Evaluator


Author:
Fr. Robert Laka (Mother Enga)
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Date Posted: Mon, Aug 21 2006, 03:30:21pm

I appreciate your comment, Evaluator. You don’t have to be a Catholic nor a religious person to response to my paper. I wrote my paper in the name of Humanity and anyone, regardless of religion and belief has the right to say what he/she thinks and feels.

About your points asking me to justify the relief of a poor person when his two children are in school, well, squandering of money in the name of free education and relieving a poor man from the village are not the same thing.

When I mentioned that, money is being squandered in the name of free education, I expressed, that the right to education is a basic human right and that right must not be denied by any leaders in position. That right is what freedom is which individuals possess and every person deserves that right to be upheld. In that manner, Evaluator, the poor man’s two children have the right to education. I am not against the right to free education, where I need to justify it. However, the relief from the burden of increased school fee is lauded on the part of the poor person. But my question is, if these two children finish their studies, are there jobs created for them? Maybe in other parts of PNG but not in Enga. I might be wrong, for which I would stand being corrected.

However, if I am asked, to elaborate what I meant by squandering of money, in the name of free education means, then I am to maintain my stand as it is. I see squandering of money in terms of lack of proper accountability and records of the millions being spent for the students; squandering of money when the whole bunch of “mi kam wantaim gavenor long paiem skul pee” end up in hotels for days before returning back to the province but most of all, I define squandering of money, in terms of jobs not being created for Engans who wish to come back to work and serve Enga. Well, the list goes not, I don’t have to elaborate.

Every toea spent on an Engan soul to achieve his/her education counts and there is an expected benefit to be given back to Enga. However, that education benefit or “return” is not in progress. I mentioned earlier, that I don’t blame the multitude of Engan intellects passing out from tertiary levels. However my point is that, a well organized people orientated government, who wishes to move a country or province forward, invests in human potentials to harvest the benefit. By doing so, job is created in any level. Communication and understanding usually takes place with the government and the students in order to return back educational benefits in terms of service. The student does not have to reimburse the amount gotten from the government. Everybody takes for granted what the government gives and nobody even bother to return back to Enga to serve her. Some, in fact most graduates want to, but there is simply no job created for all. Even if job is created, for instance the teachers or health workers, working conditions, roads and other deteriorating basic services puts down their morale, which lacks the commitment and enthusiasm they have. One leads to another problem.

To have all this in order and progressiveness, the leader (together with his advancers) has to be economically competent, morally sound and empathetic to ALL ENGANS, regardless of who casted votes on whom. By then Enga will be always beautiful. Mother Enga would be crowned with the abundance of her gold and adorned with the beauty of her pyrethrum, well, much more. Enga is yet to come up, before it is consummated in a very, very short term, leaving nothing for our children.

About where I come from, you are correct about your facts about me earlier, but I am NOT the late Fr. Robert Lak. Mi pikinini Enga, ino hagen.

And to the surfers, I suggest we should behave with the use of our language on this web. I guess the intention of the person who created this forum is for logical exchange of words and ideas. To you sari songster, sometimes, it is wise not to annoy others by the style of language you use. I guess POLITENESS is the name of the language; we Engans need to have, rather then being aggressive. It doesn’t help in the long run.

Fr. Robert Laka (Tsikiro Tange)
Slovenia - Europe

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[> [> Subject: Salute you Fr. Robert


Author:
Yandapone Ex Diwai
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Date Posted: Tue, Aug 22 2006, 02:39:03am

Well said Fr. Robert. I appreciate the comments you have made so far, these are the happenings in what you call, "mother Enga". Enga is indeed our mother. In your short time at Divine Word University, you have done a lot; you stood up for what was ethically correct. You were fearless in certain administrative matters when you stood up for the students. By doing so, you have lifted the Engan flag high, when you became the first Papua New Guinean chaplain in a white and foreign dominated institution. We (esp Enga students) hope to see you back, this time, as someone "big" after your PhD. Congrats and well done.

Yandapone Ex DIWAI

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[> [> Subject: Re: My response to the Evaluator


Author:
Keaster
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Date Posted: Tue, Aug 22 2006, 01:42:26pm

Father Robert Laka

Thank you for evaluating the current situation in Enga. As a young Engan growing up in the once most beautiful town of Wabag in the late 70's and early 80's my heart sinks everytime I go to Wabag these days. It has surely deteriorated. The districts are no better.

I dont want to commend on any big development issues but the current state of Wabag town leaves a lot to be desired of the Governor. There are huge potholes right in the town centre. Services are non existence. The town market, after its fence were pulled down by Governor's orders 10 years ago, is yet to be build. Critics may say these are small town council matters and big governor has big matters to worry about. My question is, what is the other big thing that he has been doing in the province?

If governor cannot develop a small town and a province, how can he develop a nation. His dreams of becoming prime minister are just dreams and will forever remain dreams. The rest of PNG knows he talks too much but lacks substance.

He can squander money to the Kundiawa league and what not for publicity sake around the country........but he cannot build a small market for his very poor subsistance crop growers to sell their produce. What a shame.

Concerned Engan

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: My response to the Keaster


Author:
Kiak
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Date Posted: Tue, Aug 22 2006, 03:21:13pm

Concern Engan... your question: What big thing Governor has done for Enga? That I think is a very stupid question.

What has Samuel Tei Abal done for Wabag Open Electrate? That I guess is a question to be answered. Governor does not need to go to Sakales and put up the Market fence? should that be the responsibility of the Wabag Town Authority? I understand, that is just one example you are taking but there should be a line of command. If money is budgeted for Wabag Town Authority then they should take care of the market. If it is not done, there's a problem with the council or whoever is there to take charge.

The Enga Governor deals with matters as per his calibre/standard.

I am not Governors supporter but I can say without doubt that he has done alot for the people of Enga. He is very smart, clever and has an elephant head. He knows that Enga will not chance regardless of the developments and as he is puting in more and more money into Human Resource Development. He knows that when the People of Enga are educated atleast to some degree, they will act profesional and think profesionally, by doing so you will see less tribal fighting and a step forward towards development.

Finally, not even one Enga Governor has done what Mr. Ipatas has done so far for the people of Enga.

Probably he sees that Enga needs more then what he can offer thus he can meet those from a prime misister's post.

Sakait Kiak
A1 Guys

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[> [> [> [> Subject: Re: My response to the Keaster


Author:
Keaster
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Date Posted: Tue, Aug 22 2006, 05:35:25pm

Kiak, you just don't understand what Iam saying. Your governor has contributed next to nothing in national politics in 10 donkey years. Can you tell me one thing he has contributed at that level? Paying school fees is a one off thing every year for the few fortunate who go to school. All the erection of school buildings in Enga are done by Panda builders in association with Niugini builders. You dont develop a province or society by creating an elite educated class who are not in touch with the mass populace. You know what you and your governor should do, and let me remind you, it starts from the smallest and least thing to the highest.
-clean up wabag town
-create markets (provincial and national) for cash crop growers
-maintain roads
renovate aidposts and health centres
My friend, the list goes on.....

Only when you can do the smallest thing can you do the big and the impossible. Dont give me the bull shit about some town councillors and what not for not doing their jobs. You are the man in charge, where you see inaction, you have to demand action. Your backyard must be clean before you talk about running the nation. You have huge potholes right in the middel of the road that leads to your castle, the greenhouse. One question Kiak, do you and governor want to fix this problems when you become PM and not while you are governor. Let me remind you that your dreams are just that "wishful dreaming" for a better son of Enga will one day become PM.

You know what Sam Able has done in his Just 1.8 years after his by-election victory? He has solocited government funding to seal the whole of Wabag township for 3.6 million Kina. But this is not about Mr Abal, whose worths are yet to be proven. This is about your so called action governor who has done virtually nothing in 10 years. You and your likes can convince the mass illiterate of Enga with your so called 'smoke and mirror'type propaganda of development, but you will not sell to the 'truely concerned' who know the truth. Fortune has come your way, so do enjoy your last days in the seat of power for one day justice will be done and the real Enga will arise to take its place in PNG. For the moment, it will not come from the likes of your corner.

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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: Development as I WISHED it.


Author:
Fr. Robert Laka
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Date Posted: Wed, Aug 23 2006, 12:11:20am

My Brother Engans: Sakait Kiak and Concern Engan.

Taking into consideration, what you have exchanged over regarding what has been done and what has not been done by a leader, based on their performance record, I wish to take a middle stand and share my opinion on WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN DONE and WHAT OUGHT TO BE DONE by a leader.

I have shared my reflection on the free education system as one of the areas that needs evaluation in terms of expenses of the Engans for the Engans. Well, this is ONE of the many development priorities an elected leader OUGHT to do. A basic human right is worth spending for, but that spending needs to be monitored and evaluated for proper accountability. As I said, every toea counts. If other developed countries can do it, why not we, who strive for excellence, do it. We can’t simply say, it’s impossible. Nothing is impossible if the records are straight.

However, since your opinions are based on developmental issues, I would think of two complimentary aspects of development: 1. development in terms of INTEGRAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT and 2. INFRASTRACTURAL DEVELOPMENT.

Integral Human development includes a person’s physiological, psycho-emotional and intellectual development with of course spiritual development. Education as an element of growth becomes a key factor for an Engan to grow intellectually to contribute to the infrastructural development of Enga. The governor had prioritized so, (though with ill advice) to avail the intellectual development to the selected few. In this stance, I agree on principle with the Sakait Kiak; indeed, a professional Engans contributes well and professional ideas for the development of Enga.

However, 10 years had been a long futile time spent with very little achievement, at least some evidence of rural development scheme that would encourage the rural farmers to produce something for and at the provincial level, however, nothing as reached that paradigm. For instance, we had Enga Vegetable Deport was in operation for some times but don’t know what happened. That would be a venue for our local farmers to sell their products that would then be sold to PJV for instance or other possible markets venues like nearby schools and hospitals. However, I have not seen that so far. (I remember bringing the tones of vegetables and fruits from Wapenemanda to give them to the hospital in Yampu every month). The Radio Enga is another instances, that would transmit relevant social, political and economical issues pertaining to development matters, but KBM has no voice now, as far as I know. I might be wrong, please correct me. The other would be the telecommunication system that would enable the flow of information for dissemination in the business and administrative environment. Enga has enough high mountains and a dream to host a transmitter tower to have the network linkage easier seems impossible. The famous “system i daun” in the banks remains an everlasting phenomenon, with many Engans becoming victims of crime when they travel back and forth to do business in other centers.

On the other hand, the basic key to attain development at any level is still lacking. There are no feeder roads that would have access to all our subsistent farmers to market their products, which includes coffee. Roads at Kompiam, Ambum, Tsaka Valley and some outstations of Kandep and Alukuli are in dire stage. My recent pastoral visit to these places was a big sigh. I am not including the township of Wabag, which has been a slap on the face. (Thanks to Sam to seal the vicinity). But these feeder roads of the districts are essential basic linkage that would have the Engans have every access to their lives in terms of services. This is what development is. The busy they are with their products at different markets, the peaceful Enga would be and the educated Engans showing the path to prosperity. This is possibility and is attainable. If others can do it, we can.

Let we forget that, today, information, knowledge and participatory processes of social change are essential to development if the Leader is willing to lead Engans to respond to both opportunities and major challenges of the coming century.

Fr. Robert Plews Laka (Tsikiro, Ambum Tange)
Slovenia - Europe

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[> Subject: Re: Mother Enga


Author:
Malipine Onotange
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Date Posted: Tue, Aug 22 2006, 12:49:26am

Nailed it well, Kaim.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Mother Enga


Author:
Kaim
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Date Posted: Wed, Aug 23 2006, 12:55:47pm

Fr. R. Plews Laka,
Greetings from home sweet home, PNG.
I am impressed with your well-articulated paper about the situational atmosphere in Mother Enga. I’d thought it was indeed a gut wrenching, truthful and a welcome analysis, especially from someone in the Church circle, which appeared to have been oblivious to the many social ills that are prevalent at home. Though, you made no specific reference as to categorizing the piece as a representative view from the church, I am happy that someone like yourself is contributing something useful as a private and concerned son of Enga. Many church folks have had their own reasons to stay clear from these things unlike you. I admire this from you. I can only remember reading something similar from a Bishop in Mendi about that province’s state of affairs. It’s rare so to say. Telling it like it is, takes courage and determination. It is no easy matter considering your personal disclosure in the end.

By and large, I share the same sentiments that you have expressed. I also have thrown around my fleeting thoughts here and there along those lines in this forum. Couple of those postings have well aged to qualify a space in this forum’s achieve tray. Alas. You touched on issues about genuine development in the areas of road infrastructure, health facilities, administrative accountability, jobs, telecommunications infrastructure and education amongst others. However, with regards to education, I as one of your former class mates from Anditale High School, wish to draw some parallels from our days in School and weigh them against the last ten years, the period in which the thrust of your analysis was drawn from. Here is my reaction.

Free education policy has been a political hot potato for a while and remains so. We all can agree that, that its sexiness has been too hard to resist all the piercing eyes and itchy ears. Judging from your expressed views, I find it a bit unfair on most aspects that, not only did you have a harsh view on this but qualified your views with some reasoning which I feel are not conclusive and fully satisfactory. I have my misgivings. It would be unwise for me and the readers out there if I don’t qualify why I say your view is harsh so I will take a moment to offer my perspective on the brighter side of free education - The Peter Ipatas Theory on the same.


It has become apparent that many (Engans and non-Engans alike) subscribe to that singularly dimensional view that Education is the doorway to employment alone. It’s a pity that the other broader view that, education is life itself in held in subversion. They also fail to fathom the riches of education, in the way it opens up doors and a world of opportunities for people (both rich and poor). The way Education empowers people to take charge of their lives and make informed choices is pushed to the periphery of busy lunch hour criticisms. The way it reduces the burden of disease and poverty, and gives greater voice in society is also not well understood. The global ticket education presents to young learned individuals to be equally competitive and cooperate in the global arena is misunderstood for a desk at the lifeless Ipatas Center at Wabag. They also fail to understand that education is a powerful tool that is capable to reducing tribal warfare too.

I agree that, Education is a right for everyone. Everyone is entitled to it. Yes. But, it’s a cruel irony that its costs have risen up by so much within the last ten years. Frankly it is clearly unaffordable by the greater section of the local community unlike our hay days in school (late 1980’s). Now, over to my parallels.

It is still fresh in my mind that, my subsistence farming parents from the coffee-less Londol area were able to sell a pig and come up with the K140.00 that I needed for my Grade 7 school fee. Fr. Laka, I can recall seeing you neatly dressed for the Gr 7 class whilst someone like myself could only afford only two shorts and two pair of casual shirts last lasted me the whole year. I couldn’t afford a pair of sandal. That was a luxury item. I was able to buy a bar of soap that lasted me one whole month, after I had cut the bar into four even smaller pieces and hid them carefully at a cockroach in a typical smoke filled Engan house. Ask me why? My parents couldn’t afford it. K140.00 to them was like the whole treasury at the time. I had no sibling working so financial source number two was zero for me. Comparing that hardship from that time to today’s cost of education is mind-boggling. Today’s cost of education is K1, 200.00 (not wholly paid for the Engan Provincial Government) at the same school and grade has made it look like it has become a plaything for only the affluent citizen’s children than a basic human right as we dearly ascribe to. I am not being sentimental here to solicit some comfort but expressing the obvious and realistic situation that many of our Engan parents are children are confronted with these days .

However noble and melodic education as a basic human right may sound, I am yet to see and hear one other Governor in PNG who sees like it is and gives it the consistent and unwavering support that it deserves. If none of the governors of the other resource rich provinces of PNG is doing it, no cash strapped provincial member’s meeting wouldn’t find it in their meeting agenda. Even if they do, they haven’t done it as well as Peter Ipatas. Couple have attempted it but they have been short-lived and miscalculated. I would find it hard and disappointing to stomach if the provincial government is not helping the parents with their education. After all, many Engans are already disadvantaged by the bad feeder road network in the province, which robs them of engaging in any meaningful enterprise. That would be a double blow to countless of potential Engan students who would have otherwise contribute meaningfully in the betterment of his/her community.

These things are not possible if it were not for a leader like Peter Ipatas who sees education in the right way. Not many resource rich provincial governors emulated or are able to square the achievements of this man.

Therefore, the debate that should take our time and energy is not whether Free Education Policy for Enga is good or bad but how it can be tailored and managed effectively to achieve the desired results. Providing employment for Enga’s many children by the Government must not and should never be the premise upon which investment in education be made.
The educated people will find their own place in society by themselves, whether back in the province, anywhere else in PNG or any in any part of the globe. Their choice should factor economic opportunities, marketplace, personal security and other facilities. The costs incurred by the check disbursement team that goes around to instutions to deliver the school subsidies should be considered insignificant compared with other luxury holiday overseas trips taken by many PNG politicians and their compatriots.

Finally in closing, I wish to also point out that, the Engan capital is served by a modern digital telecommunication infrastructure (both telephone exchange and terrestrial link) that should bode well for now. It was commissioned in August 2003. Governor Peter Ipatas’ government co-funded the project with half a million Kina. The province-wide telecommunications network is another subject that can be looked into in the times ahead. With the new network in place, Engans are already avoiding the misery and hardships that they had been exposed to while frequently Mt-Hagen for their telephone calls over the years.

Thanks.


Kaim
Naiepelam Tange - Upper Ambum

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Mother Enga


Author:
Fr. Robert Laka (My write-up to your paper KAIM)
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Date Posted: Fri, Aug 25 2006, 04:42:49am

KAIM, My Classmate, (can’t remember who this Naiepelam Tange could be, can think of Korokane Alone, my guess would be wrong. Well, long time my Kaim)

Greetings to you also, from this side of the planet and thanks for your salutations from home sweet home, PNG.

My kaim, I am overwhelmed by your applauded reaction paper in concurrence to what I have expressed, though with your own “misgivings”, which I humbly respect. I am not going to negate any position you took to express the parallels of what I mentioned, though seemingly too harsh to be maintained to qualify my analysis. However, I wish to take it a little bit further and express the grounds I have taken on the concept of free education policy. (I express my sentiments as a son of Enga)

As being expressed that Free education policy has been a “political hot potato for a while and remains so”, it is also agreed that its context shall also remain undisputable. However it is taken depends on the context and the approaches a person is disposed at. On the contrary, however harsh my approach may be or my views not conclusive and fully satisfactory, I base my opinion on possibilities I see as a consequence of the benefits of the education being promoted rather then being subsidized as a means to someone’s end.

I agree that it had become apparent to Papua New Guineans and other countries as well that education serves as the doorway to employment alone and that IS THE NAME of the game in the global village and it is the reality. A concern and smarter leader would maintain that spending money on education is an important way of raising a country’s GNP. Education is an important consumer good on which countries elect to spend more as their GNP rises, but with proper accountability.

Education is free and therefore every individuals starting to school at certain age level and to certain educational level have certain benefits to that freedom. I agree that it becomes an irony but never a cruel one, for we cannot blame the other sectors of reality that constitutes the irony especially with the increased prices of goods and services. However, there are ways in which this paradox of reality can be relaxed to maximize its accessibility for the majority.

If we look back at our schooling days kaim, we both were the products of the situation of THAT TIME rather, OUR TIME. How harsh the conditions we faced has motivated us to aim our goals higher. Just like you, my parents too had to sell my pig to pay for my school fees as well because my other brother, nieces and nephews were all in school. I didn’t want to give lay any burden to my parents, instead I worked my own way up. If you could recall to the expatriates at Anditale during our time, I did some gardening and chopped woods for them on weekends. The K1.00 they gave my every week, I saved them. At the end of the month, I had K28.00. With that money, I supported my family as well to buy market goods so at the end; I was left with 10 to 15 kina a month, which was enough for a 13 year old guy like me in 1987, to pay the K180 for a grade 8 student. Situation was hard for you in one context, while it was hard for me in another context. Life was never a bed of roses during our time. We both found ways to survive responding to the situation in which we lived. No one lived an affluent society at that time.

Indeed, now the school fees have gone so high, leaving majority of the poor village people with nothing but depending on the “free education policy”, (a BASIC HUMAN RIGHT), which had become a name tag attached to a person for meeting an end, a double agenda, should I say. This is what I call soft blackmailing the right and dignity of a person when that freedom and right is being overlooked especially at areas where majority lives today. Free education policy must not be a state of affair that creates the dependency syndrome of the people on the government. It is the government’s prerogative to avail the accessibilities to citizens, whom they are mandated to govern through empowerment rather then making them dependent. And that is the right which must not be ignored; should it be an affluent citizen’s children or a deprived citizen’s children. I make no distinction here, for a right to education is a right to life and the right to life is a right to dignity one has.

With acknowledgement to the current Enga Provincial Government’s policy on free education, I still question the dissemination process of the subsidy. While the distribution methodology needs policing up, every year seems to be the same and the need of policing up becomes a turtle track, with the nobility of transparency being disregarded. Accountants seems to be drowned by the monitory figures in front them which, makes it quite tempting for them to round the sum up to the nearest thousand to be distributed to the schools away from the districts proper, while the rest goes somewhere unaccounted for. This fact is a squandering of public money as well.

I agree that free education provides the opportunity for Engan children to find their own places in the society, indeed they have to do, after all, they contribute to the GNP of the country. However, still I maintain my stand that, the expenses spent by the government has to be returned back to Enga in terms of serve provided by an Engan graduate to Engans. It is true that the government cannot create jobs for all Engan students, but it is also true that Enga has many investment opportunities which are attainable through consensus with the government and the student passing out from tertiary institution. At least some had to return back to the province and the government HAS to open up that possibility for the schooled citizen returning back to Enga to contribute effectively. (I imagine the difference it would make) We don’t have to think big here. The success of a person has its roots to a humble beginning. So as the government. Any small opportunities that would boast the economy of the province is being initiated. That opportunity expands in the course of time. This is a possibility; we can’t just sit and say, the government cannot create jobs. With the approximate population of 250 to 300 thousand Engans (last election census), to the number of Engans passing out from College, Enga can face the challenge of progress. A proper planning by a ‘human resource architecture” and the initiative of the government with the motivation of the educated makes it all the more attainable. This is not idealistic, this is a possibility that could be realized.

Kaim, you mentioned that, Providing employment for Enga’s many children by the Government must not and should never be the premise upon which investment in education be made. I agree that it must not be the premise, if so then it stops one’s freedom to find job anywhere. However, on the other hand, besides other factors, I foresee three things that would happen or are happening if this is argued upon.

1. Engans Children would not be able to contribute their innovative ideas in terms of service and knowledge to develop Enga, (not every places offer jobs for Engan gradates).
2. Fresh blooded gradates would not be able to work side by side with the people nearing their retirement age before replacing them; Ol lapun les long give up. The government see to it that new ideas are in progress; and
3. The amount spent by the government would never be returned back; (in reality, any amount spent by a group or individual, directly or indirectly, has to be returned back in terms of benefits either directly or indirectly [By this I mean, if my school fee is subsidized by the government, then the government uses the people’s money to do so, Thus I owe some amount to the people, which, naturally I had to pay back, not necessarily by cash but by service. In order to do that, the government provides any working environment for me to return the cost. I guess most of us haven’t thought about returning back what the government subsidized for us]). Lest we forget, the government is “by the people, of the people and for the people”. At large, the government IS THE PEOPLE.

Further more, on the point of the “check disbursement team’s cost to be insignificant compared to luxury holiday trips abroad”, I wouldn’t buy that notion as insignificant by comparison. Firstly, I wouldn’t say, others are spending huge amount so what big difference does it make to spend the few hundreds. The little that one spends makes a big difference at the end, if that amount is NOT a personal capital. Secondly, my emphasis is on the team representing Enga and not PNG as a whole. Much worse if it is taken to the national level and indeed, it is a luxury which corruption, if the trip is taken on the cost of people’s money.

My point here, kaim, is that, that idea of considering small amounts as insignificant doesn’t justify the reason of spending. It makes the other end suffer in terms of accountability first off all; the office hours and work hours suffer as well, if one has to travel all the way to Madang for instance to pay school fee, stays away from office for a week and going back the following week to collect his/her check. Such attitude slows down development and progress.
Finally, thanks for letting me know that updates of the installation of modern digital telecommunication system, although I still couldn’t connect myself properly with my aging mother in Wabag town. I could at least hear and speak clearly with the guys in Hagen in POM but Enga, the reception seems to be fading. I hope it should be okay.

I would humbly accept any comments, reactions or views in what I have shared on the wishes of mother Enga being crowned beautiful by the abundance of her sons and daughters she produced. Please correct me, if I have missed any points you wished to express in your well received paper.

Em tasol na stap gut long hap. Wanbel stap.
Kanau nambane Enga lo masipup mono ainge koweralum.

Fr. Robert Laka, (Tsikiro Tange)
Slovenia - Europe

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[> Subject: Re: Mother Enga


Author:
Kaim
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Date Posted: Wed, Aug 23 2006, 01:12:00pm

Fr. R. Plews Laka,
Greetings from home sweet home, PNG.
I am impressed with your well-articulated paper about the situational atmosphere in Mother Enga. I’d thought it was indeed a gut wrenching, truthful and a welcome analysis, especially from someone in the Church circle, which appeared to have been oblivious to the many social ills that are prevalent at home. Though, you made no specific reference as to categorizing the piece as a representative view from the church, I am happy to read someone like yourself contributing something useful as a private and concerned son of Enga. Many church folks have had their own reasons to stay clear from these things unlike you. I admire this from you. I can only remember reading something similar from a Bishop in Mendi about that province’s state of affairs. It’s rare so to say. Telling it like it is, takes courage and determination. It is no easy matter considering your personal disclosure in the end.

By and large, I share the same sentiments that you have expressed. I also have thrown around my fleeting thoughts here and there along those lines in this forum. Couple of those postings have well aged to qualify a space in this forum’s achieve tray. Alas. You touched on issues about genuine development in the areas of road infrastructure, health facilities, administrative accountability, jobs, telecommunications infrastructure and education amongst others. However, with regards to education, I as one of your former class mates from Anditale High School, wish to draw some parallels from our days in School and weigh them against the last ten years, the period in which the thrust of your analysis was drawn from. Here is my reaction.

Free education policy has been a political hot potato for a while and remains so. We all can agree that, that its sexiness has been too hard to resist all the piercing eyes and itchy ears. Judging from your expressed views, I find it a bit unfair on most aspects that, not only did you have a harsh view on this but qualified your views with some reasoning which I feel are not conclusive and fully satisfactory. I have my misgivings. It would be unwise for me and the readers out there if I don’t qualify why I say your view is harsh so I will take a moment to offer my perspective on the brighter side of free education - The Peter Ipatas Theory on the same.


It has become apparent that many (Engans and non-Engans alike) subscribe to that singularly dimensional view that Education is the doorway to employment alone.
It’s a pity that the other broader view that, education is life itself in held in subversion. They also fail to fathom the riches of education, in the way it opens up doors and a world of opportunities for people (both rich and poor). The way Education empowers people to take charge of their lives and make informed choices is pushed to the periphery of busy lunch hour criticisms. The way it reduces the burden of disease and poverty, and gives greater voice in society is also not well understood. The global ticket education presents to young learned individuals to be equally competitive and cooperate in the global arena is misunderstood for a desk at the lifeless Ipatas Center at Wabag. They also fail to understand that education is a powerful tool that is capable to reducing tribal warfare too.

I agree that, Education is a right for everyone. Everyone is entitled to it. Yes. But, it’s a cruel irony that its costs have risen up by so much within the last ten years. Frankly it is clearly unaffordable by the greater section of the local community unlike our hay days in school (late 1980’s). Now, over to my parallels.

It is still fresh in my mind that, my subsistence farming parents from the coffee-less Londol area were able to sell a pig and come up with the K140.00 that I needed for my Grade 7 school fee. Fr. Laka, I can recall seeing you neatly dressed for the Gr 7 class whilst someone like myself could only afford only two shorts and two pair of casual shirts last lasted me the whole year. I couldn’t afford a pair of sandal. That was a luxury item.
I was able to buy a bar of soap that lasted me one whole month, after I had cut the bar into four even smaller pieces and hid them carefully at a cockroach in a typical smoke filled Engan house. Ask me why? My parents couldn’t afford it. K140.00 to them was like the whole treasury at the time. I had no sibling working so financial source number two was zero for me. Comparing that hardship from that time to today’s cost of education is mind-boggling. Today’s cost of education is K1,200.00 (not wholly paid for the Engan Provincial Government) at the same school and grade has made it look like it has become a plaything for only the affluent citizen’s children than a basic human right as we dearly ascribe to. I am not being sentimental here to solicit some comfort but expressing the obvious and realistic situation that many of our Engan parents and children are confronted with these days.

However noble and melodic education as a basic human right may sound, I am yet to see and hear one other Governor in PNG who sees like it is and gives it the consistent and unwavering support that it deserves. If none of the governors of the other resource rich provinces of PNG is doing it, no cash strapped provincial member’s meeting wouldn’t find it in their meeting agenda. Even if they do, they haven’t done it as well as Peter Ipatas. Couple have attempted it but they have been short-lived and miscalculated. I would find it hard and disappointing to stomach if the provincial government is not helping the parents with their education. After all, many Engans are already disadvantaged by the bad feeder road network in the province, which robs them of engaging in any meaningful enterprise. That would be a double blow to countless of potential Engan students who would have otherwise contribute meaningfully in the betterment of his/her community.

These things are not possible if it were not for a leader like Peter Ipatas who sees education in the right way. Not many resource rich provincial governors emulated or are able to square the achievements of this man.

Therefore, the debate that should take our time and energy is not whether Free Education Policy for Enga is good or bad but how it can be tailored and managed effectively to achieve the desired results. Providing employment for Enga’s many children by the Government must not and should never be the premise upon which investment in education be made.
The educated people will find their own place in society by themselves, whether back in the province, anywhere else in PNG or any in any part of the globe. Their choice should factor economic opportunities, marketplace, personal security and other facilities. The costs incurred by the check disbursement team that goes around to instutions to deliver the school subsidies should be considered insignificant compared with other luxury holiday overseas trips taken by many PNG politicians and their compatriots.

Finally in closing, I wish to also point out that, the Engan Capital is served by a modern digital telecommunication infrastructure (both telephone exchange and terrestrial link) that should bode well for now. It was commissioned in August 2003. Governor Peter Ipatas’ government co-funded the project with half a million Kina. The province wide telecommunications network is another subject that can be looked into in the times ahead. With the nee network in place, Engans already avoiding the misery and hardship that they had been exposed to while frequently Mt-Hagen for their telephone calls over the years.

Thank you.


Kaim
Naiepelam Tange - Upper Ambum

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[> [> Subject: Re: Mother Enga


Author:
Yandapone Ex Diwai (Kaim you missed the point)
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Date Posted: Wed, Aug 23 2006, 03:16:58pm

Kaim, a well written epistle. I agree with you that Fr. Robert is exceptional in standing out as a true son of Enga, unlike other public figures in the Church. I salute Fr. Laka.

However, you have missed the point Fr. Robert had mentioned in his articles so far. He had pointed out that education is free and every one is entitled to it. This is the melody of human right to have access to education, not free education as melodic. Besides, it is not a Ipatas Theory. I remember as mentioned by my father, it was the Late Balakau's initiative which was carried out by the current government and because it is carried around, any educated fool and a learned idiot would be carried away by the Ipatas saga of free education in Enga.

Fr. Robert was right. Every toea counts in every spending. If Ipatas is spending so much, then why can't these hundreds come back and contribute, offer better advice to Ipatas and move the province. It is true that educated people can look for jobs anywhere, but then you missing the point Fr. Robert mentioned; the so called educated WOULD TAKE FOR GRANTED WHAT WAS SPENT ON THEM.

Oh by the way, Wabag town is connected to the digital world as you said, what a irony to what I have experienced this month on my way to the show. Check your facts!

Yandopone Ex Diwai

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Mother Enga


Author:
Kaim
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Date Posted: Wed, Aug 23 2006, 05:25:00pm

Yandapone,
I did state that education is being subsidized (not wholly free) not exactly free. It’s subsidized. Also hinted that, it's acclaimed and well received, contrary to a minority's view. People should be the judge themselves on who fares better among those names that you mentioned. I have no personal shake in this so I won’t take sides just for the pure shake of it.

I did also point out that, the policy is good with a parallel analysis of what education was like during our days and how it is like today. It wasn't put there to conjure anything unwanted but in hindsight spells out the economic capability of the real home based people who make up Enga - the subsistence farmers.

I detest going tete-a-tete on an issue, which is well not understood and read. Taking education for granted wasn't encouraged. That's an overstated view.

On the digital telephone connectivity in Wabag, it would be pointless for me to argue further after I have clearly stated a definite time that the system was installed and commissioned and amount that was committed for the system to be put in place. This isn't heresy but what's on the ground. It's up and working as we speak. If you had any problem with the phone system in Wabag, email me and we'll see what we can do about it (if really there was any issue at all).

Kaim

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[> [> Subject: Re: Mother Enga


Author:
Forever Engan
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Date Posted: Fri, Aug 25 2006, 11:35:58am

Dear Father Laka and Naiepelam Tange-Upper Ambum

Iam fascinated by reading your views on education in Enga and related development issues. You two are expressing issues which are very important to a lot of Engans including myself.

I believe we have the mindsets in place to move this province in education, economic and social development as well as spiritual development as mentioned by Fr. Laka. A lot of Engans out there are genuinely concerned and share the same sentiments that you two have expressed.

However, there is something about Engans which I believe is a major problem and Iam hoping if you two can shed some light on this issue. And please do correct me if my perceptions are wrong or my fathers/grandfathers have taught me wrong. Am I wrong to believe that a good number of engans have an attitude problem? Firstly, we have no respect for public/government and neighbours/others property.Let me give some examples here.

-The burning down of Sopas hospital
-The burning down of church (SDA)property in lakamanda
-Burning of school in Akom fight
-Chewing of bettlenut & spitting in offices(educated people)
-chewing of bettlenut and smoking into peoples faces in crowded buses
-Robbing of fuel from freighters that go off the road
The list could go on.....

This contradicts what my fathers told me about enga and engan attitude. They said engans were peaceful people who respected others and strangers and were very hospitable people. They only fought when it was really necessary and there was no killing of women and children. Has the introduction of western ways changed the attitude and mindset of Engans? For Enga to change, I believe one of the ways is to change this wrong attitude and mentality that people have. The thinking that if this is not mine, then who cares, why worry or be concerned. This attitude has to be changed if enga has to change, but my fellow Engans, how can we do this?

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Mother Enga


Author:
Fr. Robert Laka (To Forever Engan)
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Date Posted: Sat, Aug 26 2006, 02:34:12am

Forever Engan,

I for one share the same sentiments with you regarding the attitude and mentality of Engans, but I do not want to raise my hands and point a finger at anyone, because it is evident everywhere I have been. Simply there are good and bad people everywhere on this planet and I guess we’ve got to live with them side by side, but at the end, the good prevails, only when the person is willing to change. Introduction of western culture may or may not contribute to the problems we have, rather, it is how people adjust to the challenges of the modern day society today.

By way of affirming what you shared, I have seen all that you have shared even to the extend of criminals making me literally walk with my underwear, when they took all that I had after I coming from my pastoral work, with a K5.00 offering. Life was dangerous and adventurous in a sense when I faced happenings like that during my short ministry in Enga as the person I have become, to serve my people.

I thought life was like that, but then I took the other approach and went to the guys who took my things. I said, I would share with them the little that I had only if they had asked me. I spent some time with them, they expressed their sentiments, which I believe are valid. (I wasn’t a foreigner to my brother Engans to deceive me).

Forever Engan, your grandfather and your father were right. We Engans are naturally good people as they have expressed. We may be hard headed, insensitive and being labeled as “wild west” but we are generally unique and decent people.

These positive traits that we have can be advocated and encourage with the shadows we have may be revived in a positive way rather then resolving to guns. A bullet for a bullet will increase more bullets and live becomes a misery. Revenges does not substitute the cost of a life, rather increases more pain.

It is true that through tribal conflicts the infrastructures usually get down to ashes and millions of kina are wasted. More lives are lost, many mothers loose their husbands and children, many children become orphans and many fathers loose their sons and it is a sad episode in the lives of the people. Sadly I myself have become a victim of such incidents, when a single bullet ceased the life of my father, a tragic death after a long struggle, should I say. He being a peace mediator, that single bullet ceased his life. I shouldn’t blame him for not being there if he thought about his family, he was doing his job. No vengeance was taken. I remember, he himself said, no vengeance. When the person (identified) noticed that no vengeance was taken upon him, he himself asked for forgiveness, which he received. Today, I still meet and talk with him.

The point I want to say here is that, it takes courage and energy for one to change then others making someone to change. We don’t change individuals, individuals change themselves, and in order for the individual to change, an environment has to be provided for people like that. Build and/or maintain the road net works we have, that would make the people having access to knowledge and information would be one possibility. Creating markets at the micro-level and inviting people to sell their products divert peoples’ attention to their business would be another. Empowering people to participate in certain business ventures would be a plus factor……. The list goes on.

Every Engans do not have to plant coffee or raise chicken. Dividing the 5 districts in Enga to engage in certain cash croups or other market products can ease competition at the same district, thus enabling the supply to be constant at the market level. Consistency in production enables people to be busy with their products. Places like Germany loves bananas. USA loves potatoes and they import for African as well as Latin American countries. Enga is a good venue for bananas, taro and other marketable vegetables. We have Engan leaders who have the potentials to negotiate successfully to open markets at a macro-level to supply fresh bananas straight from Wapenamanda to Germany, (of course through trade agreement). We have possibilities to venture into businesses and yet, people are NOT ENCOURAGED TO DO SO. If leaders would encourage and motivate people, by providing opportunities and open up trade agreements, it is possible for the people to venture into business. These would become possible on the condition that people would be consistent in supplying to meet the demands of the consumer.

I remember doing so when I was in DWU. I negotiated with the person in charge of the staff and student dinning halls of the university, and the vegetable suppliers from the highlands to supply vegetables to the dinning hall at the reasonable prices and it worked out well, until the supplier stated to cheat by buying vegetables in Madang and started selling them to us, so we had to stop the agreement. Sometimes, we are not consistent, but the point is that, if people are encourage and their products are sellable at the provincial level at a constant price, I guess, people would resolve to money, rather then bullets.

If however, opportunities are provided and people still resolved to guns, then I suggest a tougher law and order in the province. I guess, that would be the process of rehabilitating someone in the prison. A tougher penalty and a heavy consequence would be the solution.

This goes to smoking in public areas and chewing bettle nut as well. I guess the educated might be missing something, professional ethics. Our “taik” and “mana” pii of our fathers are the professional ethics that served as the pillar in the history of the Engan culture. These “taik” and “mana pii” I understand them in the modern day language of professional ethics. If these ethics are not being considered by the learned, then law is to come in. Laws are compulsory but then they do not last for a year if they are imposed. People take no notice of it, simple because, consequences are too lenient.

Again, it all melts down to the leader of the day. A number of good advisors teaming up with the leader to run the show would be a better way to easy our problems. If the leader doesn’t consider advises then, he/she is not worth being a leader. Someone has to show the way and lead. He/she has to motivate the others by doing so. By then, we dream of progress.

Finally, I always tell me students at the seminary a week before exams. Do not pray to God for miracles during your exam. You do your best in your studies and God will do the rest. Sweat your guts first, and then let God will do the rest. Our pious attitudes in Enga would help but it also means we need to sweat up first before we resolve religiosity to end our problems. A Latin phrase reads, “Ora et labora” meaning, work and pray. Nothing is impossible if a person is changed inwardly to quest for progress in a honest way. “Honesty is the best policy” - as some say . Someone has to lead the way.

Am I too idealistic? I don’t know, my reflections could be only a day dream. Pii iki lelyo. Please correct me if these are not possible, I will accept them with a genuine heart. I also welcome other suggestions that would be worth sharing in this forum.

Fr. Robert Laka, (Tsikiro Tange Ambum)
Slovenia - Europe

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[> [> [> [> Subject: P.K. for Lagaip/Porgera 2007: For the Agricultural Revolution of Enga/PNG, we stand!!


Author:
KLagaipT3
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: Mon, Aug 28 2006, 03:21:05am

Before we can expound on the complementary essence and contribution of road networks and telecommunications infrastructure towards agriculture development in the Enga Province, we must also consider the scarcity of resources to finance peasant farmers throughout the province before they may be able to earn stable incomes off of their under-utilized land. (In a nation where savings is appallingly low, national expenditures or GDP growth is heavily reliant on government or public spending, though recent gains in private investment, international transfers and trade surpluses may be somewhat temporary.) Most farming units in Enga (or the developing world) may be referred to as households or nucleus estates owned by individual families which are headed by male custodians of customarily owned land. Unfortunately for nucleus estates in the pyrethrum industry (or for coffee and tea), farmers remain oblivious or do not have access to relevant techniques (e.g. irrigation styles), tools (e.g. shovel) and basic crop education (e.g. crop grade/quality) to increase valuable yields per harvest. Hence, Enga (and PNG) annually produces low quantities and inferior qualities of harvest compared to other competiting sovereign nations in the likes of Brazil and Kenya, rendering us as "price-takers", rather than "price-makers".

The productivity of mini-plantations or nucleus estates need to be raised through major capitalizing and monitoring efforts pursued by agriculture funding agencies such as the Agriculture Development Bank of Papua New Guinea. Multilateral aid from the ADB and World Bank intended for PNG's agriculture sector, only trickles through to the Agriculture Develpment Bank of PNG but it can do little more than just issue a limited number of concessional loans to landowners for farming initiatives only. But, such funds still have the potential to ensure cash is circulated so that the telecommunications industry may also be ignited for peasant farmer needs, such as calling commodity retailers and passing on information about crop quantity and quality required or deadlines for delivery. Hence through the issuance of mobile phones funded and managed jointly my the Agiculture Development Bank, farmers should inevitably be able to afford other mobile phones brought on by the globally inexpensive cost of mobile or wireless technology.

However, due to population pressures, Enga must remain wary and needs to maintain income equality and social equilibrium amongst individual farmers as society is bound to face negative industrial repercussions in the monetary economy. (For instance, in the Peruvian experience, large corporate-run plantations crushed small competing farmers, creating landless peasant farmers displaced and impoverished. "Poverty breeds poverty" and hence, PNG's Land Mobilization policy needs to be proactive study and regulation when private involvement becomes inevitable in the agriculture sector.)

(Marketing researchers of mobile telecommunication firms should be forgiven for believing there is a lack of market in rural areas but this is absolute hogwash! In communal numbers does a market exist! One mobile phone owned by a local farmer (male or female) has the capacity to serve an entire extended family or clan for its communications needs. Members of the community through shared use and cost accountability may be able to share a single cell phone. The success of the relatively inexpensive mobile phone and its immense contribution to the growth of the agricultural industry can be drawn from the Bangladeshi Grameen Phone Ladies experience.)

Education is off-course a necessity to equip the human resource with basic skills for arithmetic, reading, and writing competency. In an economy of PNG's under-developed calibre, an highly intellectual and professional elite class of lawyers, economists and medical doctors has emerged and it continues to widen the rift between the upper classes and lower classes, which is synonymous to inequality between the majority of the rurally poor and the urban rich. (Due to economic constraints and individual pursuits of wealth and self-esteem, human guinea pigs of Enga's free-education system have been sliced in the slaughter houses of urban localities where unemployment is rampant and the temptation to resort to crime tantalizes the human mind. (Ipatas has faithfully funded tertiary institutions with annual budgetary appropriations that continue to maintain such an unequal social status quo as high school pass rates plummet, and provincial plans are left undeveloped.) The Ag. Bank's local branch in Enga continues to play a surviving game in a highly volatile market where default risks remain incredibly high and government cooperation minimal.

A legislative mechanism is needed to relay public policies of the national government down through its agencies (e.g. Agriculure Development Bank) and departments (Agriculture & Livestock, National Planning) to empower the Rural Farmer. Furthermore, the PNG constitution needs to be revisited to give new meaning to the term "UNIVERSAL ACCESS" of basic infrastructure services so that it is equally intended for everyone, regardless of locale, race, sex or economic endowment. Furthermore the powers and policy-making agendas of provincial goverments thought the Law on Local Level Governments need to concur to national development policies. Unfortunately, a national dilemma exists where each province is at liberty to endulge in its own serving of petty in-house politics which ultimately draws on public funds contributing to public debt and inefficiencies in the public service.

...........................................................

(I myself was aggravated by the lack of cooperation among Engan leaders, most especially Karpa Yakka who was a member of the NEC post-June 2002, and had the option to vouch for my father as a fellow Lagaip citizen and Engan to retain his position as one of PNG's most valuable bureaucrats (Secretary for National Planning & Rural Development). I, speak defiantly on my own behalf as the son of Philip Kikala, a leading contesting for the Lagaip/Porgera seat in the 2007 National Elections. He is an intellectual (Masters, Economics - Norwich, UK and Masters, Rural Development - Ottawa, Canada), visionary (e.g. auther of the ADB funded Nucleus-Enterprise policy for national agriculture development) and proven leader in both the village and national scene.

To the Karpa Yakka supporters who undeservedly slandered me and my father's good name in mid-2002, I NOW officially respond to your misdemeanor and challenge you to challenge me face-to-face for the SHOWDOWN in Lagaip/Porgera!!)

Stephen Kapusa Kyakala
Tokyo, Japan

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[> [> [> [> Subject: P.K. for Lagaip/Porgera 2007: For the Agricultural Revolution of Enga/PNG, we stand!!


Author:
KLagaipT3
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: Mon, Aug 28 2006, 03:37:49am

Before we can expound on the complementary essence and contribution of road networks and telecommunications infrastructure towards agriculture development in the Enga Province, we must also consider the scarcity of resources to finance peasant farmers before they may be able to earn stable incomes off of their under-utilized land. (In a nation where savings is appallingly low, national expenditures or GDP growth is heavily reliant on government or public spending, though recent gains in private investment, international transfers and trade surpluses may be somewhat temporary.) Most farming units in Enga (or the developing world) may be referred to as households or nucleus estates owned by individual families which are headed by male custodians of customarily owned land. Unfortunately for nucleus estates in the pyrethrum industry (or for coffee and tea), farmers remain oblivious or do not have access to relevant techniques (e.g. irrigation styles), tools (e.g. shovel) and basic crop education (e.g. crop grade/quality) to increase valuable yields per harvest. Hence, Enga (and PNG) annually produces low quantities and inferior qualities of harvest compared to other competiting sovereign nations in the likes of Brazil and Kenya, rendering us as "price-takers", rather than "price-makers".

The productivity of mini-plantations or nucleus estates need to be raised through major capitalizing and monitoring efforts pursued by agriculture funding agencies such as the Agriculture Development Bank of Papua New Guinea. Multilateral aid from the ADB and World Bank intended for PNG's agriculture sector, only trickles through to the Agriculture Develpment Bank of PNG but it can do little more than just issue a limited number of concessional loans to landowners for farming initiatives only. But, such funds may still be used to finance distribution of mobile phones for rural farm users. Farmers need the inexpensive technology of mobile phones to communicate with commodity retailers or buyers about the required crop quantity, quality or time of delivery. If coordination in the industry is upheld between the players (growers, retailers, international buyers), than can Enga or PNG's agriculture revolution be realized!!

However, due to population pressures, Enga must remain wary and needs to maintain income equality and social equilibrium amongst individual farmers as society is bound to face negative industrial repercussions in the monetary economy. (For instance, in the Peruvian experience, large corporate-run plantations crushed small competing farmers, creating landless peasant farmers displaced and impoverished. "Poverty breeds poverty" and thus, PNG's Land Mobilization policy needs to be proactively studied and regulated when private involvement becomes inevitable in the agriculture sector.)

(Marketing researchers of mobile telecommunication firms should be forgiven for believing there is a lack of market in rural areas but this is absolute hogwash! In communal numbers does a market exist! One mobile phone owned by a local farmer (male or female) has the capacity to serve an entire extended family or clan for its communications needs. Members of the community through shared use and cost accountability may be able to share a single cell phone. The success of the relatively inexpensive mobile phone and its immense contribution to the growth of the agricultural industry can be drawn from the Bangladeshi Grameen Phone Ladies experience.)

Education is off-course a necessity to equip the human resource with basic skills for arithmetic, reading, and writing competency. In an economy of PNG's under-developed calibre, an highly intellectual and professional elite class of lawyers, economists and medical doctors has emerged and it continues to widen the rift between the upper class and lower class, which is almost synonymous to inequality between the majority of the rurally poor and the urban rich. (Due to economic constraints and individual pursuits of wealth and self-esteem, human guinea pigs of Enga's free-education system have been sliced in the slaughter houses of urban localities where unemployment is rampant and the temptation to resort to crime tantalizes the human mind. (Ipatas has faithfully funded tertiary institutions with annual budgetary appropriations that continue to maintain such an unequal social status quo as high school pass rates plummet, and provincial agriculture plans are left undeveloped.) The Agriculture Development Bank's local branch in Enga continues to play a surviving game in a highly volatile market where default risks remain incredibly high and government cooperation minimal.

A legislative mechanism is needed to relay public policies of the national government down through its agencies (e.g. Agriculure Development Bank) and departments (Agriculture & Livestock, National Planning) to empower the rural farmers. Furthermore, the PNG constitution needs to be revisited to give new meaning to the term "UNIVERSAL ACCESS" of basic infrastructure services so that it is equally intended for everyone, regardless of locale, race, sex or economic endowment. Furthermore the powers and policy-making agendas of provincial goverments through the Law on Local Level Governments, need to concur to national development policies. Unfortunately, a national dilemma exists where each province is at liberty to endulge in its own serving of petty in-house politics which ultimately draws on public funds contributing to public debt and inefficiencies in the public service!!

...........................................................

(I myself was aggravated by the lack of cooperation among Engan leaders, most especially Karpa Yakka who was a member of the NEC post-June 2002, and had the option to vouch for my father as a fellow Lagaip citizen and Engan to retain his position as one of PNG's most valuable bureaucrats (Secretary for National Planning & Rural Development). I, speak defiantly on my own behalf as the son of Philip Kikala, a leading contesting for the Lagaip/Porgera seat in the 2007 National Elections. He is an intellectual (Masters, Economics - Norwich, UK and Masters, Rural Development - Ottawa, Canada), visionary (e.g. author of the ADB funded Nucleus-Enterprise policy for national agriculture development) and proven leader in both the village and national scene.

To the Karpa Yakka supporters who undeservedly slandered me and my father's good name in mid-2002, I NOW officially respond to your misdemeanor and challenge you to challenge me face-to-face for the SHOWDOWN in Lagaip/Porgera!!)

Stephen Kapusa Kyakala
Tokyo, Japan

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


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