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Subject: My response to the Evaluator

Fr. Robert Laka (Mother Enga)
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Date Posted: Mon, Aug 21 2006, 03:30:21pm
In reply to: Fr. Robert Laka 's message, "Mother Enga" on Fri, Aug 11 2006, 06:41:32pm

I appreciate your comment, Evaluator. You donít 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 manís 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 ďmi kam wantaim gavenor long paiem skul peeĒ 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 donít 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 ďreturnĒ is not in progress. I mentioned earlier, that I donít 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 doesnít help in the long run.

Fr. Robert Laka (Tsikiro Tange)
Slovenia - Europe

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[> [> Subject: Salute you Fr. Robert

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

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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

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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

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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.

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 canít simply say, itís 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 personís 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 donít 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 ďsystem i daunĒ 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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