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Date Posted: Sat, Oct 28 2006, 07:15:19am
The final paragraph of your most recent correspondence has stirred me to put pen to ink. Your expression of disgust over the unnecessary murder of your wise grandfather before his prime moves me with emotions of sorrow, horror and regret. I too had suffered a similar fate when my uncle (mother's youngest brother) was killed along the road to Wanepop Catholic church in 1993. A raging war ensued thereafter between my mother's entire tribe (Pyain) and the Pyapit tribe of Laiagam. Though I am glad to say the war has since ended (for over 5 years), the consequence beforehand was that it spread to neighboring clans causing the destruction of the once infamous Laiagam High School at the hands of the Walin tribe (my father's). The high school property was stripped off of every single material and possession it had (including its former glory!). Mamale was even stripped of its livelihood as I stood watching solemnly from a distance at the Komaip junction with my father and family on cold afternoon in 1995! Bad memories of black ashes and smoke linger fresh in my mind as I shed tears of horror and fear!
But needless to say, I have gained something from the whole ordeal. And that is;
1) ANYONE being attacked because of tribal affiliation is SOMEONE'S grandfather, grandmother, uncle, aunty, neice, nephew, cousin or even FRIEND!! So the intricate nature of tribal network and social relationships remains strong and ambiguous through inter-marriages (regardless of district) though it will remain oblivious to you or I until assailants surface with submachine guns without warning! (What a risky world we live in, with or without knowledge!!!)
Lesson: Fear all, Love all, and Hate none!!
2) People caught for smuggling or harboring guns deserve to be castrated like ordinary livestock and thrown behind cells alongside hardcore criminals. Imagine the wrong message their guns transmit of rabid testosterone, uncompromise and supreme egos. They are equally liable and guilty for the resultant effects of careless handling, regardless of who pulls the trigger.
Lesson: Fear War, Love Peace, Hate Guns!!
So the best means of solving tribal conflict is:
1) Do your part to pursue small entrepenuerial exercises by injecting reasonable cash to promote small business and investment (e.g. purchasing livestock feed for animal farming; chickens, pigs, cows, goats, sheep). I say this from experience, because I had the hugest turkey you ever saw during August 2005 in Laiagam!! If you're diligent enough, you could expand business by establishing supply chain networks. (Then again, this comment might be unfair because of Laiagam's close proximity to Porgera. But imagine what the human desire to succeed and gain technology can achieve??!! Nothing is impossible!! Rice could even grow in Africa!)
2) Leaders need to work with leaders and host public awareness: As I have said time and time again. "Too many chiefs and few indians!" Go home to your pig huts and sit your butts on one of those hard wooden stools or platforms and preach about the importance of inter-tribal cooperation and the details of global change. I have done this pleasurably in villages and public arenas, and surprisingly, the people listen earnestly! I sense a potential for change as long as leaders (like us) are genuiune and willing to lead by example! I intend to do the same again next year in 2007 with maximum vitality!!!
3) I don't care WHO or WHAT, but VOUCH and VOTE for a political party or candidate who places his/her philosophies on AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT. That is where our potential for development lies. While other countries have already superseded us by climbing up the ladder and reaching the service sector, PNG can only start from scratch by taking efficient use of its vast abundant resources that have long-term potential (e.g. land, labor).
The national election (2007) is the only time citizens will ever get the chance to express their desires and will for themselves, their resources and children's welfare. If Democracy cannot work that way, then ALMIGHTY HELP US!!
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