THE FOLLOWING LETTER WAS WRITTEN by Jeffery Kopeap of Pulim Village near Mendi in the Southern Highlands Province.
His pet cat had been run over and killed by a truck belonging to Traisa Transport Limited, which has transported cargo to the highlands provinces for many years now.
P.O. Box 749
30 December 2011
Subject: COMPLAINING OF KILLING PUSI CAT BY TRAISA COMPANY
I, Jeffery Kopeap, owner of the Pusi Cat strongly disagree that my Pusi cat was obviously killed in the eyes of people early in the morning, 7:42 am 30th December 2011.
The cat was killed by long truck which is Trasia. The cat is male and it is too young, the life for human being and animals is not are different, that’s my property and it looked after my garden and house from protecting rat.
I carry out this matter across to the manager to compensate my Pusi cat, I am demanded this Pusi cat for K1200 because my Pusi cat should live about 15 years.
I want the action immediately within 3-4 days later.
I am waiting for your result as soon as possible. If nothing is done, there will be another story. The driver should minimize his speed and at the same time he see Pusi cat with his eyes and killed the cat.
Thanks for your understanding and consideration.
Such demands and threats are a frequently received by trucking companies doing business between Lae and the highlands provinces.
The cutting open of containers and looting along the Okuk Highway is also a regular experience for trucking companies operating in this part of the country.
Will people up there begin demanding compensation from trucks running over rats, grasshoppers and even fire flies in a few months’ time?
There are also stories of mentally disabled people and drug addicts being lured onto the road at the sight of these big trucks so they are killed and the relatives or clans can make a fortune from compensation.
Men with small run-down vehicles will sometimes dice with death and deliberately drive close to these big trucks so that they dent or scratch parts of their vehicle and then demand compensation from the company.
Sections of the Okuk Highway are covered with craters, potholes and even landslides, which cause damage to the trucks and increases wears and tear on body and engine parts and inflates the cost of running the trucking businesses.
Landowners along the highway deliberately stop the maintenance of these deteriorating road conditions until they get paid compensation.
The Mindima–Wandi section of the Okuk Highway is a typical example of this cycle of neglect and demand.
Despite these problems, the major trucking companies consistently supply machinery, equipment parts, food and clothing to the mines and super markets up in the interior of the highlands provinces.
We salute them for the services rendered in these appalling conditions.
We hope there will not be any more letters like the one above demanding compensation for pussycats, grasshoppers or fireflies run over by trucks this year.