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14 July 2014

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Yeah, ol Simbu save mekim stupid tu.

Blary long, long hangre nek sigarap pasin, tingim bel blong ol iet. Giaman sore.

I heard the story differently regarding the death of the young boy. But in any case the Police, Simbu Peace and Good Order Committee, and the Provincial Education Board/Committee should have been involved to get to the bottom of the incident.

It will set a very bad precedent for many secondary and high schools in Simbu to come for many years.

But this is only my opinion as I am in NCD.

This is an excellent example of how blind adherence to tradition can effectively kill the chance for PNG to survive and thrive as a nation.

It is, by any sensible logic, quite mad to blame a school community for a death that occurred playing a body contact sport like Rugby League.

Serious injury or even death is a completely foreseeable risk in this type of game.

The demand for huge monetary compensation in this case is nothing more or less than blackmail, with "tradition" being used as its rationale and justification.

The "winners", of course, will be the usual array of rapacious wantoks, who will doubtlessly prey upon the deceased boy's bereaved family.

All developed countries have been required to modify their traditional ideas and practices over time. This sometimes painful and chaotic process is a necessary pre-requisite for socio-economic advancement.

PNG cannot stay frozen in time and yet expect to create a modern, vibrant economy and society.

Somehow, it has to create a synthesis of the old and the new, where unhelpful or destructive traditions are modified or abandoned for the sake of progress towards a new and better collective future.

In this case, for the sake of argument, the government could and should put legislative limits on the monetary demands that can be made for various compensable events.

This is done in Australia (sometimes via an unsettlingly named "Table of Maims") and in most other developed countries.

PNG could even introduce a compulsory no-fault insurance scheme to cover these types of events.

There are plenty of possible solutions whereby the most pernicious effects of demands for compensation could be minimised if not entirely extinguished.

So, where are PNG's legislators on this issue? A cynic might think that they do not wish to change the status quo because, put crudely, it works for them and their wantoks.

I think somebody has truly gone off the track here. Whose decision is this?

What a harsh penalty!

I wonder if all students turned out to cast a stone each at the deceased!

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