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23 March 2017


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A very thoughtful analogy, Lindsay. Here in PNG most political leaders walk freely because of their fame, prestige and title. They seem to be above the law. Their wrong doings or actions are not accounted through the court of laws.

Most crooked leaders set bad precedents in PNG. They can commit crime use their money and wealth to suppress the law.

Thanks Baka Bina for your remarks as well.

Jimmy - I'd rather that you don't explain yourself. It is for the reader to discern if this is true or not.

But one thing you have done is captured all our fears and put it nicely for us and it has generated e-conversation.

To me, you now have soured the story. I was thinking it was going to be another of the genre of the Sepik intrusion of the lover boy from Simbu.

Good piece, liked it with all my anger and frustrations we men subject women to.

Of course Baka is entitled to his point of view. But I believe that how authors wants to manage their own material is up to them - KJ

Analogy too, Jimmy? Some pointedness in politic, touching the pecuniary?

My story is fictitious and based on imagination and creativity to paint an image of some current issues arising in our communities in terms of violence, disrespect, lack of common sense.

I also wanted to point out that most people believe highly in material stuff such as money more than a human life.

Furthermore, we tend to give more respect to people with fame, prestige and title irrespective of their wrongdoings. Such practices are very common in PNG in all walks of life.

From these perceptions I drew in formulating this imaginary story.

If the story is true it is indeed troubling. Yet I keep in mind that many in the Hagen area believe that sooner or later retribution will come to the killer in one way or the other. Something bad will happen to the killer.

I know of cases where sudden deaths have been linked with some unpunished crime in the past such as rape or murder. In other words the people do not think that the guilty person is getting away ‘scot-free’.

Jimmy, I would describe the Moka (Mokei) and the Jika as being ‘rivals’ rather than enemies. To the best of my knowledge there has not been a major tribal fight between any clan from Jika with a clan from Moka.

The more serious tribal fights in recent times have been among Jika clans themselves (Komp-Akilimp versus Komapi-Obrump-Milakamp-Muglmana),

This fight erupted in late 1960s over the cutting down of an oak tree and erupted again some thirty years later after a bar-room brawl.

Back in 1930’s there was a serious clash between Jika Mukuka (Paias Wingti’s lain) and Jika Maipingel (including Milakamp – William Duma’s lain).

The last real serious tribal fight involving the Moka (Mokei) was in 1942 when Mokei Nampakae fought with Mokei Komunka.

There is indeed rivalry between the ‘Jigs’ and the ‘Mogs” and there have been some serious incidents, but there is also a lot of intermarriage and communication, and I do not think that the two tribes see themselves as enemies.

They share a common land border from Keltiga to Dobel and disputes are rare. Bigmen on both sides are usually quick to stop any escalation of incidents. At least that is how I remember it – I no longer reside there.

Hmm, if you are prepared to pay hefty compensation you can get away with anything.

That's one very warped interpretation of tradition.

I hope it's not a true story.

I hope that this story is fiction but fear that it is not.

Irrespective of the young woman's behaviour, the apparently quite casual decision to kill her is utterly repugnant to me and, I would think, to any right thinking person.

In the distant colonial past, such an offence would have inevitably led to a fairly lengthy prison sentence, in addition to the necessity to pay compensation.

In determining the sentence, the presiding judge would very likely have taken into account the fact that the offender was acting within the context of his traditional culture. He may well also have been influenced by the certain knowledge that an additional traditional compensation payment would have to be made by the offender's relatives in order to avoid retaliation.

While this line of judicial reasoning was acceptable 40 years ago, I'd argue that it should have no currency now especially as, in this particular case, the offender was apparently an educated man living a life far removed from that of the past.

In Australia, an offence of this type would have caused major public outrage, being seen and understood as a deliberate crime against a helpless young woman. The offender could have expected to be sentenced to life imprisonment, with a non-parole period exceeding the 20 year minimum specified for murder.

If this story is actually true or based on a real case, then PNG has a very long way to go in terms of the proper enforcement of the law.

Jimmy, is this true ? If so, I am surprised the rock skuller was not arrested on a charge of murder. If it is true, it just goes to show how women can be so very persistent about what was really a slight (intended or not, and we will never know). She suffered no harm, but probably saw an avenue for exploitation.

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