BOUGAINVILLE’s award-winning writer and pre-eminent author, Leonard Fong Roka, is likely to face a court battle over a short story featured in his second collection of short stories, Moments in Bougainville published last year.
Litigation for defamation has been threatened by the family of an ex-girlfriend in Mr Roka’s home area in the Tumpusiong Valley near Panguna.
Mr Roka said that the story, Tongare Love, was a record of his time with a woman he loved and wanted to marry. But her family would not allow it and instead they began to threaten him.
“Yeah, they openly proclaimed across the Panguna District that I was a sex maniac,” Mr Roka recalled. “But I did not take them to court for defamation. They announced I was a drunkard and worthless, and still I did not take them to court.
“They threatened me at home with offensive weapons and still I did not bring them to court for trespassing and harassment. They beat and molested me in public and I ignored that.
“Thugs broke into my home and stole my property while others justified that crime as compensation for befriending their relative. But I did not take any legal action.