Let’s not lose our humanity: A message for 2016.

By PNG Echo

626aecc846441c07e0a15e4e9f9b5834As Christmas celebrations draw to a close and many of us spend some well-earned R & R before gearing up for welcoming in the new year, I have been humbled by all the messages of goodwill and seasons greetings sent to me and to PNG Echo.

PNGeans have kind and generous hearts and I am blessed to call many of you friend and I’m looking forward to making many more in 2016.

However, life is not as easy for many of you as it is for me – you struggle while I coast, I know that.  Yet I don’t want to walk a mile in your shoes, I’d prefer that you walked many miles in mine – and that is my new year’s wish for you all.

I have a question though – and it is not rhetorical: does too much hardship cause a bitterness that demands the constant need for retribution?  It is something with which I’m struggling to come to terms.

When asking this, I am thinking specifically of three incidents that have happened in the lead up to Christmas – the Christian’s season of ‘goodwill to all men’.

For God's sake: this woman is your sister!
For God’s sake: this woman is your sister!

One is the disgusting video of a policeman forcing a young girl to eat condoms which is right up there with the second incident – the allegation of a policeman urinating in a woman’s mouth.  For sheer imaginative depravity, these incidents have few rivals.  The humiliation factor cannot and should not be ignored – who does that to another human being let alone a compatriot?

It seems that the two women had transgressed (I don’t know how) and the policemen allegedly involved thought that they were justified in extracting this sort of retributive justice.  Me. I find both incidents grotesquely sickening, as do most decent people of all colours and creeds.

The third unconscionable incident comes from the anonymous pen (keyboard) of the Facebook ‘anti-corruption’ site Niugini Outlook who on a post about the long-term Governor of Hela Province had this to say:

Governor of Hela, Hon Anderson Agiru in healthier times.
Governor of Hela, Hon Anderson Agiru in healthier times.

Thank God it looks like the end of the line for Anderson Agiru. He looks like he’s aged a decade or more in just the past few years, he’s obviously got a very serious illness (some report that it’s cancer) … Finally the people of Hela and Southern Highlands Province may get justice for the corruption of Mr Agiru,
Whether or not Agiru’s illness and his illness inspired ouster as governor of Hela is divinely inspired, we’ll never know…. Good riddance, Anderson Agiru. Too bad it didn’t happen 20 years ago.”

For goodness sake, the man is sick, possible dying!  Where is your humanity, your compassion?  Are you so scarred – and by what – that you have become less than human?

PNG is a Christian nation – the Christian tenet preaches forgiveness, love and compassion – where are these qualities in the likes of the anonymous poster hiding behind the sobriquet Niugini Outlook?  Do these fair-weather Christians only take heed of the ‘fire and brimstone’ contained in the pages of the Bible and miss the primary message?

And please, don’t speak to me of Anderson Agiru getting his ‘just desserts’ because this attitude is a slippery slope – it starts with the likes of the Honourable Governor where people feel they have a moral right to a lack of compassion and it ends (and has it ended – or is there more depravity to come?) with women being urinated upon and forced to eat condoms.

Get off this slippery slope PNG, you are better than that.  If you lose your humanity while trying to find justice you have lost everything.

An Irish blessing from PNG Echo to all my readers in Papua new Guinea.
An Irish blessing from PNG Echo to all my readers in Papua new Guinea.

Mr Agiru, Honourable Governor, I do not know you, (except by reputation and to pass in the lift occasionally, when you always greeted me with a nod, a smile and a “good evening.”) but nevertheless I sincerely hope that 2016 sees you triumph over the cancer or whatever has invaded your body and sees you once again strutting the political stage on behalf of your constituents. Get well, Governor.

May your God continue to bless you – all of you.

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Lest we forget: The Tumbi Landslide of 2012

By PNG Echo

Tumbi Landslide site
Tumbi landslide site

On January 24, 2012, almost two years ago to the day, 3 million cubic metres of earth, estimated to be 30 metres high, and 150 metres wide covering an area the size of 14 rugby fields, fell 560 metres from the escarpment to the toe in Tumbi in the Komo sub district of the Hela Province

The death toll

In the debris’ pathway were 25 people who were either killed instantly or, worse, were buried alive. (Official Continue reading Lest we forget: The Tumbi Landslide of 2012

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