Below is the article by Post Courier’s Johnny Poiya. Sidelined Provincial Police Commander, Joseph Tondop, did not say anything wrong. He was simply stating facts and highlighting what needed to be done. He has now been removed and will remain “unattached.” Tondop has the respect of the people, by the way.
POLITICAL leaders from Southern Highlands Province have been urged to return home and unite with their people to apologise to Air Niugini, the judiciary and the country.
Provincial police commander Chief Superintendent Joseph Tondop said it was time to apologise to the country as leaders of the province, as well as join hands with their people in remorse. This would also provide a venue for reconciliation.
Chief Supt Tondop said the public apology was due for the burning of Air Niugini Dash 8 aircraft, the courthouse and the governor’s residence last Thursday. Meanwhile, security operations for the Southern Highlands State of Emergency started yesterday.
Soldiers and police personnel started patrols along road links into Mendi and the National Highway as well as providing security for government assets.
Mendi town was unusually quiet as most shops and the Bank South Pacific remained closed.
Chief Supt Tondop visited the hospital and assured staff that they were safe, urging them to continue to provide services.
“The soldiers are here helping us with security operations and I appealed to Government agencies return to normal operations.”
He said dialogue with the people was important but following last Thursday’s mayhem people were not coming out into the town.
Chief Supt Tondop said yesterday: “We will start a public awareness tomorrow to restore public confidence. Through the operation, we will address issues as we see fit”.
He said Mendi-Nipa chaos was a leadership issue that needed to be discussed between the security forces, leaders and the people in a dialogue.
“We have to meet and talk with the people within the next 14 days. We can’t fix this issue if one of the three parties is not here,” Mr Tondop said.
He said he was happy that the political leaders met and apologised to the country for the Mendi destruction.
It was important that the people are taught the processes of the court system and to respect the law, he said.
There had been a public outcry following disturbances in Mendi late last year for leaders to return and clear issues in the province but none of the political leaders ever did so.
Mr Tondop echoed the sentiments yesterday saying the leaders needed to get closer to their people to install stability.
When I was young boy, I witnessed a leader of the moge tribe in hagen stop his ten thousand strong tribesman by almost sacrificing his life. It was a bone chilling, terrifying experience, a display of leadership that was is a truly cultural phenomena of Western Highlanders.
He stood before them and the path to their anger, and he said “Kill me first” He meant it. His own tribe men were so conflicted, some wanted to kill him. I wached as my mothers people came inches within killing him.
In the end, they cried out of frustration and turned around. He was their leader. A true big man in Western Highlands fights for peace above everything else. Kanges are aggressive. One Kange in the middle of a thousand Engans or SHP will still go toe to toe.
When a Kange wants to fight, there is no backing out of it. Stopping a whole tribe of Moge’s was force of leadership. It was not an isolated event. A decade later, a jiga leader was saved at the last minute after he put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger, trying to stop his tribe from starting a war that would have decimated Hagen.
He said if you want to fight, then I will die first. If it wasnt for his nephew who hit his arm, deflecting the pistol shot that the bullet grazed his temple, he would have been dead.
Around that period, I was in Bougainville and the late great Patrick Ita told me how he negotiated down to the last day, what he saw was an industrial dispute in Bougainville.
When he saw the Soldiers coming off the boat, he told the DF controller, “You have killed me. Soldiers are not trained to negotiate, they are trained to fight. You have killed me.”
The BRA dragged Patrick Ita off the dockyard to be hung and Ona cut him down that day.
Decades later, we could lose Bougainville. I dont want to. You dont.
We could lose bougainville not because they want to leave. We could lose bougainville because the leadership perspective that soldiers on their own people has not changed at all. Patrick Ita recognised the problem as an industrial dispute and land rights. Not an armed conflict. Not a rebellion or successionist movement.
There is an SOE in SHP. Their are soldiers up there. Our boys and our girls, to kill our boys and our girls. Like Patrick Ita, the one voice of reason, the Police Commander Joseph Tondop, who is seeing the problem in Southern Highlands as a Leadership problem, and not a secessionist problem, has been fucking sidelined. I know Scott Waide that calling it another Bougainville is premature. But I am calling it. This is another Bougainville.
And we are in the fight for our young democracy and we dont even realise it. Southern Highlanders can fight. And all roads lead to Hagen. Bougainville is an island. God gave us a chance to learn, to fix a great wrong that we committed
Peter Oneil is not my Prime Minister.
I come from Warriors. My great great grandfather cleared the coastline that we call our home. My mothers father started Hagen Kofi. My father was the first national administrator of Western Province, Manus, and Western Highlands.
He physically arrested warring Manusians, cult leaders, cannibals, Jiga’s in the middle of killing people. I am not even making this shit up. One of my uncles tells me his favourite story of my dad. The shock of seeing this coastal guy running into the battle field to arrest him and hundreds of others and ship of to Manus to strip the World War 2 excess and build proper roads for that town.
My grandmother walked from Boiken, East Sepik, to Bulolo, and up through the Kuli Gap to marry my grand father who was station in hagen. My GF who would years later, die and be buried in Matupit because of injuries sustained during the war from saving allied troops and civilians (he was a national police officer).
Yeah. my dad and his people built this country. My mother, the teacher and her people built this country.
No Southern Highlands Son or Daughter should die by the bullet of a PNGDF soilder. Bougainville started with sabotage. Patrick Ita, God bless his soul, called it right. Soldiers and police are not trained to negoiate. Thomas Eluh is the wrong person for the job as controller up there.
Bougainville had a massive resource project that was causing problems. SHP/Hela does. Bougainville started with Sabotage out of frustration because of decisions made in Waigani. Tick. Waigani appointed a controller from NGI. Tick. Bougainvilleans dug up guns from Torokina and armed themselves. Tick.
This is not an isolated incident. Too many details are lining up.
Peter Oneil is trying to politicise the issue by saying people are politicising the issue.
Go lo ples blo yu na toktok lo ol lain blo yu. Na sapos ol traim yu, em i orait. Em ol lain blo yu.
Steven Biko said there is no success with struggle, and no sacrifice without struggle.
We are dearth in leadership in PNG today. There is a vacuum so large and wide that we will lose Bougainville and we will lose SHP and we will lose more than we care to imagine
I look at my freinds, all of them, and within my closest circle, there is absolutely none of them I can call a leader.
In Parliament, Bryan Krammers post about his direct handling of the Madang crisis, reminds me of the ethos of my uncle who stopped his tribe, my father who stopped warring tribes, partick ita who negotiated to the last day at the wharf in Kieta as the sunset in Bougainville for its longest night.
The sun is setting on our young democracy, and we have to ask ourselves, are we ready for night. We have to ask ourselves which leader will we follow, whose post will we share, who’s fake account will we block, which of our friends will we dump, who will we love the most tonight.
300 people died on a boat to mainland PNG, and there is still no justice. Kato Ottio died of negligence and thousands are dying of negligence and there is still no justice. We have alcoholics and drug bodies ruining our villages and our neighbourhoods and there is still no justice. There are schools with no desks in POM and PNG and there is still no justice.
They burnt a plane in Mendi. Because they want Justice.
No Southern Highlander should die in this SOE. No Papua New Guinean too.
I’ve written several blog posts about Karate and its importance for character building in Papua New Guinea. In my view it is vital that kids to take up karate because of the discipline and respect it teaches.
This post, however, is prompted by an important Facebook post by Cosmas Saliawali.
Yesterday, he found before their training session, that the place where they train (dojo) had paint on the training mat (tatami) and buai spit on the walls.
While this may seem like a small issue, it is very disrespectful to have someone spit buai where training is held. It also reflects badly on those who used the venue.
Cosmas said: “The Dojo is our house… the house of karatekas. We respect the place as we respect ourselves. This is where our sweat falls. This is where our blood falls. This is where the spirit of Karate lives. That is why we respect this place.”
Traditionally, a dojo was not just a training hall or a school. It was a place where the teacher (sensei) lived and taught his students. It was a place you treated with the utmost respect.
The same rules apply today.
The dojo is a place you treat with respect. It is where the sensei teaches and where students come to learn.
While some may argue that those who used the hall were not karatekas, it should also be said that everyone should be treated with respect regardless of who you are.
Above all, the place where you live should be respected. The people around you should be respected. That extends outward to the community, the country and the planet.
Shotokan Karate like many other styles teaches a code:
SEEK PERFECTION OF CHARACTER
REFRAIN FROM VIOLENT BEHAVIOUR
It’s something we all should learn from Karate. It’s not JUST a sport or a martial art – it is about life and respect.
Bernhard Marjen was born in Sorido, a village on the island of Biak on the West Papua side of the border in 1955.
His father was a radio broadcaster, they moved to Hollandia (Jayapura) in the 60s where he began his education with sister Nelly in the Dutch led administration.
It was at a time when West Papua was moving to self-determination. Tensions were high but the children they did not grasp the enormity of the activities taking place only curious as to why things had to be done a certain way such as not to display the flag in public.
Their father, Elias Marjen, the Radio Broadcaster and his cousin, Benedictus Sarwom, Information officer in the Dutch led government were in the thick of things, relaying important information and awareness on independence through the airwaves.
They both worked hard to keep the people’s hopes alive; freedom from the Dutch government against Indonesia’s push to gain control.
Sadly though it was not to be, closely monitored and their lives at risk they were told to leave with their families and what they had on them not a word of their departure uttered to anyone not even their parents, siblings, cousins etc.
On the 9th of March 1963 both men their wives and two children each boarded a ship bound for Madang in PNG. Out at sea and as the sun was setting , they realised they were on foreign seas heading to a new home, Elias Marjen looked out to sea and explained to his two young children, this is it, there is no going back. Faced with the situation before them, the siblings grew close and stayed close into adulthood.
From Madang they were flown to Port Moresby met by government officials including Maori Kiki later Sir Maori Kiki and driven to their new home at Hohola which was a growing surbub back then.
Being schooled in the Dutch led government, Ben and his sister spoke Dutch and Bahasa Malay however abruptly plucked out of their home, they had to learn to speak English.
Ben completed his education in PNG and Perth, Australia.
He married a beautiful lady, Shirley Baptist from Milne Bay in 1979 and both families hosted a wedding reception at the Islander Hotel now the Holiday Inn. One of Black Brothers most popular performance was at the wedding reception for Ben and Shirley this was before the band went into exile.
He worked with the then Office of Information and as a journalist with the Times of PNG and Editor of Niugini Nius later the National Newspaper. He also worked with some notable PNG Leaders, Sir Julius Chan, Paias Wingti, the late Sir William Skate, former Milne Bay Govenor Titus Philemon among them.
In 1984 he joined the police force, his passion for community policing earned him the title Chief Sergeant. His last post, Alotau where he resided.
He was a born leader to the Marjen family and the extended West Papuan community in PNG.
His parents have since passed on including his uncle, Benedictus Sarwom. Bernhard Daan Alfred Marjen felt the end of was near, after being ill for a while, he passed away in Alotau on Friday June 1st, aged 63. His wish to be cremated was granted.
Rest In Peace Brother.
A few weeks ago, ‘Bilum Meri,’ Florence Jaukae, protested over the sale of machine woven fake bilums being sold in Goroka.
Over 20 years, Jaukae built an industry that revolved around the bilum and the women who weave it. Of course there are now many others who do the same now. But she was able to take the art form overseas against the odds.
She bought samples of the fakes and posted a complaint on Facebook calling for government intervention and protection of the art form.
I support that call.
This morning, we bought two samples from a shop in Lae City. Yes. The counterfeits are also being sold here for K19 each – less than half the price of an authentic bilum.
This trend will destroy the bilum industry if we don’t confront it. The Bilum is important for us as a country. It’s popularity has generated interest by international fashion designers who want a piece of Papua New Guinea.
The ‘Bilum’ has evolved into a brand in itself so much so that a French woman with no connection to Papua New Guinea decided to have the word ‘Bilum’ patented as her own. We’;; probably talk about that later.
The art is a revenue earner for women in Papua New Guinea. This is what pays school fees for their kids and puts food on the table. To have foreign owned businesses destroying that revenue stream and art form with no care for this
country’s traditional arts is absolutely infuriating!
How much protection do the women have? Will the ICCC or whatever relevant body take this fight on? Or will be allow this trend to continue until the bilum becomes one of the many counterfeits made in China?
“Tronix was formed at Don Bosco in Port Moresby when Richard Tamanabae was schooling.
We came together for the Battle of the bands. Now, the band consists of boys from the our street, Richard’s former classmates and I (Shayanne Waide).
It’s basically a family band. We entered the battles auditions practicing only with acoustic guitars n keyboards only but managed to get through.
Lead singer Richard. I play the guitar and also lead and back up vocals. Philip Mearu and Lorry Danny play keyboards. Both are upcoming key board prodigies. Leroy Danny plays bass and Josh Larewa on drums. Vali Johnny, Chris Santo, Chris Ankik and Stanley Ume are vocalists.
We went from 17th place then to 2nd.