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The Hole in the Facade of Paradise – written in 2011

Is a hero someone who looks like Superman and shoots webs out of his wrist like Spiderman and uses his special ‘spidey sense’ to rescue someone as they are about to be victimized by a mob?… Maybe in Fantasia.

No hero dropped out of the Morobe sky to save a 13 year old school girl from being abducted at Eriku and raped in broad daylight.

They say that a hero can be found in our most desperate times, people who will risk life and limb to rise against injustice.

So would you call these youths who rioted and battled through Lae heroes?

There has been an injustice in Lae for a long, long time.

There are serial rapists that operate in Lae, who stalk out at the Eriku and Snack Bar bus stops to try to pounce on innocent young girls.

For many years, these men have been contained by the public, who have turned them into mince when they catch them.

But in recent times, these serial rapists have found ‘protection’ in the mob that operates up at Eriku bus stop.

And these mobs are sadly so full of highlanders…my people.

Aggressive, stubborn, full of fight, they run Eriku and without any form of moral code to adhere to, they have devised their own form of code – the ‘Street Mangi’ rules. There is only one rule and that is;

Only help someone if you know them.

That day that 13 year old got dragged off the bus and raped, no one helped her. The rapists used the mob to satisfy their sick desires.

Something has gone wrong up in the highlands of PNG that has seen the increase movement of single young males from these highlands provinces down to one urban point, the city of Lae.

Without much to do in Lae, many of them converge at Eriku, creating a situation of mob rule every day.

Why are they leaving the highlands region?

There is a breakdown of services up in the highlands, tribal fights and violence has forced people out of their villages, unemployment is rising, high school drop outs are everywhere, alcohol and drug abuse and population pressures are breaking up village communities.

At the same time the Carol Kidu’s Informal Market idea has inadvertently created a monster where boys wander the streets selling anything from cigarettes to stolen mobile phones, protected by the law. They don’t want to work the land, sweat it out like the forefathers did. And if they cant make a buck out of Mt Hagen and Goroka, they head down to Lae or Madang.

We are lucky that Port Moresby is not connected by road to the Highlands Region because numbers would quickly swell in the city.

The situation in Lae is frustration. They are frustrated with all these retards they call leaders.

Wenge and Philemon and Kay have done nothing as as the Lae population has swelled everyday as more and more young males arrived in the city.

Highlands leaders have failed to fix the problems in their provinces. They truly lack any comprehension of the seriousness of the issues. For many of them, their idea of dealing with the youth problems is to sponsor sport competitions.

The National Government has done nothing to control the massive urban drift of single, young males from the rural highlands into Lae and our other urban centers. The Government has no policy at all. NONE.

And as the numbers swell in the urban centres, something goes wrong and bad people thrive in the breakdown.

O’Neil and Namah will send the police in to ‘quell’ the situation in Lae as they try to conduct the investigation into what happened.

They will probably declare a State of Emergency in Lae to protect, as O’Neil said, the National Economy.

The economy is not what needs protecting Mr Prime Minister, it’s the people.

I doubt any of these leaders will visit that little Papua New Guinean who got raped and listen to her share her nightmare.

Simply because she is not the ‘Economy,’ she is not the businesses that need to be protected, she is not the stores that need to be opened, she is not the ships that need to be unloaded.

She is just a Papua New Guinean school girl who on the way to classes one morning got dragged of a bus in broad daylight in front of dozens of people and raped.

There was no hero to save her. There was no Government to protect her.

………………………………………………………………………………..

We can’t count on our leaders anymore, we have to do it ourselves to save our villages and ultimately our country from descending into a hole that we won’t be able to climb out of.

Papua New Guinea is not my country, your country, or their country. It is Our Country.

That little girl is everyone’s child. We cannot pretend that we don’t know her.

As Lae burns and youths get shot and people get killed, we should realize that this is not a Morobe problem, this is a giant Papua New Guinea one.

Something is not right in Paradise.