Major conference will mark PNG-Australia 100 year relationship

Life can be cheap & justice hard to come by in remote PNG

Simbu landscapePETER KEPA

SHE was a middle aged woman of about 40, a foster mother of six children, and she was found dead and mutilated in her coffee garden in the remote Mordaula valley of the Simbu Province.

Regina Kina was married to a school teacher John Kombukon, and had been a faithful, fruitful and laborious wife for 16 years.

Although she could have no children of her own, Regina had been a dutiful and splendid foster mother after the children’s biological mother had died almost 20 years ago.

Regina had gone to her garden in the morning to pick coffee berries from her families’ coffee trees. She had not expected danger since no foe was not common in this locality.

It is believed that the attacker assaulted her from the back, succeeded in knocking her to the ground and stunning her with two large rocks that were nearby.

He stripped the woman, pulled her to a drain and raped her repeatedly.

The victim was discovered by a young mother who had gone to wash some clothes and fetch water. She looked in the direction of the garden and noticed that human feet were kicking about in agony.

Going closer, she noticed that Regina was lying in agony in the drain, seriously injured by the brutal attack. In fright, the woman ran to her village some five kilometres away. Villagers from Wlual and at Wringiai hurried to the spot but, alas, the woman had died from loss of blood and head injuries.

It was a tragic death and frightful death.

As the villagers headed to the garden to rescue Regina, two youths aged 17 to 18 were seen moving in the opposite direction. The men caught the two youths and started questioning them.

The youths were the only living souls present in the vicinity of the victim. They were notorious in the area for smoking marijuana, consuming home brewed alcohol and they had previously been reported to have raped grandmothers.

After questioning, one of the youths admitted to raping and killing mama Regina Kina.

The agitated villagers apprehended the accused, tied him like a wild pig and sent for the police from Kundiawa some 40 kilometres away.

The police congratulated the villagers for their effort and the attacker is in police custody awaiting court. The culprit received some wounds and broken bones from angry villagers and it is reported that medical attention is being denied to him.

“Let the culprit die and decay in the police cells behind bars,” the villagers said. “We do not want to see him alive back in the village”

Meanwhile, in the village of Mordaula, the father of the youth has pledged to take the life of people involved in the arrest of his son.

The bereaved villagers responded that they will apprehend the father too.

Not long after, there was a mass break-out of detainees from the Kundiawa police barracks detention block and it is reported that every detainee escaped. There had been a heavy downpour of rain that night and at the same time there was a power blackout. The police are still investigating.

And now it is reported that the youth suspected of killing mama Regina Kina is back in the Mordaula countryside. He and his father are armed and looking for people who had been involved in apprehending and handing the youth to the police.

The whole Mordaula community is meeting to hold talks on what to do while at the same time suffering from sleepless nights. 


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Peter Kranz

Explanation here -


Peter Kranz

Sil - why do the police claim they have no petrol and can't pursue a criminal? Same thing happened to us when trying to rescue our sister-in-law. We ended up paying bribes and coughing up for petrol before the police did anything.

It shouldn't be like this.

(By the way, the picture is from the southern end of Kundiawa airstrip, locally known as 'the end of the world'. Perhaps we now know why.)

Chris Overland

During my time as a Kiap, virtually all patrol posts had a small detachment of Police who lived and worked in the area.

I think that their mere presence (and the Kiap's) was sufficient to ensure that most incidents like this one were almost immediately referred to the local Kiap and then promptly investigated.

It usually was not rocket science to find the guilty party. I used to marvel at how frequently a crime was witnessed or the perpetrator would do something epically stupid to reveal themselves.

As Phil has said, it seems to me that the RPNGC needs to either restructure or otherwise extend its operations to ensure that the Police are a constant presence in the bush.

Evidence from just about everywhere in the world strongly suggests that, when it comes to effective policing, there is no substitute for "boots on the ground".

This was the basis of the colonial administration and it worked pretty well. There seems to be no reason why it ought not work now.

Phil Fitzpatrick

Thinking about this and other incidents in PNG, as well as the general state of the country, I'm starting to come round to the view that what PNG needs immediately is a massive investment in its police force.

I was in Vanuatu recently and to all intents and purposes it looks just like PNG. However there is nowhere there I wouldn't feel comfortable walking around alone, even at night. Australian tourists go to Vanuatu but they don't go to PNG.

Kela Kapkora Sil Bolkin

The killing happened a week after my article ('In Simbu, the Maryjane druggies are given special recognition') was published in PNG Attitude.

The deceased and the thug are both from our hamlet (clan). The police as usual have no fuel and manpower and so they asked us to take the law into our own hands and become judge, jury and executioner when the murderer broke out of the cells after we did our part in apprehending him.

The State (police) now wants us to apprehend (kill) the father (who is also an addict and murderer) and the son. Both are armed. This is all in the traditional way (eye for an eye).

Should the community listen to the police and kill them? What will the courts say if we kill them and a relative takes us to court?

We implore the State and the educated men and women of our area and the community to collectively help apprehend the murderer so we can appeal for life imprisonment in the courts rather than opt for eye for an eye, which will have a negative chain reaction.

Arnold Mundua

If the whereabouts of the culprit is known, where is the police?

Jimmy Awagl

Peter, well done. You are back on track for your well known narratives. They create a lot of drama and bring us into the climax of having an analogy with the rising anti-social behaviour and issues within every society of Papua New Guinea.

I loved reading your article for it added flavour to the happenings and will convey a moral lesson and obligation for others to take heed of these issues.

Paul Oates

Peter has given an excellent example of the symptoms of the disease. The disease itself appears out of control.

The only answer to this disease is effective leadership and administrative control.

I nogat narapla marasin.

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