Stop sorcery killings
Past, present and future


Post_courier violence womenISO YAWI

An entry in the Crocodile Prize
PNG Government Award for Short Stories

I have seen many Papua New Guinean women harassed by Asian shop owners. Most victims never report this for fear they will lose their employment or that the community will look down on them. This is a story derived from my observations….

BELINDA, a 35-year old widow from Siassi in Morobe, lived in Kamkumung settlement in Lae with her three sons: Tim, the first born, in Grade 9 at Busu Secondary School and Vince and Damen both in Grade 5 at Omili Primary School.

Belinda was employed at an Asian-owned shop in Top town. She went to work faithfully each day and did everything her Asian boss asked her to do. She worked hard and, as the only bread winner in the family, supported her family, her husband having died three years before.

In 2006, before the free education policy of the PNG government, Grade 9 student's school fees were K950. Belinda earned just K150 a fortnight and each day was a burden. She sometimes never ate. Tim, 14 years old, understood what his mother was going through.

Although Belinda followed all that her boss said, she felt embarrassed by him sitting on a tall chair his two bony feet hanging close to her shoulder, He watched her like an owl, especially when she took money from customers and gave back the change. If she made a mistake, he would shout at her.

"Yu gipim senis gut ah! nogen baul, baul! ('You give proper change, don't make mistakes') he would shout, pointing a bony finger at Belinda.

"Mi save ya, boss!" ('I know, boss') Belinda would reply as if the remark seemed nothing, but she felt embarrassed.

This usually happened every day and Belinda but never told anyone but kept it to herself.

One Friday afternoon Tim walked home carrying a note from school stating he would no longer be attending class unless his tuition fees were paid in full. Belinda had paid K500 towards his school fees but the other K450 was beyond her.

Belinda was very worried for her son and the next day didn't go to work but looked for money from relatives and friends so she could pay the balance of the fee.

Fortunately for Belinda her smaller brother had arrived for a break from his mining job and when he about heard the situation he took Belinda and Tim to the school to pay the outstanding fees.

The next day at work something horrible happened to Belinda. When she entered the office, the boss told her to wait in the adjacent room.

As he came in, he asked, "Yu stap we long tripla dei?" ('Where have you been for the last three days')

"Mi stap long baim skul fi ya boss," ('I stayed to pay for school fees, boss') she replied.

"Maski giaman,"('Don't lie'), the Asian said and moved closer.

"Hau bai mi giamanim yu, bai mi kisim skul resit kam," ('How did I lie to you? I have the school's receipt'), Belinda replied.

Her boss stepped close to her, put his hands on her shoulder and dragged them down towards her breasts.

"Rausim doti han blong yu lo bodi blong me!" ('Remove you dirty hands from my body'), Belinda said, as she swung his hands away.

Her boss slapped her face.

"Yu kontena rat basted!" ('You container rat bastard'), Belinda cried and walked towards the door.

"Bai mi go kotim yu long polis ya yu harim ah. Kantri blong yu ah?" ('I will report you to the police. Is this your country?'), she sobbed, the tears rolling down her cheeks.

"Go kotim, bai yupa mekim wane tantin," ('Go ahead and report, what are you going to do?'), the Asian barked.

But Belinda had already walked out of the door.

Half an hour passed and a blue Toyota LandCruiser of the Lae Police arrived outside the trading store.

Two policemen in blue uniforms walked into the shop with Belinda. Her boss looked a bit nervous.

"He yu save long displa meri tu?"('Hey do you know this woman?'), the tall Tolai policeman asked.

"Ye, em wok o hia," ('Yeah, she works here'), the Asian replied.

"Na wai yu paitim em?" ('Why did you bash her?'), asked the policeman.

"Em to, mi kodena lat, ose na mi patin em,"(She said I am a container rat, so I hit her'), he replied.

"Mi tok yu kontena rat bikos yu holim susu blo mi! Mi meri blo yu ah?" ('I said that because you touched my breast! Am I your wife?'), Belinda told her boss.

The police officers were angry when they heard that shop owner had tried to molest one of his employees. They grabbed him and pushed him towards the vehicle waiting outside.

"Bai mi gipim yufla tamfla money, nogen lokim mi! plis! plis!" ('I will give you some money, don't lock me up! please! please!'), the Asian pleaded.

The police officers tried to ignore him, but he pleaded more and more. Then they seemed convinced so they told him to get the money. He went into the building and returned with K3,000. The policemen took it, giving K500 to Belinda and keeping the rest themselves.

Belinda walked home with a bruised face and K500. She never returned to the shop again.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Iso Yawi

Indeed, John such scheme is evident in every sphere... Got the picture.

John Kaupa Kamasua

Iso - The other issue on harassment of women is that most of them are perpetrated by our own kind. They are people normally in positions of power and influence.

They demand sex or sexual favours and continue to use veiled threats, or promises of better job conditions.

They may orchestrate or create compromising environments to pursue their evil plans.

The irony is that these very people may have also helped in signing documents and agreed legislation that try to prevent harassment and abuse at the workplace.

We need women and men who are facing such to come forward.

John Kaupa Kamasua

Tru yah

olsem mipela toktok stap hia, ol kongkong kam na kisim ol wok na bisnis na givim yumi wok tu!

Wanpela taim bai yumi nogat work lo wokim, na kamap kago boi blo ol tasol.

The Department of Labour, ICC and other entities need to monitor harassment and treatment of the PNG nationals. And the minimum wage board also need to check the pay of some of these workres!!!

Robin Lillicrapp

Rough justice, eh?

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)