Could John Momis take Bougainville to independence
The niche in which I dwell

Petition for PNG authored books in schools gathers pace


THREE weeks ago, using the online service, I started a petition to the Papua New Guinea  Parliament on behalf of the Crocodile Prize and PNG authors making three requests which will improve both literacy and the national cultural standing of PNG.

First, the petition sought an Independence gift to the children of Papua New Guinea in the form of making the annual Crocodile Prize Anthologies of 2011 to 2015 available to all PNG schools.

Secondly, it asked Honourable Members to allocate an annual portion from their district improvement (DSIP) budgets to ensure that every school in their electorate has an increasing number of books that have been written by Papua New Guinean authors.

Thirdly, the petition wanted support for a budget submission to effect the self-sustaining organization of the Crocodile Prize and of local writer’s societies.

It sought a non-partisan response from the members of our National Parliament for a project of great national importance.

In other words, our request is not political; it seeks to purchase PNG books and support PNG writers and readers. It is a request that will benefit everyone equally and everywhere as soon as it is agreed. The non-partisan nature of the request is reflected in the parliamentarians who will receive the petition.

The Hon Charles Abel’s Ministry for Planning and Monitoring already supports the Crocodile Prize. Mr Abel is a strong supporter of improving PNG’s national culture including literature.

Hon Gary Juffa, Governor of Oro province, is a cross bench MP, an essayist and a member of the Crocodile Prize Organisation.

The Speaker of Parliament, Hon Theodore Zurenuoc, who occupies a role which is the fulcrum of Parliamentary process for the benefit of the citizens and the state.

So far we have logged 264 signatures: 164 on the petition site, which is here, and 100 on hard copy with more to come. If you are holding hard copies you can scan them and email them to here or here.

While the number of signatures may not be as many as we might have hoped, what has been most encouraging are the comments from many different people from PNG and other countries.

One of the finest statements on the petition site is from my friend Seth Asasi-asa Offei of Ghana, who wrote:

"We stand to lose our culture, values and our inheritance if you know all about others and ignore our own. Local content experiences make sense, they create jobs and we can position ourselves in homegrown books and stuff. That is what identifies us as a people. PNG is not an extension of another country, PNG is a sovereign entity."

That is the final goal of this petition. It is another small step towards securing a uniting national identity. 


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

Peter Kranz

Well Michael, I have a confession. I'm an old Doctor Who fan (and remember watching the original William Hartnell episodes in B&W.)

There is some truth be be gained in such quirky, thoroughly British sci-fi entertainment.

A strange alien man falls in love with the human race, and using his wiles and intelligence saves them from global disaster - not once but many times.

The plots are always bizarre, he relies on 'mere girls' to help him, never fires a weapon and eschews violence, but always seems to find a clever way through a crisis. And respects whatever local culture he finds himself in.

Perhaps such a hero is what we all need.

End of ramble.

Michael Dom

My Ghanian friend is a good and wise young man.

"PNG is not an extension of another country, PNG is a sovereign entity."

Whereas, it seems that politically PNG is already becoming an extension of Indonesia and Israel.

Kela Kapkora Sil Bolkin

I like the way Seth from Ghana scribbled about the plight of our heritage.

Can we think of a way to find a way into the induction program for new MPs post-election to slot in a 30 minutes session on culture, values and our heritage?

The Ombudsmen and the other integrity agencies addressed them in the induction program, we should act as a proxy for some of these obsolete institutions and advocate this message.

I don't think we will be given the honour to address the kings of various tribes in the induction program but if we don't and the Speaker is successful with his cult? Okay, let's wait for the outcome of the petition first.

Michael Dom

Hi Phil Fitzpatrick and Peter Krantz - Give us some more of your rambling wisdom. Yu tupela lapun pinis tasol ino tit-bruk iet!

I think Seth Offei's comment is spot on where writing is concerned, particularly story and probably for essay too.

What we are doing as a reader or a writer is 'positioning ourselves within the narrative'.

We can easily imagine what things are like in the human context.

Last week I wrote what Horace said as advice to creative writers: "I’d advise one taught by imitation to take life,
And real behaviour, for his examples, and extract
Living speech."

When I'm reading a story, no matter how fantastical it may be, if the writer has planted even the smallest seed of credible "Living speech" as a person, event, action or what-have-you, that I can relate to and understand in some tangible or even intangible, then that story hits a home run.

The next bases to load or unload follow after that and depend on skill, technique, structure and etc.

Russel Soaba mentioned at our first ever writer's workshop about creating "dramatic tension", which I think is also related to the idea of positioning ourselves in the narrative.

Em i liklik tingting bilong mi.

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.)