An entry in the 2016 Crocodile Prize
OUR country is ruled by tyrants who have completely wrecked the national economy and have run up debts amounting to billions of kina.
Corporate greed thrives in Papua New Guinea simply because the masses are not raising their voices against the perpetrators who are dipping their fingers into the public coffers.
PNG is probably the only country in the world where corporate criminals and despots walk around freely without having to look back over their shoulder.
Almost two weeks ago, a group of university students marching to parliament house was shot at by police.
The city of Port Moresby was immediately gripped by terror. Whilst wounded students were rushed to the city’s hospitals, the nation’s capital was charged with trepidation.
At the Waigani market, the Wabag and the Simbu mothers selling ice blocks scrambled for space on the PMV buses to return to the relative safety of their homes in the settlements.
As ambulances scurried back and forth, some people across the country were expecting the worst. Some said that Governor Powes Parkop’s beloved city would burn. Thankfully it did not.
The students were traumatised by the shootings but the majority decided not to relent in their determination to rid this country of a very corrupt government.
PNG tertiary students are demanding the immediate resignation of prime minister Peter O’Neill. They are willing to sacrifice their education and their future in order to ensure his removal.
Whilst most of us try to employ non-violent means to bring about positive change in PNG, excessive use of force by the agents of the state goes to show that our democracy is eroding.
Students at PNG’s three major universities have raised their collective voices against the avarice of the current government but sadly they are a minority in a country of seven million people.
Their best attempts to effect positive change are not gaining momentum because the gullible masses are not also raising their voices. The masses are not taking a bold stand to rid this country of a corrupt government. They are doing nothing or next to nothing to fight corruption in this country.
They are a naive lot whose ignorance can be irritating. I feel we are not doing enough to awaken the collective consciousness of the people to the bleak realities confronting our country.