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John Gordon-Kirkby

Four long years since this petition was posted by PNG Attitude, and the comment by Porap Gai. No reactions since!

Essentially it’s all about the extension of literacy in PNG.

“Not many people are reading or writing in PNG” said Daniel Kumbon on 30 June 2019.
Did the colonial education system fail you?

I’m glad that in 1975, I encouraged then high school student, Daniel Kumbon to write.
He has not disappointed me or his country.
Daniel has set a fine example to follow.

The challenge is there.

A few penned simple sentences can launch a career.

Young PNG citizens, give it a go.

Philip Fitzpatrick

You don't need to personally collect signatures, Daniel.

If you have an email address where people can record their endorsement of the manifesto, you can present the petition with the list of names underneath.

You could also present it to the prime minister and publish it in the main newspapers as an open letter.

The newspapers might be convinced to run the letter free of charge. They both rely on writers for their stories after all.

Daniel Kumbon

Thank you Phil for giving us the words.

I will use the same words you have written here and present our case in a letter to Prime Minister in a month’s time when I hope to go back to Port Moresby.

From there, I will try and contact Jordan Dean, Carolyn Evari, Laiao Gerega, Baka Bina, Samantha Kusari and others in Port Moresby to sign the letter on behalf of all the other PNG authors and writers we know spread around the country.

Thanks Rashmi for being the first to respond to the cause

Philip Fitzpatrick

Here is a draft form for a petition to the government:

We, the writers of Papua New Guinea, believe that our nation’s literature is something that needs to be encouraged and supported by everyone but especially by the government.

Without a home grown literature the story of our great nation cannot be told.

If our story is not told future generations of Papua New Guineans will not be fully aware of where they come from, who they are and what made them.

A nation without a story is like a nation without a soul.

The writers of Papua New Guinea are currently struggling to tell our nation’s story.

There are no major publishers in Papua New Guinea interested in publishing our work. If we want to publish our books we have to pay for it ourselves.

Our books are not available in our schools. The students of Papua New Guinea cannot read books written by their own countrymen and women.

Instead, they have to read books written by writers from other countries.

Papua New Guinea has a very poorly resourced public library system. Very few of our books are available in these libraries. In most cases we have to donate our books free of charge to libraries so that people can read them.

Our national literary award, The Crocodile Prize, is struggling. It is only supported by limited private funding. The Papua New Guinean government has never shown an interest in supporting the award. It has never shown an interest in supporting Papua New Guinean writers.

It is time this situation changed.

We, the undersigned writers of Papua New Guinea, are calling upon the new Prime Minister, James Marape, to commit his government and future governments to providing the support that our writers and our literature deserve.

It is time to secure the story of Papua New Guinea for present and future generations.

To do less is unthinkable.

Rashmii Bell

I think that's a great idea, Phil.

I'd be happy to add my name, short statement etc.

I'm on [email protected] if someone would like to initiate this.

Philip Fitzpatrick

Perhaps the writers of Papua New Guinea need to send a petition to James Marape demanding support for literature.

All you need is a set of words.

Individual writers can send the words to the prime minister or you can all add your names to one copy to be sent to him.

It can all be done electronically.

Call it something like a Manifesto for Literature in Papua New Guinea.

Send a copy to the media too.

Daniel Kumbon

Thank you Billy and Porap for your generous comments.

The hausman is disappearing. Not many people are reading or writing. Not many people are watching EMTV, TVWAN,NBC TV or reading the papers.

A lot of valuable information and historical facts are being lost. The government talks about education but it seems only to be talking about quantity. Quality education can come from reading and writing.

Our schools need libraries full of books. And PNG-authored books must be included. Our students will comprehend them more easily.

I am glad I got copies of some of my books to prime minister James Marape, Enga governor Sir Peter Ipatas and MP Dr Lino J Tom just before the new government was formed.

I am hopeful, the new government will recognise literature as important for our province and country.

Billy Minata

This book is a must read for any Engans.

Porap Gai

Before civilisation came to Enga, Kandep our homeland, our people were forgotten. They were natives and they though that the sky is limited and there is no other place and people living.

But after civilisation came to our place, you who was born in the uncivilised society was brought out to see every place around the world.

Thank Daniel for putting our forgotten people and place on world's web page. We want more from you.

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