An Open letter by Peter Komon of Western Highlands to the Sports Minister Hon Justin Tkatchenko MP in response to the comments made on Facebook in relation to Hagen Eagles Official causing violence
Dear Mr Sports Minister,
When the first European Explorers entered the Waghi valley in the 1920s, they encountered a people they described as more orderly, living in a more well-organised and structured society; a people who were more willing to foster relationships and trade with them, rather than attack. They were the friendliest they encountered in their Highland expeditions. They were my forefathers.
Successive European archaeologists went on to uncover drainage ditches and wooden utensils dating more than 7,000 years ago in the Valley's Kuk Swamp area.
My ancestors are considered to be among the world's first agriculturalists. They practiced the farming technique called 'rotational cropping', then peculiar to them and is now being used right around the world. This is one of my ancestors contributions to mankind. Or should I tell you also of their ability to cultivate and breed banana varieties or to manage the fertility of the soil using the casuarina tree? Now these are contributions I choose not to labour over for times sake.
My people have lived in a continuous, unbroken chain of human settlement for 10 millennia.
So you see my good Mr Sports Minister, your comments may be valid only to the extent of a reactionary and visceral outburst against actions deplorable and unbecoming of the management and supporters of a sporting team which I am not a supporter of, but I know who I am, my history and where I come from. My heritage is the source of my strength and identity.
Whatever you said, it doesn't offend me one iota. You don't need to apologize to me or my people because I know the truth of our history and essentially, we are more than that.
Some may have lost their way but I know for sure most have not.
Mt. Hagen, WHP
Sports Minister Hon Justin Tkatchenko's Facebook Post
A very very Sad day for Rugby League..The Primitive and the uneducated action of the Hagen Eagles officials and supporters must be condemned at the highest level.. We have all worked so hard to put Rugby League back on track to take our National Sport to the next level and as Minister I will not allow stupidity and the selfish actions of a few destroy this Sport...I will be directing in the strongest terms that the officials involved be banned for life from ever participating in Rugby League again and that a criminal investigation be carryout to arrest those that assaulted the umpires and players. Also the Hagen Eagles must be Deregistered and banned for life for not following and upholding the rules of ethics and laws of Rugby League. This is not the first time this Club and team have caused problems for the Code. We must never tolerate at all this sort of behavior. Finally I also would like to apologize to the People of East New Britain, the Gurias Management, Staff and players for having to go through such disgraceful behavior..I will do my best working with the PNGRFL to ensure new and tougher penalties are put in place so this disgusting behavior hopefully never happens again. We must all grow up and learn from our Past to make sure this never gets repeated again...
Sports Minister Hon Justin Tkatchenko MP,
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VIDEO: A look at how the people of the PNG highlands grow and prepare food.