10 11 2013

For Blog

Arawa town was very clean and nice during the days before the Bougainville War but seems to be like town belonging to other Papua New Guineans the ones we called them Erereng or Redskins. From 6pm you wouldn’t see any black inhabitants of the Island, if one roams the town during the night for God’s sake he or she will not be ended up in the hospital or grave. Worst were our women folks they were the targets for rape, packed rape you name it.
Outside of the town areas there were squatter settlements and were pushing more inland until late Francis Ona came up with the Panguna mine struggle and men joined in than the Erereng were kicked out. We the people of Bovongnari and North Nasioi at large were the victims of the Erereng from the squatter settlements, Arawa town our very own was control by them.
The markets like the one at the end of section 16 which supposed to be for the Bovongnari people was taken over by the Erereng. They make gardens at Tongkuru and Pudere by taking the land by force from the landowners and sell the food there.
The green, green and nice town of Arawa became a foreign town inside our motherland. North Nasioi Community Government with its police tried to move them out but their task was in vain, these squatters grown stronger so we live in fear and while coming to town we had to come in big group or with a accompany of 2 or 3 man. DSC01899
It was with the barrel of the gun that they were driven back to where they came from. After the War Arawa town came back to the people it belongs to and it became more safer for all as well as our women folk, they wallked around the town in the night without fear of been attack and rape etc.
After many peace talks and Arawa coming back to Normalcy the Ererengs are starting to come back, some as missionaries preaching gospel around the town, market place and so forth, others selling goods, some visiting their relatives who married to Bougainvilleans. While the black inhabitants of the island seeing this movement they are starting to get boil inside.
In August a youth grabbed the mobile from the Ererengs who were selling it at Arawa market and walked off, market security tried to call him but he told him you want to help them so nothing done, it was sad to see it done to them but the effects of the old days is still in the hearts and minds of the people.
The consequence will be very painfull, if a Erereng is kill in Arawa than for pay back the Erereng’s relatives will kill any Bougainvillean who is in school or working in Png, so its high time the Autonmous Bougainville Government should make a policy on incoming Ererengs to Arawa and all of Bougainville.




2 responses

10 11 2013
Martyn Namorong

Bougainvilleans are very peaceful people. I know this first hand having traveled there myself. The problems you have at Arawa are also faced elsewhere in PNG. You better get rid of all those people soon before they spoil your beautiful country. Deport them!

12 11 2013
dave sansone

Aloha Mekamui,

The challenge you face reminds me of the situation in Hawai’i.

Outsiders (english/americans) came in and completely destabilized the culture and divided up the place for them and their descendants. More outsiders were brought in to work very extremely low wages to do the work that the HAwaiians refused to do to their island after years of logging it for sandlewood.

The islands served as a hub for whalers from many countries and cultures.
The Hawaiian’s lived aloha–love. They used and still do, “aloha” to mean, hi, bye, I love you and more. I have been told by a descendant of Kamehameha (King who made Hawai’i a nation) that Hawaiians embraced people who washed ashore or even invaded since increased the genetics in this most remote archipeligo where every species that came here had a genetic bottleneck.

Over the years, Hawaiians have married just about every race and ethnicity that have come to visit and reside. Now many Hawaiians are mixes of different cultures. Some have blond hair and green eyes.

Your concern about outsiders is warranted. I am not there, so really cannot know what the reality is for each person on the ground. But hearing the concerns, I have concern about the treatment of those of newly mixed blood who may feel rejected or harmed by both cultures.

I have noticed that when people feel stuck in a situation in which they are not able to provide for themselves, it is almost inevitable that people will resort to crime, violence, drug use. It is tragic what is happening throught the US. Crime, drugs, and violence are an everyday thing. The newspapers, tv and radio are fuil of reports of bad news–every day, everywhere.

Of course, I have no answer but I would like to share what I am learning here.

The ones who want to do things that are not pono–balanced and fair, are the ones that make the mess that pits everyone against eachother. They have the western or some other messed up “cultural lens” mindset that allows them to do horrible things and think they are doing something good–a farmer who cuts down all the trees and plants 1 crop to sell internationally for example Good intentions don’t lead to good results.

The ones who are born into the culture as a mix come part of it and offer their kuleana–responsibility/job in which they contribute to the society that has embraced them. The culture has moved beyond blood lines because the Hawaiians accept all people. It is a way of life. Of course this a generatization, but I think it is fairly accurate.

A Hawaiian kapuna (elder) and I have become friends with is telling the Hawaiians they need to grow their kalo (taro) because it is sustainable and good for them. He is Hawaiian Chinese mix.

He said the Hawaiians don’t sell their kalo, they give it away. Many nodded at the Hawaiian holiday event.

Now as I work with “traditional: Hawaiians who are working to restore the land, access to resources, and their spiritual connection with their island, i see how the culture has been weathering the storm known as the US empire, but it is still intact despite the mix of blood. Perhaps in the long run stronger for it.

All around the world, the great mix up caused by westerners has led to turf wars and border disputes because people are oppressed. Indonesia is pressing down on PNG and PNG used to push down on Mekamui.

Their is a saying “the oppressed mimic the oppressor”. Jews were persuted by the NAZI’s in Germany and then created Israel and turned into an extremely violent state with the nuclear bomb (starting by defending themselves from those displaced to make room for the Jews.

PNG has been a victim of the most brutal regime on the planet. And you know what PNG government has done to Mekamui.

We are learning here that different cultures (not governements and business people) can come together and get benefit if it is a mutually beneficial situation.

It is like pouring water into your hand. you can only hold so much. Please don’t believe the westernized people who say you can get more by selling it or squeezing the life out of it to get more. Once you do that, you quickly lose the gift your ancestors promoted and protected. Getting it back is not easy.

We are finding that we can ask for help and join hands to hold much more water than we could if we tried to do it alone. We are richer since we fill different niches and an efficiency that occurs when we cooperate with out being selfish.

This was how Hawai’i had such a large population before English Captain Crook arrived. People were encouraged to follow their passion, take it on as a kuleana (responsibility), and contribute to their family and society. One of results is that Hawai’i had the most sophisticated taro growing systems in the world (I can imagine some Mekamuians who would disagree 🙂

10,000 people in a small valley and harvesting 3 times more fish than what scientists thought was sustainable illustrate that they created paradise–the needs were met and no one had to work too too hard. They took a four month holiday from heavy work, farming in the winter.

The point is that when we listen to others needs/concerns and associate with those who are contributers and remove the takers from the picture, we can all be richer. I don’t think it is by blood that the difference may be decided.

Rejection and mistreatment of people creates enemies that may seek revenge.

So with all that said, I wish your island to enjoy peace and true prosperity.

oli makahiki hou!

Dave Sansone

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