18/09/2013 13:00


By Fr. Giorgio Licini - Catholic Reporter

Once more the social media proved instrumental in getting wrong things straight. The barrage on Facebook and Twitter, to name the main advocates of public opinion nowadays, prompted their employers this morning to transfer the victims of the Black Cat Truck assault last week from the dilapidated Angau hospital to the International Lae Hospital. The reason why it took one week - and one more of the injured men to die of his wounds - may never become clear. It may have something to do with insurance (or no insurance) procedures and the debate on whom is going to shoulder the bill.

The issue, however, is another. These men did not fall along a slippery truck or crush under the heavy back packs of a few adventurous Aussies and Kiwis. No! Rather they were mercilessly attacked by their own countrymen with primitive weapons and evil intentions of robbery and killing. Don’t say: only in PNG! It’s not true. In the last couple of days a lone shooter killed twelve people at a military facility in the US and another shot dead three policemen and a medical worker in Austria.

The fact is that when a grave matter of public safety arises, governments do not leave the issue to local authorities, employers, insurance agencies and families… They take it into their hands, directly and immediately. The unlucky trekkers in fact were immediately flown back to their country with full assistance from their diplomatic services. The PNG government promptly dispatched additional police force to truck down the beasts. Perfect! But the poor porters were left to bleed and die in a notoriously run down hospital.

That’s outright injustice and inhuman behavior! The men were attacked and crippled while earning a living for their families and generate revenues for the country, and yet abandoned for days to the mercy of their employer and the hopelessness of the public health system; until people of good will on Twitter and Facebook came to their rescue!