Tribes bury the hatchet

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 28th December 2011

UPNG journalism student

FATIMA parish priest Fr Ignatus Jayaraj has told two warring tribes that Christmas marks the day Jesus brought peace into this world and people should continue to spread that message.
Speaking during a peace reconciliation mass between the Tongaiamp and Fourkays tribes on Christmas eve at Ki­mil in North Waghi electorate, Jiwaka, last Friday, Jayaraj said: “The Lord has given you knowledge to promote peace by reconciliation to settle your differences and abstain from future conflicts.”
He told them God had blessed them richly and they had to let that blessing bring peace in their communities.
He told them conflicts and tribal wars did nothing good and only brought destruction to society.
He said only through God would they see peace in their families, communities and district.
“The universe is under God’s control and all men shall worship him and seek peace in Him,” Jayaraj said.
The fight started last year when two people died, one from each of the tribes and many others suffered gun-shot wounds over a sorcery-related issue.
The Tongaiamp tribe had paid K100,000, 100 pigs and two cassowaries as compensation.
The peace ceremony was organised by the Catholic church at a cost of more than K500 under the leadership of former premier and member of Jiwaka Transitional Authority Philip Kapal and organising committee chairman and catechist Matthew Kopi.
Kopi said this peace ceremony was to bring the tribes closer because the conflict had made them stay apart from each other.
“The Catholic church believes in peace and good order to extend God’s kingdom and that’s what we are doing,” he said.
He said there were many ways the church could bring peace and stability into the community and spreading the Gospel was one way.
He urged youths and leaders to abstain from trouble and to continue to maintain peace and order for the good of their family, community and the pro­vince.