Humanity must come together as One to crush all forms of madness, inhumanity, superstition and fanaticism
by Jose Mario De Vega
I refer to the shocking news at happened last week In Papua New Guinea. According to the reports of the AFP:
A young mother who was accused of sorcery was stripped naked, doused with petrol and burned alive in front of a crowd including schoolchildren in Papua New Guinea.
The National newspaper, named the woman as Keapari Leniata, a 20 year old, who at the time of her brutal death have an eight-month-old daughter.
Besides her inhumane manner of death, it was also reported that she was also “tortured with a branding iron and tied up, splashed with fuel and set alight on a pile of rubbish topped with car tyres”.
She was torched by the villagers for allegedly claiming to have killed a six-year old boy through sorcery.
If she indeed, committed a crime, the villagers have no right whatsoever to stripped her naked, tortured with a branding iron, tied up, doused with petrol and torched to death.
Let the courts of law ascertain the facts of the case and render the appropriate judgment.
What irritates and angered me with this gruesome and undeniably barbaric act is the unfortunate fact that while those murderous villagers are putting the law into their own hands, the law enforcers, the police, were outnumbered by onlookers and unable to intervene.
This is a shame!
I am wondering: do they not have any guns, issued to them by the government? If they do, then, how come they did not fire a warning shot or two into the sky to stop the mob from carrying out this barbaric and indescribably horrendous act?
Added insult to injury is the preposterous report that “a fire truck that responded to the incident, which took place on Wednesday morning in Mount Hagen city in the Western Highlands”; which to my surprise and shock was also chased away.
Does it mean that that bloody truck has no water to disperse the crowd?
I cannot understand all of this! This is a perfect case of a comedy that ends in tragedy!
Imagine and picture the whole situation: you have some policemen that cannot enforce the law; second you have a fire truck that is waterless or perhaps the driver is so stupid that that idiot does not know what to do under the circumstances.
Third, you have a bunch of villagers that does not recognize the duly constituted authorities.
Net effect: you have a society that is backward, primitive, idiotic, barbaric, intolerant and truly unenlightened.
I understand that “there is a widespread belief in sorcery in the poverty-stricken Pacific nation”, but that is not a valid reason to burn another human being.
The police “said they were treating the torching as murder and preparing charges against those responsible”. I doubt the sincerity and courage of these individuals. How could they bring to the bar of justice the perpetrators of this horrible and violent act, when they are there exactly at the scene of the crime and they did not even lift a finger to stop the mod from violating the law?
Now, they are telling that they will do something, how come they did not do it — on the spot — right there and then?
I concur with the local Bishop David Piso’s contention that “many innocent people had been killed.”
Further he stated that:
“Sorcery and sorcery-related killings are growing and the government needs to come up with a law to stop such practice…”
I also subscribed to the statement issued by the US embassy in Port Moresby in strongly condemning the “brutal murder” of Leniata, who had an eight-month-old daughter. It also added that said act against the young woman is evidence of “pervasive gender-based violence”.
Portion of the statement reads in part that:
“We add our voice to those of Papua New Guinean religious and civil society leaders who have spoken out against the brutality inflicted upon Ms Leniata…”
“There is no possible justification for this sort of violence. We hope that appropriate resources are devoted to identifying, prosecuting, and punishing those responsible for Ms Leniata’s murder.”
Is this the kind of world we want?
A world divided by prejudice, by inhumanity of man by man, of paranoia, of distrust and mistrust, racism, ethnocentrism, of hate and bias, of anger and rage?
We have to come together as one, because we are one, despite the difference in the color of our skin, or the diversity of our background; we are all human beings and we share the same planet, we all live in the same place, breathed the same air and share the same blood!
We must all rise up from this madness, this idiocy, this inhumanity for the future of the greater mankind!
It is in this great sense that I condemn the barbaric act of those brainless and murderous villagers in burning to death Leniata.
On behalf of the international community, I call upon the duly elected authority of Papua New Guinea to do everything within its powers to bring to the bar of justice all those bloody bastards who participated in carrying out this dastardly and utterly unspeakable acts of madness, inhumanity and fanaticism.
In the immortal words of Voltaire:
Let us therefore reject all superstition in order to become more human; but in speaking against fanaticism, let us not imitate the fanatics: they are sick men in delirium who want to chastise their doctors. Let us assuage their ills, and never embitter them, and let us pour drop by drop into their souls the divine balm of toleration, which they would reject with horror if it were offered to them all at once.
Humanity must come together as One to crush all forms of madness, inhumanity, superstition and fanaticism.
Justice for Leniata and all victims like her…
Jose Mario Dolor De Vega
College of Arts and Letters
Department of Philosophy
Polytechnic University of the Philippines
Institute of Arts and Sciences
Department of Humanities, Literature and Philosophy
Far Eastern University
All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.
Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.