AUSTRALIAN NEWS 3rd APRIL 2013

KOKODA PEACE AND RECONCILIATION INITIATIVE

Last year marked the 70th year since WWII took place in Papua New Guinea, especially the battle of Kokoda where thousands of Japanese and Allied soldiers as well as Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels took part in the war. Historians tell us that Kokoda was the turning point in WWII. Some of the surviving Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels tell of wadding in blood that was knee deep in some places during the battle of Kokoda. There was so much bloodshed on the Kokoda Trail. One cannot imagine that the treacherous terrain of the rugged Kokoda Track was marked by a trail of blood.
 
Many died in pools of blood and those who survived carried home blood stained foot prints that no cleaning agent could completely wash clean. The impact of the devastation caused by WWII on the land and the people of Kokoda has lasted even until today. Kokoda has become a by word globally. There are thousands of businesses around the world using the name Kokoda to promote their product while the land and the people of Kokoda continue to struggle in poverty without Infrastructure, quality basic services and viable economic development.
 
WWII ended in 1945. However, the physical and spiritual impact on the land and the people has become a generational curse on Kokoda and also Papua New Guinea that needs to be broken. Kokoda is unfinished business. The healing of the people and healing of their land is imperative and now is the time. In May 2012, the healing process was commenced among the 7 villages of Ward 7 in the Kokoda District through a week of Forgiveness facilitated by the Healing the Land (HTL PNG) team.
 
This was undertaken at the invitation of Benjamin Ijumi the Chief of Kokoda. Out of it came the vision for an international Peace and Reconciliation event to be attended by some of the living relatives of those who played a part in WWII at Kokoda. After months of further discussions with The Chiefs of Kokoda would like to invite Church and Community Networks in the South Pacific, Australia, NZ and Japanese friends to pray for this event and send prayer teams if possible to participate in any of the events that are planned to take place in July 2013.

How you can be involved if you feel led to participate: 
 
1. Those that are young and energetic can join one of the over 20 Healing the Land (HTL) teams that will walk the Kokoda Track. Each team led by experienced HTL trackers will be assigned a particular village on the track and stay three days in that village to do the HTL process. After that they will prayer walk the rest of the original WWII track up to Kokoda on the Owen Stanley Ranges and join the main HTL Conference at Kebara Mission Station. The HTL trackers will start walking on the 14th July and arrive in Kokoda on the 22nd July to join the main celebrations.
 
2. Those people who cannot walk the trail but want to attend can fly directly to Kokoda to be part of the Kokoda HTL Peace and Reconciliation Conference from the 18-22nd July at Kebara Mission Station with local villages and other participants from PNG
 
3. The final event will be held on the PNG remembrance Day 23rd of July at Kokoda. The diplomatic Corps and other dignitaries will be invited to participate at this Peace and Reconciliation Celebration and the Commissioning Service to follow on the 24th of July also at Kokoda.
 
Summary of Events
 
1. Peace and Reconciliation Kokoda Trail Walk from 14th-22nd July 2013

2. Peace and Reconciliation Conference 18th-22nd July at Kebara Mission Station
 
2. Kokoda Peace and Reconciliation Ceremony. 23rd July 2013
 
3. Commissioning of the HTL Teams from the nations to the nations 24th of July.
 
Organisers are expecting about two to three hundred guest trackers from Australia, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Japan, USA and other Provinces of PNG to embark on the two week program. The climax of the event will be the Peace and Reconciliation Ceremony to be held at Kebara Village on the 23rd and 24th of July 2013 This gathering is aimed at former enemies walking together in peace and having a peace ceremony at Kokoda. The sensitivity of the nations regarding WWII will be respected in the Ceremony.
 
Organisers intend inviting dignitaries, diplomatic corps, governors, church leaders, business leaders and others who have interest in this program to attend the two day Peace and Reconciliation Ceremony and Commissioning which will be the climax of the program. The Seven villages of Ward Seven in Kokoda District are preparing for the event and are expected to host the nations.
 
Further details of the Track Preparations, costs etc will be forwarded to those that are interested in this exciting Ministry event in Papua New Guinea. For further Information please do not hesitate to contact organisers at the following email address
 
Pastor Walo Ani (Director, Translinc PNG and Community Transformation Coordinator)
Email: waloani@yahoo.com.au

Source:

 

GREENS TELL CHRISTIANS TO BUTT OUT OF EUTHANASIA DEBATE

GREENS TELL CHRISTIANS TO BUTT OUT OF EUTHANASIA DEBATE
 
The NSW Greens have again highlighted their anti-Christian worldview by claiming that people with religious views are blocking voluntary euthanasia laws and making the lives of vulnerable people even more wretched and should butt out. “It’s time they recognised they are in the minority and got out of the way,” Greens MP Cate Faehrmann said. Her comments came as she launched a photo book and an online video promoting voluntary euthanasia as part of her campaign for a Rights of the Terminally Ill Bill, expected to come before parliament later this year.
 
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell will allow a conscience vote if the laws are debated. “I’ve indicated that if it should come up, members of the Liberal Party will have a conscience vote,” he told reporters. Mr O’Farrell declined to outline his own views, saying it would come down to the laws introduced. “These are complex matters. You wait to see the legislation, you wait to see what’s being proposed, and then you make a decision,” he said. The latest Greens campaign features a video of Loredana Alessio-Mulhall, who is in the advanced stages of multiple sclerosis and wants law reform so she can die at a time of her choosing.
 
Ms Faehrmann said in a statement. “Loredana is given every assistance to live an increasingly undignified life, yet society is turning its back on her when all she is asking for is the right to die with dignity.” Ms Faehrmann said Ms Alessio-Mulhall could not take her own life because she had lost the use of her limbs. And if a loved one assists her to die they could be tried for manslaughter or murder. State and federal parliaments (made up of a majority of members with non-religious views) have refused at least four attempts to legalise euthanasia in recent years.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

 

NSW CHURCHES CALL FOR ALCOHOL HARM MINIMISATION POLICY

The NSW Council of Churches has renewed its call for the O’Farrell Government to extend recent Newcastle trials of measures to curb alcohol related violence.  New national data showed that 70,000 Australians were involved in alcohol-related disputes each year, and the estimated annual cost to emergency services was around $15 billion.  “Alcohol is a popular drug that is easily accessed and easily misused,” the President of the NSW Council of Churches, the Revd Dr Ross Clifford, said.
 
“Alcohol consumption is a significant contributor to street violence, family violence, health problems and poverty in our communities. The O’Farrell Government is to be commended for small positive steps in the past, but we want to see significant regulatory reform this year,” “Trials in Newcastle have demonstrated that measures such as earlier pub closing times, lock-outs, and restrictions on the sale of high-alcohol content drinks late at night can significantly reduce alcohol-related violence.
 
It’s time for the NSW Government to extend these trials to other parts of the state,” Dr Clifford said. “We respect the right of citizens to engage in modest and responsible alcohol consumption if they choose to do so. This is not about banning alcohol. This is about an effective harm minimization and customer protection strategy,” Dr Clifford said.

Source: NSW Council of Churches Press Release