PNG sorry for making a meal of missionaries
Descendants of 19th century PNG cannibals have expressed sorrow for the actions of their forefathers who killed and ate four Fijian missionaries in 1878.
The expression was part of a massive ceremony of reconciliation in the country's New Britain province.
BBC News reports that the missionaries were part of a group of Methodist ministers and teachers who arrived in 1875 to spread Christianity.
Their murder three years later, by the Tolai tribespeople on the Gazelle Peninsula, sparked angry reprisals.
The head of the mission, English pastor George Brown, avenged the killings by taking part in an expedition that resulted in the deaths of a number of tribespeople and the torching of several villages.
Fiji's High Commissioner in PNG, Ratu Isoa Tikoca, accepted the apologies on behalf of the descendants. And PNG's Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane praised the early missionaries for making the country Christian.
PNG 'sorry' for cannibal killing (BBC News, 16/8/07)
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Papua New Guinea (Wikipedia)
17 Aug 2007