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News 11.2014.1


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Source: PNG Idustry News Net

Munitions destroyed by ADF team in Bougainville

by Alison Middleton

THE dangers posed by 16 tonnes of unexploded Second World War ordnance have been greatly reduced for a remote Bougainville community following the conclusion of Operation Render Safe 2014.

An Australian Defence Force-led mission saw disposal teams from Australia, the US, the UK, New Zealand, Canada and Solomon Islands searching for and destroying Second World War era munitions.
Commander of the multinational joint task force, Captain Jay Bannister said the operation cleared 109 sites of 2293 items of ordnance that totalled more than 16,000kg of explosives.
Working with the Bougainville Police Service and government authorities, the team removed the items which had posed a potential threat to the Torokina community since the end of the war in 1945.
The town was the site of fighting between Japanese and Allied forces, and was an airbase for the Allies during the war, resulting in remaining unexploded ordnance.
“It is the largest Render Safe undertaken by the ADF, not just in terms of explosives destroyed but the number of personnel involved – almost 500 in total,” Bannister said.
“We have received exceptional support from HMAS Choules and the people of the Torokina district in what has been an extremely complex, sustained amphibious operation.”
Supported by HMAS Choules, the operation drew on the capabilities and specialist skills of all three ADF services.
“The army technicians really came into their own dealing with the minefield threat, which I believe is the first time an army has performed that task since the Vietnam War,” Bannister added.
“Royal Australian Navy personnel worked with the US Navy applying their skills to handling sea mines and underwater disposals while Royal Australian Air Force expertise was of great value when working with the air-delivered weapons that were discovered.”
While the focus was to destroy the munitions, this year also provided an opportunity for the ADF’s amphibious task group to work in an operational environment.
Five months before the operation started, a small community engagement team worked with the government authorities to educate the local Bougainville people about the Render Safe mission and the dangers posed by the unexploded ordnance.
“A lot of detailed planning went into this operation. The planners did a fantastic job and the execution of the mission has been a resounding success,” Bannister said.
The sheer amount of ordnance left on the ground has surprised even seasoned explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) operator Warrant Officer Class Two David Austin.
“They were mostly 2-inch-high explosive mortars and hand grenades, in varying conditions, left in place after the war,” he said. “So it was really good for us to come back and do what we could to make this region less dangerous for the locals.
“As well as helping the community this was a great training opportunity for the younger EOD guys. For the past 10 years we have been focused on the Middle East region but this got us back to the grass roots fundamentals of our job.”


Source: Bougainville24

Arawa Secondary graduates 2014 cohort
By Gideon Davika


Arawa Secondary School held its 2014 grade 10 and grade 12 graduations on Friday 24 October.

The school, situated in the heart of Arawa town, graduated about 185 grade tens and 69 grade twelves and many of the students are now looking forward to furthering their education.
For grade tens they have made it to the next level to grade eleven, but still have a long journey to go.
But for grade twelves they now wait for their offers from colleges and universities that will be available at the end of the year. Those who will not make it to the tertiary institutions will decide whether stay at home or find other ways to continue their education.
The school’s administration said that the outgoing grade twelves for this year have a big chance to progress to the next level. Arawa Secondary tops the autonomous province at grade ten exams and it is hoped the students will continue this level of achievement through their education.
In a speech to end the graduation Principal Mr Andrew Lasua that the outgoing grade twelves can still manage to become somebody in the future by using all the skills and knowledge that were taught to them  in school by the teachers.



Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville

By Aloysius Laukai

Bougainville Police Service is appealing to the general public especially relatives to report to Police if they see escapees in their communities.
NORTH BOUGAINVILLE Police Commander, SPENCER AILI this afternoon released a report of five prison escapees that escaped from the Buka Police Station cells during the early hours of this morning.
The five escapees names were also released by Police.
They are Peter Nawei from Manob village in the Selau area, Eliot Tohiana who is from Tohono village in the Solos area,Michael Baken from Gagan village,Judas Sisi a Mixed Siwai and Petats island and Ben Giobun from Lonahan village.
Police said that two of the escapees were convicted for Murder, One for Rape, one for stealing and one for drug abuse.
North Bougainville Police Commander said that three of the five escapees are very dangerous.

Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville

By Aloysius Laukai

The Division of Primary Industry officer in Buin, South Bougainville, LEO PAUPAU wants South Bougainville to go into farming using Buffaloes.
In his campaign for support during the recent TUIRUMA FESTIVAL, MR. PAUPAU said that he can assist farmers order buffaloes and train them to use them in their farms.
He said that since he has been using buffaloes he saved monies on transport costs and built his house.
MR. PAUPAU said that he can get Buffaloes from DUKE OF YORK island and take them to Buin.
During the Tuiruma festival, MR. PAUPAU demonstrated the use of his buffalo by pulling a car to start the vehicle, carried nine bags of dried cocoa beans and did other stunts with it.
He told the people that he does not refuel the buffalo as it eats grass and saves monies for fuel.
MR.PAUPAU said that the cost of a small Buffalo is FOUR THOUSAND KINA.

Pictured is Leo Paupau with his Buffalo Newdawnpic by Aloysius Laukai

Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville



North Bougainville Regional Commander and Inspector for the Bougainville Police Service has urged the people of Bougainville to play their part towards referendum and independence.
When giving his speech during the sea burial programme at the Bel Isi Park in Buka Town on Monday, Inspector Spencer Aili pointed out that the past is gone and we are now in a different time but all this has happened to pave way for Bougainville to reach its destiny.
He stressed that the Bougainville crisis did not pave way for drug consumption, alcohol, holdups and misuse of public funds.
He said what we all went through as Bougainvilleans did not pave the way for negative things and behaviours.
Mr. Aili added that as Bougainvilleans, we have a very important role to play towards referendum and independence.
He said the very important challenge now for us is for us to play our part in achieving referendum and finally independence.

Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville



The International Committee of the Red Cross has clarified its role in the missing persons programme and the role of the missing person’s policy.
As explained by the Bougainville delegate of the ICRC Tobias Koehler, the missing person’s policy of the ABG and the work that the organisation will do concerning the missing persons on Bougainville is not about accountability or for people going to prison for alleged crimes they have committed.
He stressed further that the work that ICRC will do is not even about court proceedings but is about the families getting back the bones of their loved ones so they can find closure.
When addressing the gathering during the sea burial programme on Monday, the Bougainville delegate said Bougainville is new to ICRC because they have been here for two years but they have worked with many families already to better understand their problems with missing persons.
He added that now that ABG has a policy in place, the ICRC stands ready to support ABG in implementing the policy.
Mr. Koehler stressed that the policy is one and a half month old and is still fresh but the ICRC is working hard step by step to get everything by.
He then stressed again that the work that they will be doing concerning the missing persons is really about families getting back the bones so they can find closure.

Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville



The people of Bougainville are calling on the Momis-Nisira Government to come out clear and make known to the people if the ex-combatants seat will still remain for the third house.
A concerned citizen and paramount chief of Buka Hendry Onsa told New Dawn Fm today that according to the Bougainville Peace Agreement, the seats of the ex-combatants should be allowed only in the first house and not the second or third.
But the government has entertained it and accepted it to remain in the second house which is not on according to the Bougainville Peace Agreement.
Chief Onsa wants the ABG president Chief Dr. John Momis and his parliament to make it clear to the people of Bougainville if the ex-combatants seat will still remain in the 2015 election or it will be removed according to the BPA.
He said the ABG must come out clear on that because the people do not want the ex-combatants seat in the third house or otherwise they will see the ABG as a military government.
He added that the people of Bougainville want the ex-combatants seat to be removed from the third house.
He stressed that therefore, the government should come out clear through media and publicly inform the people if the ex-combatants seat will remain for the third house or not.

Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai

Former Bougainville Copper Limited employees are planning to register their interest with the ABG Committee regarding outstanding payments at the close of the Panguna mine in 1990.
Spokesman for the group and former BCL Employee, LINUS KONUKUNG told New Dawn FM today that former employees will register their interest to the ABG negotiation team that former employees were not paid their outstanding entitlements and want them settled.
MR. KONUNKUNG said that superannuation of employees were not paid to employees and most employees were not retrenched but had to leave due to the escalation tense situation at the place of work.
He said that as BCL, Panguna landowners and the ABG are preparing to negotiate the former employees also want to make sure that their grievances are also addressed.



Source: Post-Courier

Lera urges students to act as educated citizens


HUTJENA Secondary School in the Bougainville region had its 15th Grade 12 and 44th Grade 10 graduation yesterday.
The school hall was packed with students who were graduating while the public stood outside the hall to catch a glimpse of the students who would be receiving their certificates.
A total of 158 Grade 10 students and 140 Grade 12 students graduated with certificates that also saw academic awards being presented.
Alvin Kimoi received the Grade 10 dux award while Grade 12 had two students, Angeline Tuem, dux in science studies and Owen Toliken, earning a dux in humanities studies.
Bougainville Regional Member Joe Lera told the graduates that when they go out from here they must show the people that they are educated citizens and not to act or live as animals.
"Education is not from elementary to year 12 only but other pathways to gaining more knowledge to attain the master key are higher learning institutions," Mr Lera said.
Wilfred Lessie, who is a teacher at the school, said as Bougainville is in the referendum window, they must now strive to seek a system that will suit the needs for their region to be culturally empowered yet qualified to participate in the global mechanism of development.
The national scholarships officer of the Office of Higher Education (OHE), Timon Bune, and Lornie Baki, who is the assistant director policy (OHE) also witnessed the graduation.

Source: Post-Courier

Team Bougainville leaves for PNG Games


Team Bougainville athletes making their way to the MV Chebu.

TEAM Bougainville, consisting of 19 codes with 500 athletes, have started travelling out of the region since Wednesday for the 6th BSP PNG Games in Lae. The opening ceremony is scheduled to begin on Sunday and the Bougainville officials have made sure that all athletes made it before the ceremony.
The new passenger ferry vessel for the region, MV Chebu that arrived on the shores of Buka on Tuesday departed with 370 athletes the next day while another 40 flew out on an Air Niugini flight while some left yesterday and the rest are leaving today.
Team Bougainville has faced a shortfall of funds but the Regional Member of Bougainville, Joe Lera made it possible for the rest of the athletes and officials to travel by airline by paying a cheque of K252,000 to Air Niugini on Tuesday. Mr Lera has been very supportive towards team Bougainville with the total funding of K552,000.00while the ABG supports the team with K1 million

Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai

The Operation Render safe just completed in Torokina has been described as a training and confidence builder for the 18 Bougainville Police Personnel and 40 Community Auxiliary Police engaged to the operation.
These were the comments made by the head of the Bougainville Police Service, ASSISTANT POLICE COMMISSIONER, CHIEF INSPECTOR PAUL KAMUAI after bidding farewell to the second last contingent that left with their cargoes on the C130 aircraft this morning.
The final team will leave Bougainville this Saturday.
ACP PAUL KAMUAI told New Dawn FM that the massive operation in Torokina was the biggest from all the render safe operations in Rabaul and the Solomon islands.
He said that the operation managed to completely dispose bombs from 115 identified sites leaving only four sites.
Chief Inspector PAUL KAMUAI said that the operation was injury free and had 500 personnel from the Australian Defence Force and their International experts resulting in his Police personnel doing extra hours because the teams were outnumbered.
He said his Police personnel were mainly used as liaison people between the Australian team and the communities in the area.
Chief Inspector Kamuai said that he was happy that this operation has made most parts of Torokina safe for the people to carry out their activities without fear of igniting world war 2 Bombs underground.

Newdawnpic are Three Bougainville Police Service Officers at the airport when the second last C130 flight departed Bougainville.
They are one of the Officers who was engaged at Torokina not in uniform with ACP PAUL KAMUAI (middle) and North Bougainville Commander Spencer Aili

Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville

By Aloysius Laukai

Bougainville Police are yet to confirm a holdup involving the Chinese Operation building in Toniva in Central Bougainville last night.
ACP PAUL KAMUAI told New dawn FM that he was yet to get confirmation from his team in Arawa concerning the hold up last night.
He appealed to the people of Bougainville to support government initiatives that are designed to help develop Bougainville.
Chief Inspector, KAMUAI said that even though the people are not happy with such deals they should not take the law into their own hands.
He said members are mandated by the people to make decisions on development issues on their behalf.

Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville



The ABG Regional member Joe Lera has encouraged the people of Bougainville to be empowered through information, prayer and reflection.
When addressing the people during the launching of the Bougainville Peace Process Reflection Road Show, Radio Ples Lain and the Referendum Prayer Campaign, the regional member urged the people to be empowered to find answers to the three questions;
• Where do we come from?
• Where are we now?
• And where are we going?
He said the people of Bougainville must be empowered through information, prayer and reflections to find answers to these questions.
He stressed that when we find answers to these questions, the people of Bougainville will be liberated and at the same time we will be powerful because information and prayer will give us the strength.
He added that we will have wealth as we will be able to create wealth for ourselves.
Mr. Lera then thanked the ABG and the bureau of media and communications for launching the three projects saying these three projects will empower the people of Bougainville.

Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville



The MV Chebu is the response to the cry of the people of Bougainville after the shocking incident of the Rabaul Queen to which Bougainville lost so many of its intellectual and future leaders.
According to the ABG minister for Technical services Luke Karaston, the ship is also the direct response from the ABG government and its partners who worked together to make this dream become a reality.
When addressing the people during the launching of the MV Chebu on Tuesday, the minister stressed that public-private partnership is one avenue that we can take on to bring about developments.
He then explained that the National Government, the ABG and Hakau Investments are the three main partners who played a big part in this achievement.
Mr. Karaston said MV Chebu is an early Christmas present for the people of Bougainville and not long, the people of Bougainville will be getting another Christmas present from the National Government and the ABG.
He added that this present is the Aropa Airport and if work goes well, we will be witnessing the opening and commissioning of the Aropa Airport on December 12.
He stressed that the transport sector is very important in the development of any country and therefore the ABG administration is doing its best to help the people of Bougainville in terms of roads and other areas.
The minister then appealed to the businessmen and women of Bougainville to make use of this service that is now available to serve the people of Bougainville with the provision of better goods and services.
Mr. Karaston wants to see the people of Bougainville take ownership of the project and to take good care of it so it can serve the people of Bougainville.

Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville



The member for Tsitalato constituency Cosmas Sohia wants the ABG peace minister to make known to the people of Bougainville as to how much money is being put aside for the missing persons programme.
When raising his disappointed in the absence of the ABG Peace minister during the sea burial programme at the Bel Isi Park in Buka Town on Monday, the member said the peace minister should have been present for this programme to reveal to the people if their plan will include money for missing persons.
He added that the families of the missing have great expectations from the ABG as the burial programme should have been undertaken by the first ABG government.
He stressed strongly that data for missing persons should have been made available and a committee must be formed to check data for missing persons as well.
Mr. Sohia then challenged the people of Bougainville to start reconciling with families of the missing saying there is a need for people to come forward and apologise for what they did during the crisis and also give information on the whereabouts of the missing persons.
The sea burial which included the laying of wreaths in the middle of Buka Passage was organised by ‘Davoru Besi’ an association of family members headed by chief Peter Garuai of Pokpok Island and was supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville



The ABG vice president Patrick Nisira has revealed that the Autonomous Bougainville Government has high faith in the cocoa industry to sustain the agriculture system in the years to come.
And he therefore wants all efforts to be aligned to ensure its sustainability.
When giving his keynote address during the stakeholders’ consultative meeting last week, the vice president stressed that we need to promote in the mindsets of our youth the seriousness about working on the land and to become productive farmers.
He said the idea of starting up corporative societies as mentioned by the national member and member for North Bougainville Louta Atoi to look after the interests of small cocoa farmers is one that must be looked at.
He added that experiences in other countries have shown that cooperatives play a major role in ensuring markets, infrastructures, research and best prices for farmers are agreed upon and are sustained.
Mr. Nisira stressed that instead of working in isolation, he would like to see better cooperation saying everyone should work together because we serve the same people.
He said this cooperation and collaboration with the ABG members to assist small cocoa holders in Bougainville with the colonial project is vital.
He added that this project is in its advanced stages and must be supported by the ministry of the Bougainville administration, especially the primary industry sector.
When stressing on the flexibility of the way we operate, the vice president said what is required here is we working as a team, not competing , but we should work in the spirit of cooperation and the spirit to work together so we can enhance the cocoa industry in Bougainville.

Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville



The ABG president Chief Dr. John Momis has urged the people of Bougainville to look after the MV Chebu.
He said the ship is not for the ABG alone but is for the people of Bougainville as well and therefore it must be taken care of.
Speaking during the launching of MV Chebu at the Bel Isi Park in Buka Town yesterday, he said he is happy because the people of Bougainville are happy about things that are uniting us, which is a good sign because the government has plans to do other things to help the people of Bougainville.
The president stressed that as mentioned many times, Bougainville is in a special time in which we will establish self-determination.
Self-determination according to him means that man must decide his own journey towards his destination and this means that we must establish developments, schools, hospitals, buy good ship, end the fight, remove the guns and prepare well for referendum.
Chief Momis believes that within the next 5 years, if we put our heads together, work together and address the issue of self-determination, we will reach the end of our journey.
He said we must not be afraid because self-determination rejects violence, lies, and rejects things that spoil peace and harmony so we must use our heads and our will power to avoid bad things, love one another, stand together and develop things that Bougainville can use to produce the food for political determination.
The president stressed that the ship is the first step for the people of Bougainville to look forward to yet another impact project.

Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


The owner of Lae Biscuit Company and Coastal Shipping Company Sir Hendry Chow revealed yesterday that the ABG president Chief Dr. John Momis is concerned about the people of Bougainville.
He said because of that concern, chief Momis has asked him to help the people of Bougainville with the provision of a sea transport.


Speaking during the launching of MV Chebu at the Bel Isi Park in Buka Town, Sir Hendry explained that he agreed to engage in this joint venture with ABG to purchase a ship after he was approached by the president.
He said his family has a long association with Bougainville for 75 years now and he was more than happy to help the people of Bougainville.
He added that the ship works on modern technology, has good combination, good sea boats and has good engines.
Sir Hendry stressed that the joint venture between ABG and his family is purposely to help the people of Bougainville, East New Britain, West New Britain and Morobe Province.
He said he hopes that the people of Bougainville will support the services that MV Chebu will bring because the ship is for them.

Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville



The people of Bougainville are now questioning the effectiveness of the suitcase radio which was launched by the ABG bureau of media and communications last week Friday.
A Bougainville citizen who wish to remain unanimous told New Dawn Fm that a lot of money was spent on this suitcase radio but wants to know as to how this ‘Radio Ples Lain’ will benefit the people in the villages.
He said he is aware that the radio will be moved from location to location in order for the bureau of media and communications to carry out their awareness.
The citizen however wants to know as to how the radio will help the people of Bougainville and as to how long it will take the team to raise awareness in one location before they can move to another location.
He then added that the way the information will be disseminated by the suitcase radio can and will confuse the people of Bougainville.

Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


The former member for Selau-Suir constituency and Paramount chief Joseph Watawi stressed that as landowners, they are the fathers of the land.
When addressing the agriculture delegation that visited Barneo plantation last week Friday, the Paramount chief revealed that most of the plantations on Bougainville were bought by a Bougainville Islands Limited company which is headed by a Geoffrey Mantle and Barneo plantation was bought by the company as well.
He said as landowners they are not threatened by that because as landowners they are the fathers of the land in accordance with the spirit of Bougainville and the spirit of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.
Mr. Watawi added that as landowners they have a vision and that is to develop the place.
He said they want to put money into their pockets by creating job opportunities and by working on their land.
Meanwhile, the National member and the member for North Bougainville Louta Atoi also elaborated more on what chief Watawi said.
He explained that Barneo plantation was purchased through the tender process from Westpac during the peace process.
But according to the autonomous government, Mr. Louta added that all the land will be returned to the respective landowners either by buying or through labour and development.

Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville



The ABG minister responsible for the department of primary industries Nicholas Darku wants cocoa farmers and stakeholders to work together and in partnership with the DPI office, the PNG Cocoa Board and the World Bank saying this working in isolation must stop.
When giving an overview of the cocoa industry in Bougainville during the stakeholders’ consultative meeting last week, the minister urged all stakeholders to work together with the respective offices to drive the cocoa industry for the betterment of the farmer in the village.
He stressed that without the farmer, the industry will not survive and without the farmer the cocoa board will not be in existence.
He then urged the participants to work together to revive the industry.
Under the theme ‘Promoting a Vibrant and Sustainable Cocoa Industry in PNG’ minister Darku pointed out that vibrancy of the cocoa industry starts with the farmers but firstly they must be vibrant to get the cocoa industry on track.
He told the stakeholders that he has faith in them to discuss how they could improve the cocoa industry in Bougainville, farming techniques and other aspects of the cocoa industry.
He said he expects them to come up with resolutions at the end of the day and looks forward to receiving the resolutions as the minister for DPI so he can push it through the cabinet and they can look for funds to start the work.
The minister then thanked the PNG Cocoa Board for carrying out this consultations in all provinces to get views of all stakeholders on the cocoa industry.



Source: Post-Courier

Momis refutes realty claims

ByAnthony Kaybing

Autonomous Bougainville Government President John Momis has refuted claims that he has any shares in a realty in Madang Province. The property investment in Torokina Estate is a real estate situated a couple of miles outside of Madang town and consist of homes leased to tenants and homeowners who desire tranquil surroundings that are far from the bustle of urban areas.
Recent blogs in the social media network Facebook that have online forums discussing Bougainvillean issues have claimed that the president has shares in the business venture owned by Lae Biscuit Company.
“I would like to clear the air that I have no personal business interest in any ventures by Sir Henry Chow nor with any subsidiary companies of his or any business for that matter,” President Momis said.
The president said Sir Henry has historical ties with Bougainville, especially with Torokina, and in paying homage to that part of his heritage explained that the knight decided to name the property as such.
“Sir Henry Chow’s property being named Torokina does not mean that I have shares in that company and it does not even mean that there are some shady deals happening there,” Mr Momis said. “The business is a private entity which neither I nor the ABG have any shares in, except for the Chebu Shipping Company which the government (and not me) has a stake in.”
The president denounced these claims as vicious lies that have no founding and said that people need to get their facts straight before resorting to such banter. Sir Henry also added that naming the property after Torokina meant that the area has great sentimental value to him and his family and he did not do so out of disrespect. Sir Henry said he hopes that his recent joint venture with the ABG in the Chebu Shipping Company can reach new heights.

Source: Post-Courier

Nisira: Let’s revive cocoa industry


COCOA is an important cash crop for Bougainville’s economic recovery for almost every household in the region in the mid to long term, ABG vice president Patrick Nisira says.
He said cocoa production has been steadily recovering after the crisis so the national Government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government must support its production plan and programs to promote a vibrant and sustainable cocoa industry in PNG in accordance with the global market requirements.
Mr Nisira said these when thanking the Cocoa Board of Papua New Guinea, the Cocoa and Coconut Institute and the Department of Agriculture and Livestock for the recent consultation meeting with stakeholders in Buka.
He said Bougainville must face a significant challenge to boost production and improve on export quality through various methods and systems as the number of households engaged in cocoa production had been growing steadily over the years since 2009, but dropped by 20 per cent in 2010 and further declined in 2012 with only 29,158 households actively engaged in cocoa production.
Mr Nisira said since cocoa production net in K100 million annually in Bougainville, the cocoa industry is a significant contributor to the emerging economy of Bougainville, with majority of the farmers being the villagers numbering over 45,000.
“This is commendable given that the large plantations that operated prior to the crisis contributed immensely to the economy of Bougainville and made Bougainville a leader in its production,” Mr Nisira said.
“This is no longer the case but the cocoa industry should be one of the areas of focus to be rehabilitated.” He said more research was needed to look into the drying systems and processes and using solar drying methods.



Source: Post-Courier

Kamuai praises policemen in operation


INSPECTOR Januarius Vosivai, right, with Torokina district education officer Luke Pamsi and personnel from Solomon Islands and Bougainville police service.

THE acting Assistant Commissioner for Police in Bougainville, Paul Kamuai has commended the efforts of the team from the Bougainville Police Service for their efforts in making Operation Render Safe exercise in Torokina a success.
Chief Superintendent Kamuai said in an interview on Monday that the successful completion of the operation would not have been possible without the cooperation of all stakeholders. The team of 12 regular police officers and 18 community auxiliary police officers, led by Inspector Januarius Vosivai, participated in the operation.
The team assisted in community liaison roles and dissemination of vital information to the people of Torokina. He also thanked the ABG, the Bougainville administration, the Bougainville veterans and other key stakeholders for their important contributions to the operation.
Chief Supt Kamuai’s comments follow a debriefing by the team’s overall commander of the multinational joint task force, Captain Jay Bannister, which was held last Friday in Bougainville following the operation.

Source: Post-Courier

Finding a Buka home: greedy owners, flies, dogs & share toilets


DURING September’s Crocodile Prize event in Port Moresby, I was asked by people from the media and communications division of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) to visit their office in Buka bringing with me my curriculum vitae.
Upon arriving in Bougainville a month later, I sat down with executive officer Robert Anesia in his office near the Buka airport terminal and he briefed me on what his communications division was doing.



After our chat, he took my papers and told me to wait for a few days.
It was during this period that the Chief Administrator of Bougainville sent me a text message offering me a position as research officer with his office.
So I am now research officer in the Office of the ABG’s Chief Secretary.
The ABG recently underwent a restructuring of its fiscal and monetary management to attract Bougainvilleans back home to help develop their homeland.
My department alone will have about 100 vacancies on offer for Bougainvilleans as we prepare for the referendum to decide our island’s political future.
So there will be the positions created by the ABG but the infrastructure, especially housing, is a massive problem.
The ABG has grown greatly since it was created in 2005, and so has the need for housing to accommodate its labour force.
But it’s only now that the ABG planning department is initiating its housing project for public servants.
As a new employee of ABG, I have no government homestead where I can spend my idle hours and weekends.
Like most of my workmates, I am provided with a housing allowance to find somewhere to live. But the landlords of Buka town have some of the worst properties you’ve seen outside of a hospital morgue.
So my office gives me a K750 per month for housing and I am scavenging the town for accommodation while I live with my uncle who is head of the Internal Revenue Commission’s (IRC) Bougainville office.
Early one morning last week, I left Sohano Island where he lives and marched around the whole of Buka township.
I walked the dusty and shimmering streets looking for an ideal spot for me and my wife and daughter (when they visit from Buin where my wife is teaching).
Late in the afternoon I crossed the Buka Passage to look around Kokopau township on the northern tip of the big island of Bougainville.
All I found was nothing.
Every guesthouse had rooms for transit purposes and not for longer-term rent. And for the available amount of K750, every free room was a slum.
Rooms with no ventilation and overcrowded with the owner’s family and dogs. Most of them located at the back of the town on reclaimed land amongst mangroves and the uncompromisingly foul smell of marshland.
It was a swamp infested with flies and mosquitoes; noisy on weekends when the boozing culture hits a peak and with the same ambience as any peripheral, sub-class urban area in the world.
All places of comfortable standard rent for more than K1,000 a month but I am caught in the K750 trap of the ABG.
I found a room in a poorly-kept property owned by a Buka businessman which was also home to his family and extended family who used a common toilet and shower.
The moment I entered, I hated the place and next morning our secretary agreed that such quarters were not appropriate for a man of my stature.
The secretary said he’d order the property officer to initiate a search but the property officer has not been seen around here for a while.
So I am locked on Sohano Island residing against my wishes with my uncle, Robert Perakai. He arrived here in 2001 and was given a home only in the middle of last year.
This is how public servants in Bougainville have to struggle with housing as we apply ourselves to help our government progress with its political and economic agenda to build the Republic of Bougainville we shed tears and blood and died for.



Source: Radio New Zealand International

PNG's Bougainville gets new ferry


A ferry that is partly owned by the Bougainville government and is a replacement for the Rabaul Queen makes its first voyage today.
The Rabaul Queen sank off the Lae coast nearly three years ago with the loss of 173 lives, many of them students from Bougainville travelling to the Papua New Guinea mainland.
The new vessel is the MV Chebu and it arrived in Buka on a delivery trip from the Philippines yesterday.
A Port Moresby-based businessman, Henry Chow, has co-financed the ship's purchase.
It will travel between Lae, Rabaul and Buka and has a capacity of 375 passengers.



Source: Post-Courier

Momis launches mobile radio for rural community


The people of Bougainville need to understand and be aware of the changes in the Autonomous Bougainville Government for a referendum and a better future for Bougainville.
ABG President Chief John Momis highlighted this during the launch of the ABG’s mobile radio project called ‘Radio ples lain’ at the Bel Isi park last Friday. President Momis said the new project would reach out to the rural community to deliver important government messages.
On that note, he also acknowledged other media organisations in Bougainville that are providing broadcasting services to the people of Bougainville. The launching of the new radio project coincided with the Bougainville peace process reflection road show with the theme of “Yumi kam wea, yumi inap wea na yumi go wea”.
Gerard Sinato, speaking on behalf of the chiefs of Bougainville at the launching, said he was happy for the new mobile radio as it would carry out awareness to the people of Bougainville, especially those living in the remote parts of the region.
“Mi hamamas tru long Radio ples lain bilong wanem em i bai helivim ol pipol long luksave long ol gavaman toksave olsem referendom na pis agriman.
“Na em tu bai helivim ol pipol long save wanem hap Bogenvil i kam long em, yumi inap wea na yumi go wea nau,” he said. (I am happy with the ‘Radio ples lain’ because it will help our people know about the referendum, the peace agreement and help the people to reflect on where we were, where are we now and where are we going to.)
He called on the people of Bougainville to stand together and support the new project as Bougainville works towards the referendum. A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to vote on a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new constitution.

Source: Post-Courier

Long awaited ship arrives in Buka


THE MV Chebu cruising at the Buka passage.

THE long awaited MV Chebu that moored in at Simpson Harbour in Rabaul on November 6 arrived in Buka yesterday morning to a rousing welcome by the people of Bougainville.
The official program will begin after the cultural rite was expected to be performed by the chiefs of Naboein, Nakaripa, and other related clans at 5am, until the ship emerged on the eastern end of the Buka passage.
The ship will float next to a ritual rock called ‘Tsibu’, which means ‘wash’ in the Halia language of Buka. The rock is on Sohano Island and the ship will pay respect to the rock by floating next to it. Delegated paramount clan leaders will accord the feeding of the spirits and cleansing of the ship when the ship is docked on the wharf. That will see the end of the customary rite.
The official program begins at Bel Isi Park with performance by cultural groups while ABG ministers, national MP’s and Chebu shipping representatives arrive. MV Chebu was jointly funded by the Autonomous Bougainville Government and Hakau Investments, who will also be managing the vessel.

Source: Post-Courier

Residents urged to consult town authority

ARAWA Town Council manager Mark Sivutare has kindly urged the town residents to consult the town council authority before extending or building houses in and around the area. Mr Sivutare said it is important for people to consult the town authority.
“Many people are just building or extending houses around the town without consulting us. Therefore, we are urging them to come and consult us if they want to do so,” Mr Sivutare said, adding that it was to avoid arguments later as most of the houses are built beside the ways of water supply pipes.
The Arawa town boss warned that he would issue a demolition order under the Physical Planning Authority, if need be, to the occupants of those buildings that are built over the pipelines. Under the Physical Planning Act (1989), houses should be built with proper spacing because of risks such as spreading of fire and diseases.
Thus, Mr Sivutare said to avoid such risks, town authorities are always on the ground to be consulted. He warned that when the Physical Planning Authority comes into effect, all the unplanned buildings sprouting in and around the town area will be removed.
“We have already issued a warning to them some years back and will soon be carrying out the orders of demolition and relocation,” the town council manager said.

Source: Post-Courier

Good Samaritan on mission

MAMA Lucy of Good Samaritan Natural Disaster Volunteers climbed the mountains and crossed the rivers on her way to the remote Rotokas area of Wakunai district, Central Bougainville, to deliver much needed second hand clothes to the mothers and children of the area. She is seen being helped by a local when crossing the fast flowing Rotokas River. Words and picture: JACOB IENU

Source: Bougainville24

Panguna people demand unity from leaders at Dangkinang
By Ishmael Palipal


A Dangkinang ceremony where many men, women and leaders expressed what they feel, think and have experienced was held on Tuesday 4 November in Panguna
Dangkinang in Nasioi language in Central Bougainville simply means ‘say out’ and is one of the significant events organized and facilitated by Bougainville Peace Initiative with the leaders and people of Panguna.
Dangkinang is where people and the leaders come together and share out their point of view of each on their behaviour or past experiences openly, to bring proper understanding so that they can create a united future.
It was organized to make peace and unity among the leaders and people of Panguna District after a long struggle and disunity amongst the leaders.
Many who attended the event spoke mainly of unity among the different Me’ekamui factions, ABG, landowners and leaders of Panguna.
“Unity is the way forward where we can develop our villages and community, especially Panguna,” said an old man from Domana Village Assembly.
“These different factions are a waste of time.
“If only there was unity among you leaders, we wouldn’t be sitting in the sun like today.”
A youth spokesman from Morapi Village Assembly stated that youths are in confusion because of so many factions developing from the Me’ekamui.
“We are been in pain for so long now and we want you leaders to unite and developing our communities,” the spokesman said to the Panguna leaders.
Women and mothers also spoke out what they feel and want the leaders to do representing their community and the women folk of the district.
“Mipla ol mama i kisim taim pinis lo kain pasin blo yupla ol lidas faitfait lo ol gavament na wokim ol kainkain krups nambaut na nogat wok kamap (we mothers are tired of your fighting over government and all the break ups of government [in to factions]),” said a mother from Domana Village.
“Are these governments formed to help people or to use the money of the people, because there are lot of factions sprouting out and nothing is done for the people.”
North Nasioi Council of Elders Chairman, John Donna, also spoke of unity for the Panguna leaders.
He stated that North Nasioi people are already tired of hearing Me’ekamui and Panguna leaders breaking into such factions for nothing has been done to improve the district.
“We started the crisis here in Panguna as one people and now we must build this place as one people,” Mr Donna concluded his dangkinang.
The ceremony was peaceful and all the sides of the government, leaders and people said out their views of each other and are now looking forward to the ceremony of signing a memorandum of understanding in a later date.
This will mark the beginning of a new thing in the history of Panguna District.


Source: Post-Courier

Stakeholders identify issues affecting cocoa

A cocoa stakeholder meeting in Buka heard that while there was high potential for cocoa in the region, diseases, abnormal weather patterns and senile cocoa stock affected production.
Farmers also highlighted that lack of skills and training in cocoa cultivation, poor fermentation processes, and lack of process facilities affected cocoa quality. And if that wasn’t enough, poor transport infrastructure and remoteness of many of the cocoa blocks meant a difficulty to access markets.
While the PNG Cocoa Board is aware of the plight of the farmers which are much similar to those in other cocoa growing provinces, it said a collaborated approach was needed to assist farmers. A team of cocoa experts led by CEO Boto Gaupu involved in a two day workshop to discussed those issues and found solutions and recommended to necessary bodies to assist.
The cocoa board has initiated a number of nurseries through its district cocoa nursery projects with an aim to establish strategic budwood gardens in each cocoa producing district and north Bougainville has been appointed for AROB with plans to move into the other areas.
It has to date planted over 45,000 trees in 73 hectares. The board has also rolled out the remote area freight subsidy scheme to selected areas. The overall objective of the project is to enable cocoa farmers in the remote islands and coastal areas to access markets through the subsidy program.
AROB program is yet to be rolled out but the board has signed a MOA with North Bougainville via Louta Atoi Foundation to help farmers in Tinputz inIand, Selau Suir inland, Kunua, and Nissan atolls with similar plans to roll out in parts of South Bougainville (Siwai, Torokina), and Central Bougainville (Wakunai and Rotokos) soon.
Bougainville produces over 2,000 tonnes per year, that’s 32 per cent of the total PNG cocoa with an annual expected earnings of K100 million. Bougainville’s vice president Patrick Nisira said it was significant.
He said the cocoa industry was a significant contributor to the emerging economy of Bougainville, an area of focus that should not be side lined because it has huge potential to increase production and exports.

Source: Post-Courier

Peace agreement facilitators complete awareness


Participants of the BPA joint awareness with their certificates.

A WEEK long joint awareness on the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA) last week by the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the Papua New Guinea Government for mainland Bougainville districts saw the induction of the district awareness facilitators obtain certificates.
The awareness was for people to understand and implement the BPA so that they make a right choice for Bougainville’s political future and provides peace information to the people so that they appreciate the BPA peace process strategy embedded as the only way forward.
The participants from Selau/Suir, Kunua, Tinputs and Torokina included males and females and their tasks now is to work in their districts so every stakeholder will be an active participant in upholding the BPA and contribute to all forms of political, socio-economic, peace and reconciliation processes to effectively and efficiently support the implementation of the BPA.
The understanding and the implementing of the BPA was funded by the government of PNG through the Governance Implementation Fund (GIF) and Australian and New Zealand government implementation fund.

Source: Post-Courier

Town manager hits back

ARAWA town council manager Mark Sivutare responded to people complaints on the condition of the main roads in town residential areas, especially the section 14 and 15 streets. Responding to the peoples’ complaint published in this paper last week which voiced out that after the road has been patched a problem of dusty roads arises because of the gravel used.
Mr Sivutare said that section of the road was scheduled and supposed to be sealed this year. However, the possible contractor Dekenai Construction was engaged in other very important work like the sealing of Aropa airport and sealing of road from Arawa to Kieta up to Aropa.
Mr Sivutare explained that the sealing of Arawa town street roads has been tendered at about K7 million – that is K6 million from AusAID and further K1 million from the Autonomous Bougainville Government.
“It seems that once the roads from Arawa to Aropa is properly sealed -because that is a very important route of transportation, especially between the wharf and the airport as well – then beginning of 2015 the roads in the town will be sealed,” Mark Sivutare said.
He said this was just a temporary potholes maintenance done so that the vehicles can move freely. However, he also urged the drivers to limit their speed since it is a residential area and speeding cars may cause accidents as well as the storm dust.
He is urging the people to work together with his town council authority with the pride and mission to develop the town because after all this is a town for all the people of Bougainville.

Source: Post-Courier

Bougainville businessman bestowed with award


BOUGAINVILLE businessman James Hadley Renget received his blessings on Sunday at the United Church in Buka for his award, a medal for Companion of the Order of Star of Melanesia (CSM).
He received this award last year for his distinguished service of a high degree in business in the United Church in the Bougainville region, Papua New Guinea and the community. Governor-General Sir Michael Ogio presented the award to him on May 8 this year atGovernment House in Port Moresby.
Renget, who owns the Lumankoa properties in Buka town, was a humble man who observed, said little but was always willing to give to the church, the community and people in need, his grown-up children said.
Bougainville Minister for Justice Joseph Nopei said people like Mr Renget deserved a higher award, adding that president John Momis should be knighted.
"Many of our knights have passed on and we only have the governor-general today," Mr Nopei said.
He further said Bougainville should also have its own awards system to give recognition to hard working people.
Mr Renget has four grown up children who help their father manage the family business.




Source: PNG Industry News

Panguna’s precipice
by Alison Middleton

AFTER YEARS of dialogue and tentative progress, uncertainty once again surrounds the viability of reopening Panguna copper mine in Bougainville.
Once the largest open cut mine in the world, Panguna was at the centre of the Bougainville conflict after environmental damage and social unrest led to an uprising and a decade-long civil war.
Peace has been maintained since the signing of the Bougainville Peace Agreement in 2001 but local media reports suggest continued local opposition to the mine reopening.
The issues has been further complicated by the passing of the Bougainville Mining (Transitional Arrangements) Act 2014 by Bougainville’s Parliament which vested Rio Tinto subsidiary Bougainville Copper with an exploration licence for the area where a mining lease was previously held. While Rio Tinto has responded with an announcement that it will review its stake in BCL, it is unclear what the impact of the legislative changes will be.
BCL, has been working towards the resumption of mining of the giant copper deposit after the mine was closed in 1989 following civil war. It says it will continue to pursue dialogue with landowners in Bougainville to assess the possible reopening of the copper mine.
Bougainville Copper chairman Peter Taylor previously warned both the national and Bougainville governments of BCL’s concerns about the potential adverse impact the new mining act might have on its asset base.
While headlines had documented the passing of the Bougainville Mining (Transitional Arrangements) Act 2014, Taylor said Bougainville Copper operated under an agreement with the PNG National Government.
“There is no immediate impact,” Taylor said during an interview with PNG Report.
“There has been talk about how that particular bit of legislation sits with the National Government legislation.
“Bougainville Copper operates under the Bougainville Copper agreement, which is a contract between the national government and BCL.
“That contract is enshrined in National Government legislation, which is the Bougainville Copper Agreement Act.
“What actual impact [the Bougainville legislation] will have in the long term really depends on how the relationship between the National Government and the Bougainville government works out.”
Taylor said dialogue would continue with both governments and landowners in an effort to reach agreement on providing the company with the assurance it needs to go forward with community and study programs that are required to further assess the viability of reopening the mine.
BCL received a letter from Bougainville president John Momis in August stating the Bougainville Mining (Transitional Arrangements) Act 2014 had been passed by Autonomous Bougainville Parliament.
The transitional mining bill transfers powers from the Papua New Guinea government to the Autonomous Bougainville Government before a complete mining law which is expected by early next year.
As a result, when the Bougainville Mining Act begins, section 212(2) will vest Bougainville Copper with an exploration licence for the area where a mining lease was previously held for the Panguna mine.
That exploration licence will give BCL the right to apply for a mining lease under the Bougainville Mining Act, while the grant of a lease will depend on the outcome of negotiations in the Bougainville mineral resource forum.
“Assuming that Bougainville has powers over mining, which was part of the Peace Accord, the only granted tenements on Bougainville were those held by BCL.
“The new legislation gives BCL an exploration licence where it once had a mining lease, and in turn that gives BCL an exclusive right to negotiate the terms and conditions of mining.
“BCL always accepted that the Bougainville Copper Agreement Act would need to be changed at some stage, if not repealed, because it was no longer relevant to the current situation.
“My approach, and my preference, was for the negotiations to be concluded first. In other words, all the parties would agree on what the new arrangements were before the Autonomous Bougainville Parliament legislated. But that hasn’t happened.
“Bougainville has decided to legislate and as far as
BCL is concerned we will continue with negotiations
with all the parties in an effort to get a mutually acceptable agreement which will allow us to reopen the mine.”
Taylor said negotiations were continuing in Bougainville with stakeholders led by a joint negotiating committee which has representatives from the National Government, the Autonomous Bougainville Government, BCL and landowners.
The committee’s brief is to establish an agenda between parties as to whether the mine should reopen or not, and agree terms and conditions if the preference is yes.
“[The legislation] doesn’t change the negotiation
progress,” Taylor said.
“That process is going on.
“My understanding is that if the group comes to the conclusion that the mine should reopen, and the terms and conditions were acceptable to all the parties, that would lead to Bougainville granting a mining lease.”
While BCL continues with negotiations, Taylor said he could not pre-empt the outcome of the Rio Tinto review.
“As far as Bougainville Copper is concerned and as far as I am concerned, we have to wait and see,” he added.
“We don’t know any more about where that review is
going, what it will entail and what the outcome will be until Rio Tinto makes the announcement.”
The mining major issued a brief statement to the market, noting that it was an “appropriate time” to review all options.
“In light of recent developments in Papua New Guinea, including the new mining legislation passed earlier this month by the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Rio Tinto has decided now is an appropriate time to review all options for its 53.83% stake in
Bougainville Copper Limited,” the statement said.
“For some time, BCL has been involved in discussions with the government of Papua New Guinea, the ABG and landowners about whether it would participate in a future potential return to mining at Panguna.”
Up to 20,000 people were killed in the conflict fought between PNG forces and the Bougainville Revolutionary Army, which began in 1990.
A peace agreement was established in 2001 which included a deferred referendum for full independence.
While BCL has been engaging with stakeholders, including local landowers regarding the possible reopening of Panguna, a recent report suggests local people are opposed to large scale mining activities.
Results of a survey conducted by the Jubilee Australia research foundation in villages and hamlets surrounding Panguna mine at the end of last year, found “near universal” opposition to the reopening, as well as unhappiness and mistrust of the consultation process.
Asked whether Panguna was realistically likely to reopen, Taylor said it was a difficult question to answer.
“If you go back five or six years it wouldn’t have been economic to reopen the mine,” he added.
“It is very sensitive to metal prices. The opportunity is when metal prices are at the right level to support reopening.
“There is the risk that if it’s not reopened during a window of opportunity, it will make it difficult until the next cycle comes around.
“But these cycles do come around so then the question is do you have the government and the landowners on side at that particular time.
“At the moment if we got everything in line, someone would open the mine – the economics stack up, it’s the other issues which make it difficult.
“Given the background you are going to have a fair degree of certainty around the terms and conditions.
The mine was closed down. Obviously you have to ask the question, will it happen again? And are we certain that it won’t happen again?”




Source: Bougainville News

Bougainville News: “Large-scale Mining and Risks of Conflict Recurrence ” new research

Abstract Research on conflict resolution suggests that the significant risk of conflict recurrence in intra-state conflicts is much reduced by political settlements that ‘resolve the issues at stake’ between parties to the conflict, and that in conflicts involving grievances about distribution of natural resource revenues, such settlements should include natural resource wealth-sharing arrangements.

DOWNLOAD: Bougainville :Large-scale Mining and Risks of Conflict Recurrence  here ANU Regan Bougainville Research

Author: Anthony J. Regan (see Bio Below)

This article shows that the Bougainville conflict origins involved far more complexity than natural resource revenue distribution grievances, and that the conflict itself then generated new sources of division and conflict, the same being true of both the peace process and the process to implement the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA).

As a result, the BPA addresses many more issues than natural resource-related grievances. Such considerations make it difficult to attribute lack of conflict recurrence to particular factors in the BPA.

While the BPA provisions on wealth-sharing address relations between the Papua New Guinea National Government and Bougainville, moves by the Autonomous Bougainville Government to explore possible resumption of large-scale mining has generated a new political economy in Bougainville, contributing to new tensions amongst Bougainvilleans.

Research Conclusion

On the basis of this case study of Bougainville, I conclude that natural resource distribution issues were a significant factor, amongst many others, in the origins of the conflict. In addition, it was a factor that aggravated many other factors.

Moreover, many other divisions, sources of conflict and actual conflicts developed as a consequence of the dynamics of not only the conflict itself, but also of the peace process, and the process of implementing the BPA. Indeed, the tensions developing over mining related issues since 2005 are emerging as part of the dynamics generated by implementing the BPA.

These are largely tensions internal to Bougainville. As a result, there is limited utility in the natural resource revenue distribution arrangements in the BPA, developed mainly to respond to the contribution of natural resource distribution issues to conflict between Bougainville and PNG. On the other hand, natural resource distributions certainly were a significant source of conflict both between PNG and Bougainville, and amongst Bougainvilleans.

It was entirely reasonable for those negotiating for the BPA to include provisions intended to respond to the issues that had divided PNG and Bougainville in the 1980s, by giving the ABG power to determine mining policy and law for Bougainville, and to receive the major part of mining revenues. But it was too difficult for them to tailor arrangements in 2001 that could realistically respond to natural resource distribution issues that had divided Bougainvilleans in the 1980s (mainly issues related to the inequitable distribution of the limited natural resources revenues then available to Bougainvilleans).

In giving effect to its new right to make mining policy and law, the ABG has inadvertently helped generate a new political economy in Bougainville, where new outside interests in alliances with significant Bougainvillean interests, are engaging in a struggle for a significant degree of control over resource revenues and mining powers. These developments have ensured that the main divisive issues relating to natural resource distribution are no longer between PNG and Bougainville, but are instead between Bougainvilleans (as even the outside interests have no leverage without Bougainville partners).

The Bougainvillean negotiators for BPA did not include provision on dealing with such new sources of internal Bougainville tensions related to natural resource distribution, not only because they were not anticipated, but also because it would have been virtually impossible to do that at the time.

Rather, their key assumption was that by establishing a strong and legitimate autonomous government, thereby empowering “Bougainvilleans to solve their own problems, manage their own affairs and realize their own aspirations”, and with “sufficient personnel and financial resources … to exercise its powers and functions effectively”,41 there would be a Bougainville government body capable of developing policy broadly acceptable to all interests, and of dealing with disputes between Bougainville interests when they do arise.

But at present, the ABG still has limited capacity, and developing appropriate mining policy and law takes time and resources, and implementing it effectively takes more. Some of those attacking the ABG have strong interests in the ABG remaining weak. Their increasingly strident attacks on the ABG are being made for the clear purpose of getting control of revenue and power.

There is a real political and economic struggle taking place, and the eventual outcomes are as yet far from clear. One irony here is that the ABG is seeking mining revenue in order to build the capacity needed to achieve either real autonomy or independence, when there are now risks of serious tensions and disunity that could undermine Bougainville’s prospects for achieving either goal. There are particular risks here given the ongoing presence of armed factions in Bougainville. In these circumstances, there is an urgent need for the international community and the activist community to recognise where the real tensions and dangers of conflict lie.

Whilst the current tensions concerning natural resource distribution are mainly within Bougainville, there are still possible sources of dispute between PNG and Bougainville. One concerns possible difficulties in negotiating distribution of mining and other tax revenues additional to the recurrent grant should any future large-scale mining project result in those revenues being sustainably higher than the amount of the grant. In relation to issues about the Panguna mine’s future, tensions could arise over various issues if in fact BCL were to be permitted to return, including over any move by PNG to expropriate Rio Tinto’s majority equity in BCL, and over any difference that might occur over the ABG’s entitlement to have the PNG 19.3 per cent equity transferred.

Turning, finally, to the risk of conflict recurrence in Bougainville, we can clearly set to one side the BPA provisions on mining. The real questions now concern whether a strong and legitimate ABG can emerge that can manage the many sources of tension and conflict inherent in the circumstances of post-conflict Bougainville, including those internal tensions concerning mining.

The difficulties for the ABG in managing such tensions are not small. They include, in particular, the situation of marginalised youth, as we have seen, in so many ways so similar to the situation in Bougainville in the late 1980s. The history of the conflict from 1988 demonstrates that sources of anger in such a significant marginalised group can be unleashed in unexpected ways, especially where contributed to, or aggravated, by natural resource distribution issues. Discussing two natural resource related insurgencies in Nigeria, political geographer Michael J. Watts said:

The energies unleashed among a generation of marginalized youth is astonishing; the reservoirs of anger is [sic] now very deep having been filled by the waters of resentment over many decades. That the resentments can and have been channelled into all manner of claims, aspirations and practices (complex mixtures of greed and grievance) the borders among which are labile and porous should surprise nobody.

If the struggle over control of mining in Bougainville continues, without the ABG’s authority being accepted, the outcomes will be unpredictable. All points of tension and conflict involved in or arising from this struggle are likely to be intensified by the approach of first, the ABG general election, and second the referendum on independence, and by the intersections between the political and economic struggles associated with those processes, on the one hand, with the struggles over mining.

About the Author Anthony Regan is a constitutional lawyer who specialises in constitutional development as part of conflict resolution. He has worked as a lawyer, policy adviser and researcher in Papua New Guinea for over thirty years, and is currently a Fellow with the State, Society and Melanesia program at the Australian National University. Formerly an adviser to Bougainville parties during the Bougainville peace process, Anthony is now an adviser to the Autonomous Government of Bougainville.



Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


The sea burial service for people who were lost during the Bougainville crisis took place today at the Bel Isi Park in Buka Town and with the laying of wreaths in the middle of the Buka Passage.
The sea burial which was organised by the International community of the Red Cross saw mostly mothers who took part in the sea burial and the burial services as well.
When giving his keynote address, the ABG minister for administrative services and member for Tonsu Joel Banam stressed that it is true that the government has built the ABG upon debris and rubbish meaning the government did not acknowledge the dead before establishing the ABG.
He said this programme as mentioned by the member for Tsitalato, Cosmas Sohia should have been done by the first house but this was not done by the first house.
Minister Banam stressed that the spirit of the dead are crying out in the streets and he believes that if the ABG and the people of Bougainville cannot acknowledge the dead, the future of Bougainville will be bleak.
He added that the leadership of Bougainville is also confused because we have not acknowledged the dead.
Meanwhile an emotional Sch..oli Miriori a mother who spoke on behalf of the mothers in Bougainville, stressed that the ABG government must try and acknowledge that there have been disappearances saying the government must acknowledge what has happened and also acknowledge the missing persons.
She explained that the sea burial that they are embarking on is for the people, most of them innocent victims of the crisis who were dumped into the sea during the crisis.
She then thanked the International Community of the Red Cross for coming up with this initiative because the real truth must be dealt with.
Mothers came all the way from central Bougainville to take part in this sea burial programme with the mothers in North Bougainville.
The burial service was lead by the member for Selau Terry Mose and he and the member representing the ex-combatants for North Bougainville Frank Hopping were the only members who accompanied the mothers out onto the Buka Passage for the laying of wreaths.
New dawn Fm observed today that no ex-combatants and other members or ministers took part in this sea burial ceremony and the laying of wreaths in acknowledgment of the dead.





Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Helmtrude Lewewett DWU Journalism student

The PNG Customs Service in Bougainville (PNGCSB) has successfully completed its awareness program that began on October 31 and ended last week Thursday in Buin.
The awareness which was purposely done to inform border crossers about what PNG Customs do and the dangers that may happen when crossing from one place to another has been done very well.
PNGCSB Port Manager John Kiu pointed out that people must have a moral responsibility to make good decisions to become better partners in the developments that are taking place within the province.
He said with this awareness and the next that are still going to come; PNGCSB will work towards achieving its goals in collecting revenues and providing for a safe and healthy society for everyone.
Mr Kiu was happy and acknowledged everyone that participated in one way or the other in the completion of the awareness program.

Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville



The Papua New Guinea Cocoa Board is currently rolling out a project in all remote areas and is known as the ‘Cocoa Freight Subsidy programme’.
The overall objective of the programme is to freight cocoa bags from the remote areas or locations out to the markets or accessible areas.
According to the executive manager of corporate services for cocoa board Charles Dambui, the programme was implemented through visitation of these remote locations by cocoa board officers where awareness’s were conducted in which the team mobilised the cocoa growers into more organised and formalised groups and then memorandums of agreement were established with freighters and that included boat operators, third level airlines and P.M.V operators.
He explained that once engaged in the MOA’s, the freighters were then assigned to go into these remote areas to get cocoa bags and come out.
This as revealed by Mr. Dambui during the stakeholder consultative meeting in Buka last week is the approach that the PNG Cocoa Board is currently using.
He added that the programme is a nationally funded programme and we are targeting all cocoa growing provinces.
Mr. Dambui revealed that so far, the scheme has been implemented in approximately six months and they have freighted around thirty-two thousand and five hundred and twenty-eight cocoa bags at a cost of K1.9 million.
He stressed that these cocoa bags were freighted out from the remote areas under this programme and without this programme, these 32, 528 bags would not have reached the market.
He said out of these cocoa bags, we generated close to K13 million where over 80 per cent in the sum of K1.8 million went back to the cocoa farmers.
He added that the return on investment for this programme as seen is very high and currently the programme is being rolled out in East New Britain, West New Britain, New Ireland, Morobe, Madang, East Sepik, West Sepik and Simbu province.
An MOA has already been signed with the Louta Foundation and according to Mr. Dambui, the programme will cover Tinputz inland, Selau-Suir inland, Kunua, Nissan-Atolls, Siwai and Torokina in South Bougainville and Wakunai inland in central Bougainville.

Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville



A meeting between the Panguna Peace Building Strategy (PPBS) and representatives from various stakeholders in Torokina saw the setup of the Peace and Security Committee for Torokina District last week.
The committee now represents the various stakeholders of the district such as the district administration, COE or the community government, churches, women’s, custom chiefs, veterans, police, youth, Meekamui and the representatives of the wards in the district.
So far, the Panguna Peace Building Strategy has set up committees in Buin, Siwai, Bana in South Bougainville and Wakunai in Central Bougainville.
In line with the ABG Peace and Security Policy, the DPSC (District Peace Security Committee) looks at utilising noble customary means of dispute settlement with the aim of settling outstanding cases in a timely manner while achieving profound outcomes.
The Committee will identify priority cases in accordance with set criteria and make implementation plans to finalise outstanding cases.
The Local level Government officer for Torokina district Mark Sio, who spoke on behalf of the executive manager Simon Koraikove said that the job is now on all the stakeholders and the people to work in corporation with each other for the betterment of the district and Bougainville as a whole.
He added that there have been so much commercialised reconciliation ceremonies without true peace and we must change that concept and attitude.

Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville



Cocoa production in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville is steadily recovering after the crisis, says the ABG vice president Patrick Nisira.
He revealed during the stakeholder consultative meeting at the Kuri Village Resort in Buka last week that this is a good sign especially when considering the impediments to the success of the cocoa industry as that of the cocoa pod borer, low quality fermentation systems and processes that have affected the prices of cocoa obtained in recent years.
He pointed out that given that other provinces, especially East New Britain, East Sepik and Madang have been increasing their annual production as well as their export poses a significant challenge for Bougainville to boost production and improve export quality through laborious methods and systems covered during and in this workshop.
He stressed that this is important for Bougainville’s economic recovery as a potential, high money earner now and in the long term.
Whilst a high number of households are engaged in cocoa production and is growing steadily over the years since 2009, production dropped by 20 per cent in 2010 and further declined in 2012 with only 29, 158 households actively involved in cocoa production.
Mr. Nisira explained that this was largely due to the coco pod borer fest and labour of absence into other productive areas.
He stressed the cocoa is the main cash income earner for a substantial amount of people here in Bougainville and that is why we have to pay special particular attention to the industry’s long term sustainability as a cash crop and export earner.
He said it therefore pays to ensure the industry gets annual funding support from the government as incentives to farmers such as export subsidies, research and better drying processes and other infrastructure to enable the production of high quality cocoa for export.
The vice president wants the National Government and the Autonomous Bougainville government to support the cocoa industry and plan incentives and programmes to promote a vibrant and sustainable cocoa industry in Papua New Guinea and Bougainville in accordance with the global market requirements.

Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville

By Aloysius Laukai


The people of Central and North Bougainville united today to commemorate missing persons of the Bougainville conflict at the Bel isi park in Buka town this morning.
The moving ceremony had mainly mothers from Central and South Bougainville carried flowers and threw them to the sea just off Sohano island.
The AGMARK Boat MV Blue was packed to capacity with well wishers and relatives of missing persons who loaded the boat to throw in their flowers this morning.
Speakers at todays's ceremony included the ABG Minister for Administrative Services, JOEL BANAM, the ABG members for Tsitalato, COSMAS SOHIA and the ABG Member for Selau, TERRY MOSES.
Today's ceremony was organized by PETER GARUAI's group from Pokpok island who have organized and registered to search for their missing families.
The ceremony was organized with the assistance of the International Committee of the Red Cross headed by its delegate on Bougainville, TOBIAS KOEHLER.

Source: ABC Radio Australia Online

Families of victims killed during Papua New Guinea's Bougainville war finally lay their loved ones to rest
By Bruce Hill


PHOTO: Families gather at Buka Passage in remembrance of the Bougainville conflict missing. (ICRC)

In Papua New Guinea, people lost during the decade-long civil war on Bougainville have been farewelled in an emotional ceremony.
The families left behind organised a sea burial in the Buka Passage on Monday morning.
The bodies of those killed during the Bougainville conflict, which began in 1989, were never recovered and will probably never be found.
Relatives of the dead went out into the Buka Passage on a ship to say their goodbyes and throw wreaths into the water.
Tobias Koehler, from the International Committee of the Red Cross in PNG, which helped organise the ceremony, said it was an emotional event.
"They marched from one place in the city to Bel Isi Park... which is actually a mass grave. They marched up there, there were lots of speeches done, and some of them were very emotional," he told ABC Radio Australia.
The conflict on Bougainville island dragged on for almost a decade - unrest sparked by an Australian-run copper mine which became a battle for independence.
Thousands of people were killed, many of them innocent victims. The ceremony was for people whose bodies were never found.
"It's a very tragic situation for everybody who lost a relative in the crisis, particularly for those... unable to grieve, who don't have a body [to] bury in their ancestral lands and don't have a place to go to to mourn," Mr Koehler said.
"It's literally an ongoing, day-to-day trauma where a noise at night, a door opening, might trigger in their mind: is this person coming back right now, so many years after? Maybe he just lived in Solomon Islands and is now coming back. So, there's a real trauma there for those who have to live with this."
The chief from Pok Pok Island, Peter Garuai, was also at the service. He lost a brother in the conflict and said it was good to be able to farewell him even if it was just symbolically.
"About 100 to 200 people attended the ceremony (in Buka). It was very emotional, very moving. A lot of women and mothers, they shed their tears," he said.
He said the ceremony was a good thing for the people of Bougainville.
"It gives them joy, it gives them peace and it gives them reconciliation in their minds, and release from their long wait for their loved ones to come back."

Source: ABC Radio Australia - Pacific Beat

Families of Bougainville dead farewell loved ones

In Papua New Guinea, people lost during the Bougainville crisis have been farwelled in an emotional ceremony.
Families of Bougainville dead farewell loved ones (Credit: ABC)
The families left behind organised a sea burial in the Buka Passage this morning.

Presenter: Bruce Hill
Speakers: Tobias Koehler, Red Cross delegate in Bougainville; Peter Garuai, chief from Pok Pok Island and brother of missing man


Source: Bougainville24

Dr Suwamaru reaps the rewards of hard work and education

By Alice Peter


On Sunday 9 March Joseph Suwamaru, from Kaparo village in central Siwai of south Bougainville, became the fifth person to graduate as a doctor of philosophy (PhD) from Divine Word Univiersity (DWU).
Dr Suwamaru, who graduated at the 32nd ceremony at DWU in Madang, is a communications engineer by trade and his PhD research topic concerned the impact and influences of mobile phones across Papua New Guinea.
He is the first ever PhD graduate from DWU’s Faculty of Business and Informatics.
As a young boy in grade three Suwamaru recognised the importance of education and this has been key to his success. He saw that only through education could he travel places, live a reasonable life and commit himself to help destroying poverty and destitution.
He worked hard, completing high school and then going on to earn  a diploma in television transmission engineering from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and a diploma in communication engineering from UNITECH in Lae.
Prior to taking on the onerous task of completing the doctorate Suwamaru worked at the Post & Telecommunication Commission (PTC), then later PNG Telecommunication Authority (Pangtel) and its successor the National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA).
He encourages all to strive for a better education in this increasingly globalized world. He stated that when one is highly educated, one becomes mobile, can go anywhere, work anywhere and escape from the chains of poverty.
“Only through education, we will move Papua New Guinea, Bougainville and Melanesia,” stated Dr. Suwamaru
Dr. Suwamaru states that he is proud of graduating with such a prestigious award here in Papua New Guinea.
“Things soon worked my way, through persistence and commitment,” Dr Suwamaru continued.
“PNG is a virgin turf as far as research is concerned; there are more new discoveries to be made yet.”
He is currently a senior teaching staff in the Information Systems department the Faculty of Business and Informatics at the DWU.



Source: Radio New Zealand International

Bougainville renews call for NGO to withdraw report

Bougainville has accused an Australian NGO of having a pre-determined position in its report into the attitudes of villagers to a possible re-opening of the Panguna mine.
Jubilee Australia published the report 'Voices of Bougainville' in September, drawing an immediate outcry from the autonomous government in the Papua New Guinea province.
Don Wiseman has more:

"Voices of Bougainville was a series of interviews with people living around the closed Panguna mine. It was heavily critical of government plans for a possible re-opening; it claimed the villagers had been shut out of any consultations, and said locals want a focus on other ways to stimulate economic growth. The Bougainville government, led by President John Momis, complained and called on the NGO's board to withdraw the report, but Jubilee Australia's response was to stand by it. The NGO rejected claims of bias in its research and says the report was not intended to speak for all Bougainvilleans. It said it had not made contact with the Bougainville government because this might have compromised its links with the villagers. Now Mr Momis says Jubilee Australia has shown grave disrespect. He says the report shows signs of advocacy rather than a scientific approach and asks again for it to be withdrawn."



Source: Post-Courier

Finland ambassador to PNG visits Bougainville


FINLAND Ambassador to PNG, Mr Pasi Patokallio (centre), flanked by Mr Antti Niemela (left) and senior protocol officer Philip Kiha on arrival at the Buka airport

THE Ambassador of Finland to Papua New Guinea Pasi Patokallio was in Bougainville to meet with teams that are responsible for the Carteret Islands projects which Finland supports.
In welcoming the envoy, deputy Chief Administrator Herbert Kimai said on behalf of the head of the public service in Bougainville and the its government that Bougainville had gone through a lot of changes in terms of politics and socio-economic developments due to the commitment of the leaders.
Mr Kimai said the Bougainville public service had been reformed and had its own laws that governed its public service and the visit by the Finland ambassador to the semi-autonomous province was also a part of contribution to the development of Bougainville with what Finland had already done and would continue to do in the region.
Mr Patokallio said this was his first visit to the region and the primary purpose of the visit was to look at the relocation project for the people of Carteret island, and the secondary purpose to get a sense of the way Bougainville was developing after the Bougainville crisis.
He said he was in Bougainville to see what the situation was like after the crisis so that Finland would help in whatever areas it could, like it normally does to other countries that were devastated by crisis.
Mr Patokallio said one of the policies of the government of Finland was to help people as much as it could to rebuild their lives after the conflict and that Finland had already made a modest contribution to Bougainville through the relocation project.
Mr Patokallio was accompanied by deputy head of mission to the Embassy of Finland in Canberra, Mr Antti Niemela, who also oversees PNG and the Solomon Islands. They will be visiting Tinputs district where Carteret Islanders will be relocated to, if the weather permits.

Source: Post-Courier

Peace mediators agree to find missing persons

AN agreement has been signed between the Panguna Peace Building Strategy (PPBS) and the Siwai district peace and security committee to allow them to work together to address outstanding reconciliation in the district.
PPBS is a collaboration between the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the Australian department of foreign affairs and trade which operates out of Arawa to contribute to “a united, peaceful and prosperous Bougainville that protects the dignity and rights of its people”.
During the signing the second phase of nomaingu mediation process was concluded. Nomaingu is the traditional Siwai custom of two parties agreeing to mediate and repatriate bodies of missing persons. In this case, the nomaingu was specifically for the late Anthony Anugu in what is known as the Siwai Crisis.
The Siwai crisis happened during the 10-year Bougainville conflict during which some Siwai leaders were apprehended in Siwai and killed and buried in and around Panguna. These persons are technically still referred to as “missing persons” until such time their bodies are found.
The dual ceremony was witnessed by guests from the ABG house of representative, various development partners, the ABG administration, district administrations, council of elders and the general public. Regional Bougainville MP Joe Lera officiated at the signing of the MOU.
The Siwai ceremony signified that the two parties are ready to work together in retrieving Anugu’s bones. PPBS manage Cyril Tavore said the way forward for the peace process to continue was for all to work together.




Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville

By Aloysius Laukai

The first ever three-days TUIRUMA FESTIVAL that was held last week in Buin ended in high note with participants and the public wanting a permanent date set to attract more local and overseas tourists to visit the show in future.
The show was officially closed by the ABG member for BABA, WILLIAM SILAMAI who called on all participants and the people of Buin to maintain the good example they set during the festival to show unity of all Bougainvilleans.
MR. SILAMAI said that the smiles in all the participants faces only indicate one thing that is all were happy to be part of the three- days show.
MR. SILAMAI said that as declared by the co sponsor and member for South Bougainville, STEVEN KAMMA PIRIKA to rotate the venue they would prepare for the next show to be held in Siwai in 2015 and BANA in 2016.
The Show has 44 cultural groups, Arts, Crafts and carvers who were also excited to be part of the first TUIRUMA Festival.
In his opening remarks the ABG President, Chief DR. JOHN MOMIS said that cultural festivals is one sure way of uniting the people of Bougainville and his government will continue to support them in the future.
The Member for South Bougainville, STEVEN KAMMA PIRIKA also pledged ONE MILLION KINA in the next five years.
The Regional member for Bougainville, JOE LERA also contributed funds towards the staging of the TUIRUMA Festival and said that he was also committed to fund the Tuiruma festival and other festivals throughout the region.
Meanwhile, New Dawn FM managed to talked to several people regarding the three-days Tuiruma festival.
Police Commander for South Bougainville, Commander JOHN POPUI praised the people for maintaining peace throughout the festival.
He told New Dawn FM in Buin that 46 police personnel were engaged to look after the festival with the support of the South Bougainville Veterans Association.
One church worker said that the festival made it possible for their group to meet many people and a Businessman said that he had made extra monies during the festival.

Tuiruma group from Tugiogu village are pictured here.Newdawnpic by Aloysius Laukai

Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville

By Raymond Moworu Edited by Aloysius Laukai

The dream by the ABG to establish cool rooms throughout Bougainville to assist fishermen will soon be completed.
And the installation of cool room and storage facility under the ABG Commercial Project started yesterday, the experts from Malaysia are involved with the young boys from Kieta and we are fortunate that knowledge and skills would be passed to the locals by the time this project is completed.

The cool room would support the coastal fishing and the tuna fishing sponsored by Regional Member of Bougainville, Joe Lera and government initiatives that will come online with these establishments.
Also under installation is the sweet potato processing machine that would process sweet potato or Kaukau for export to Taiwan and other Asian countries.
This is ABG's economic development plan of broad based inclusive development that will benefit majority of the people in the rural areas.
The project is coordinated by Commerce Department with expertise advice from Malaysian experts.



Source: ABC Radio Australia - Pacific Beat

Bougainville's Operation Render Safe a success

A multi-national defence team has wrapped up its work in Bougainville.

The Australian-led Operation Render Safe has detonated hundreds of unexploded bombs in the region, many of them remnants from World War Two.
It's part of a Pacific-wide effort which saw more than 12,000 explosives cleared in Solomon Islands last year.
Captain Jay Bannister has been leading the taskforce and says the operation has been a success.

Presenter: Richard Ewart

Speaker: Captain Jay Bannister, Australian Defence Force


Source: Post Courier

New guest house aims to promote tourism


THE new GST guest house at Munlus village in the Selau constituency opens its doors to customers.

A LOCAL business owner in the Selau Constituency has opened up a new family guest house in his home village of Munlus in Buka.
Mr Paul Cheung left teaching in 2007 after seeing the need to provide a door step service to his community and started off his business with a small trade store in the village. He then went on to buying copra from the local villagers. From there he expanded the family business Munlus Trading to Kokopau by setting up a trade store and this time he has opened up the new GST Guest House back in the village.
The guest house is set to benefit not the family only but also the surrounding communities indirectly or directly. Mr Cheung said it took him four years to build the guest house using his own funds earned from his trading business.
The guest house is situated next to the Arawa-Kokopau highway. Acting CEO of the ABG Tourism Bureau, Lawrence Belle said the location of the guest house will be an ideal spot for tourism as most visitors prefer to be mingled with the local community and see the scenario.
Mr Belle said since the location of the guest house is blended with the cultural, tourism and sacred sites that are located close to this new guest house, it will bring a lot of spin off benefits and opportunities when there are visitors from other parts of the world.
“Bougainville has the potential of attracting visitors because of its vast flora and fauna scenery that would create opportunities in employment and cash earnings,” said Mr Belle. He also encouraged the ABG government to look more at tourism industry to raise the revenue for the development of Bougainville.

Source: Post Courier

Garamut festival unites cultural groups in South Bougainville


CULTURAL groups line up in Buin town

Buin town in South Bougainville came alive yesterday in colourful bliss as cultural groups from various parts of Bougainville congregated in the town to celebrate the annual Tuiruma or Garamut festival. The festival brings together cultural groups from the three South Bougainville districts, Buin, Siwai and Bana to celebrate their cultural heritage.
On hand to officially open the ceremony was Autonomous Bougainville Government President John Momis with several cabinet ministers as well as the national Minister for Bougainville Affairs Steven Kama Pirika and Bougainville Regional MP Joe Lera.
“Culture is an integral part of human life, a good culture leads to better society as opposed to one which does not entail the values of proper human development,” Mr Momis said.
“Our society in Bougainville is an emerging society and not one which is static, we are adapting new values and a new way of life but that doesn’t mean we do away with our cultures and traditions so that they become relics in a museum.”
President Momis said the culture and traditions of a person gives them an identity and a sense of belonging so people must take pride in that. The President also said that he was happy to open the festival as well as to witness the many unique cultures and traditions of the Bougainville people.
The event was held yeterday and will go continue until tomorrow with more groups coming throughout Bougainville to take part. Apart from groups from South Bougainville several groups are from North and Central Bougainville bring along their own cultural flavor to the festival.
Mr Pirika also pledged K200,000 for next year’s event saying that he has already allocated the funds through his DSIP grant. Mr Pirika said he wants the event to be staged every year in one district of South Bougainville and move on to the next district the following year.
Mr Pirika thanked Mr Momis for taking the time to open the festival while showing the true spirit of unity with Bougainville’s leadership ranks.

Source: Post Courier

People ‘speak out’ to promote peace


A dangkinang (tokaut/tokstret) ceremony between the leaders of Panguna and the people was held this week in Panguna, Central Bougainville.
During theceremony, many spokesmen, women and leaders speak their hearts out without fear or favour – they speak out how they feel, think and experience about each other. Dangkinang in Nasio language in Central Bougainville simply means “speak out”.
It is one of the significant events organised and facilitated by Bougainville Peace Initiative (BPI) and the leaders plus the people of Panguna. It was purposely organized to make peace and unity among the leaders and people of Panguna district after a long struggle of disunity in the leaders.
Many who attended the event spoke mainly of unity among Me’ekamui factions, the Autonomous Bougainville Government, land owners and all the leaders of Panguna district.
A youth spokesman from Morapi Village Assembly said the most youths do not know what to do because of so many factions developing from within the Me’ekamui. “We are been in pain for so long now and we want you leaders to unite and develop our communities,” he told the leaders.
An old man from Domana Village Assembly said: “These different factions are a waste of time but unity is the way forward where we can develop our villages and communities especially Panguna if only our leaders unite and work together.”



Source: PNG Industry News

Panguna debate clash continues
by Alison Middleton

BOUGAINVILLE President John Momis is continuing to clash with a non-government organisation that waded into the debate surrounding the possible reopening of Panguna copper mine.

Momis has clashed with Jubilee Australia in recent months following the publication of a research report that suggested people in Bougainville were “adamantly opposed” to the reopening of the mine.
The Voices of Bougainville report claimed people living in villages around Panguna remained stressed and traumatised after years of civil war and were concerned a resumption of mining by the Rio Tinto subsidiary could lead to more violence.
It has since emerged that the report reflected the views of just 65 people in the Panguna area who were consulted in the study.
Momis has now complained to the Australian High Commission in Papua New Guinea over the NGO’s activities and raised his concerns with the organisation.
In a new letter to the Jubilee board, Momis said at least six significant issues raised in an earlier letter had been ignored by Jubilee, including “major factual errors and misrepresentations” about the continuing consultation process with mining-affected communities in the autonomous region.
“Many of the errors reflect a view that resonates strongly with the particular view of Bougainville’s recent history held by [Dr Kristian] Lasslett and those involved in the Bismarck Ramu Group,” he said in a letter which was provided to local blog PNG Attitude.
“While Jubilee may have found its partners in this research ‘highly professional’, they in fact have a track record of bias on issues concerning the history and the future of mining in Bougainville.”
Momis said opposition to mining was not a new topic among people in Bougainville.
“I emphasise again that such views are well known and respected in Bougainville and are listened to and taken seriously by the ABG [Autonomous Bougainville Government] and the landowner organisations,” he said in the letter.
“The ABG is a representative government, like any government, required to make decisions on behalf of its people.
“We are dealing with a complex and difficult situation where peace is fragile, where many groups remain uncertain about the peace process, where there are numerous continuing divisions, and where complex interests are seeking to influence decision-making in Bougainville to their own benefit.
“Through its report, Jubilee has inserted itself into this difficult situation by releasing a deeply flawed report that adds to pressures contributing to complexity and divisions.
“In the process, you are damaging not only your own reputation as an NGO claiming to undertake ‘scientific research’, but also NGOs and researchers more generally.
“You might be surprised at just how upset many Bougainvilleans are about your report, and the divisiveness of such flawed work.”
A letter from Jubilee Australia board chairman Luke Fletcher to Momis refuted the allegations.
“Since receiving your letter, the Jubilee Australia Board has carried out a detailed review to address each of the specific concerns raised regarding the report,” Fletcher wrote in his response.
“Two kinds of criticisms are raised by your letter: first, concerning the purpose and scope of the report, and second, the report’s methodology.
“Our investigation has found both these criticisms to be without basis.”
Bougainville Copper has confirmed that dialogue will continue with both governments and landowners in an effort to reach agreement on providing the company with the assurance it needs to go forward with community and study programs that are required to further assess the viability of reopening the mine.
Rio Tinto owns a 53.83% stake in Bougainville Copper, although it is reviewing its ownership in the large, controversial project. The PNG state owns 19.1%.
Mining was terminated at Panguna in 1989.




The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC)