BOUGAINVILLE ’S progress looks promising in the next one and 15 months with the election of its second president James Tanis.
Mr Tanis, 43 from Nagovis in South Bougainville was inaugurated as president of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville on Tuesday January 07, 2009 at Arawa the former capital of then North Solomon Province .
His main plans for the 15 months would be to see reconciliation among different factions on Bougainville make progress and he would also like to see weapons taken rid off from all communities on Bougainville .
He announced his plan to re-establish the Ministry of Peace which was decommissioned when the Autonomous Bougainville Government was established in 2005 and keep the ministry under himself,
In a face to face meeting with the Panguna Landowners after his inauguration, he strongly urged them to proactive and move forward their preparations for major reconciliation ceremonies among different factions of the landowner groups such as the old and new Panguna landowners.
Bougainville House of Representatives Member for Ioro Benedict Pisi said the reconciliation preparations have been progressed but he urged President Tanis to play an active role by prioritizing it and providing it with the necessary funding.
Mr Tanis said his priority as president will be reconciliation and the reconciliation at Panguna will be given priority and he would be personally involved in it.
He also called on the Papua New Guinea National Government and Bougainville Copper Limited to be patient while the landowners sorted themselves out.
“Once we sort ourselves out we will then be prepared to invite the other parties to talk to us,” Mr Tanis said.
The Panguna landowners are eager to see the new president put his words into action as they have been waiting patiently for over three years for the late President Joseph Kabui to make moves to include them in any discussions on the future of Panguna mine.
But Mr Tanis has also stated that any reconciliation in Panguna would not automatically invite mining back into Panguna but would provide avenues to put mining as an agenda that could be discussed by all stakeholders.