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News 01.2014.2


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Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai

The ABG President, Chief DR. JOHN MOMIS yesterday told a packed crowd in both Arawa and Panguna that the ABG was the only legitimate government on Bougainville and also mandated by the people to lead them to referendum.

Speaking at both gatherings and accompanying the Prime Minister, President Momis said that the ABG was prepared to work with all Bougainvilleans no matter what groups they were in.

He said that the future of Bougainville will only be addressed by an united Bougainville team and with only one team captain.

President Momis said that the Bougainville Peace Agreement was a compromised agreement by both Bougainville and Papua New Guinea government and all leaders must adhere and implement this agreement.

He said that Bougainville cannot re-invent the wheel but instead implement the Bougainville Peace Agreement.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai

Meanwhile, Prime Minister PETER O’NEILL also called on the people of Bougainville to work with the ABG and the President, Chief DR. JOHN MOMIS who is leading the only recognized government on Bougainville.

He told the people of Panguna and Arawa that the National Government will work with the ABG and under President MOMIS who was the most senior and experienced Politician in Papua New Guinea today.

Prime Minister PETER O’NEILL said that the people of Papua New Guinea has a lot to learn from a person who was heavily involved in framing the Constitution of Papua New Guinea.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Alex Munme

The People of Panguna believe that the Prime Ministers first ever visit is God’s answer to their prayers.

Pastor Munau made the remarks before praying for the program to start in the heart of the pot of copper and gold yesterday in Panguna, Central Bougainville.

Referring to a scripture from the Book of Isaiah, Pr. Munau said they were in the wilderness and the Prime Minister was there to make way for them to get out.

Sitting on the pot of copper and gold, the people had virtually nothing referring to government services and development in the area. The Prime Minister’s visit gave them hope for better services and improved lives.


Chief Michael Pariu (pictured) while welcoming the Prime Minister on behalf of the people also said ‘your visit is to see for yourself our situation.


He said they were glad and very honoured to have the Prime Minister visit them.

Chairman of Panguna landowners, Lawrence Daveona on behalf of the people also 11asked the Prime Minister for the repeal of the special mining lease which enacted by the Colonial Australian Administration in 1967 which the Prime Minister favourably acknowledged.

The Prime Minister said his visit was not to negotiate reopening of the mine but to bring services to the people. He said reopening of the Panguna Mine is in the hands of the landowners and the ABG.

The Prime Minister’s visit to the region despite controversies was a real success.


Source: Post-Courier

Arawa youths want community hall

THE youth of Arawa town and nearby communities have asked the Prime Minister to fund a multi-purpose community hall for them. Around 150,000 youths say the multi-purpose hall will really benefit the community. “If you build this multi-purpose community youth hall we will call it the Peter O’Neill Community Hall,” the youths said. 


Source: PNG exposed

Reading Between the Lines on PM O’Neill’s ‘Historic’ Bougainville Visit


Many would not have seen it among the ceremony and pomp that has accompanied Prime Minister O’Neill’s historic visit to Bougainville – it was the big ‘for sale’ sign O’Neill and Momis have just dangled around the island.

This is partly because O’Neill’s visit has been portrayed by a pliable media contingent as a historic act of reconciliation between PNG and Bougainville; the breaking of arrows. ‘Why here’, ‘why now’, are not words any one dares utter. But utter they should.

For the past three years the ABG has made its development strategy clear – the sell-off of Bougainville’s marine, timber and mineral resources to foreign investors. As a result President Momis has been busy in the Philippines and China enjoying five star treatment, while Asian investors eye Bougainville’s riches, along with the old-hand Rio Tinto.

But there is one problem niggling at the President, ‘stability’. If foreign investors are to be wooed, they need to be able to convince creditors that they are not about to park their funds in a black hole. As BCL’s Chairman recently told the Murdoch press in Australia:

When I need to raise the money for this mine, by going to banks and investors, wanting to raise billions of dollars, they’re going to say: “Tell me about Bougainville.” If Bougainville is the world’s newest nation, with no track record of managing projects, as opposed to PNG which has a long track record, it’s going to be easier to raise the money if Bougainville doesn’t go down the independence route. I wouldn’t even go to the market at this stage, because I can’t tell the market what they’re investing in.

Enter Prime Minister O’Neill. With concerns being increasingly raised about Bougainville’s stability as it approaches its independence referendum, O’Neill and Momis have entered a pact of convenience.

It needs to be said O’Neill is not hell bent on keeping Bougainville – he will respect the referendum decision – however, the PM certainly does not want an independent or autonomous Bougainville being a financial albatross around PNG’s neck for years to come.

On the other hand, Momis has had something of an economic conversion since becoming President, and believes only a fire sale of Bougainville’s natural resources to foreign investors will save his land from ruin.

Momis and O’Neill might not like each other (!!), but they know they need each other. If PNG is to be rid of the financial albatross, O’Neill believes he must assure the international community that whatever the outcome of the referendum, PNG will act as a mature friend of Bougainville. On the other hand, Momis has bought the AusAid mantra and thinks that only the wide-scale sell off of Bougainville’s resources will establish an economic future for his island, so Momis needs O’Neill to act as a mature guarantor foreign investors can believe in.

These are not necessarily well thought out or well supported strategies, indeed they may be the quickest route to wrack and ruin; but it explains the recent odd behaviour of Momis and O’Neill, who are what the kids call these days, ‘frenemies’.



Source: Bougainville24

PM completes Bougainville round-trip

Huge crowds turned out to see the PM throughout Bougainville. Credit: Radio New Dawn 

Peter O’Neill, the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, has returned to Port Moresby after his three day tour of Bougainville.

The tour began in Buka on Monday 27 January with a traditional welcome party at the airport to honour the arrival of O’Neill.

In Buka the Prime Minister and President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG), Dr John Momis completed the bel kol reconciliation that began a week prior in Port Moresby.

In this second act of the reconciliation the two leaders once again donned traditional shell money and the symbolic destruction of weapons.

As part of the bel kol, the customary process of recompense and redress, the Prime Minster said PNG will give funds to North, Central and South Bougainville.

“Following custom, I’d like to say we are truly sorry for all the bad things that happened in your communities in Bougainville,” Mr O’Neill said, speaking in tok pisin.

“To mark this apology my government will give K1.5million to Bougainville, K500,000 for each region.”

“The money will come from our community development funds.”

Between K50 million and K75 million was also given to the Bougainville representatives in the National Parliament to spend on regional projects.

Dr John Momis expressed his gratitude to O’Neill and looked forward to the two governments working together.

“I’d like to thank the Prime Minister for this,” Dr Momis said.

“This means a new beginning and cooperation and collaboration to continue the work for development.”

On Tuesday 28 January O’Neill travelled south to visit Siwai, Aropa and became the first Prime Minister of PNG to visit Buin.

The final stage of the tour was in Central Bougainville, where the Prime Minister visited Arawa and Panguna to reiterate his remorse for the part PNG played in the violence and unrest of the Bougainville Crisis.

“I came to Panguna purposely to say sorry for the many lives that were lost during the war – many lives from Bougainville and Papua New Guinea,” Mr O’Neill said to the people of Panguna on Wednesday 29 January.

“I came here to say sorry for the actions of our leaders who may have not performed their duties well in solving these outstanding issues leading to this conflict.”

“The [PNG] Government has a responsibility to make sure the Bougainville Peace Agreement and the autonomy power we give to Bougainville must work and progress well.”

“This is not the time to rewind and count our mistakes, it is time to work so that our kids, our future generation can live happily after.”

“The Peace Agreement has many outstanding challenges which we all need to take ownership of and work together to address.”

O’Neill visit marks the first round tour of the North, South and Central regions of Bougainville by a Prime Minister of PNG since the ABG was formed in 2005.

Despite question marks last week whether Bougainville was ready for such as visit, the tour was a great success,  the Prime Minister was welcomed with open arms throughout the autonomous region.




Source: Post-Courier

Kauona Supports O’Neill


The former Bougainville Revolutionary Army General Sam Kauona supported the comments made by the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill to a packed crowd of around 8000 people at the Arawa Independence Oval. Mr O’Neill said that the National Government will not force decisions or dictate terms to the ABG concerning the  high impact projects, while  announcing  the  Kokopau to Buin sealing, Buka  ring road sealing, Arawa Town seaing, Arawa Town sewerage, Arawa hospital and Aropa airport  redevelopments. Mr. Kauona strongly warned that the Infrastructure Development Authority (IDA) under Mr.John Kaio must not dictate these projects, and must be free of foul play and political interference. He said that there are Tenders out currently that are intentionally designed to eliminate the eligibility of local contractor participation; hence favoring large foreign companies who will also play the role of “Management Companies” to manage Bougainville sub contractors. Mr. Kauona supported the prime minister that any development projects must be implemented according to the conditions on the ground and wishes of the people of Bougainville as prescribed under the ABG inward investment  policy. Mr Sam Kauona also disagreed with reports   that the IDA (Infrastructure Development Authority) is allocating a portion estimated to be around K30 million for feasibility studies of the Bougainville East Coast Trunk Road from Kokopau to Buin. This fund can seal another 30km or so. It is    ridiculous   as this is an existing trunk road   constructed prior to the crisis and there is no need for such an exorbitant study.  This is going to deplete the funding allocation for upgrading and sealing works. Furthermore the IDA tendered projects maybe illegal as the entity itself was not duly established under any existing Act of Parliament. This unlawful entity has recently grown its tentacles to duplicate the DOW responsibilities and goes against the ABG inward investment policy and therefore its role and responsibilities within DOW organizational structure is questionable. The tenders put out by the IDA are EPC Contracts which means from the suggested design to the procurement and construction are controlled by the same company and Bougainville companies have no participation rights and will only be sub-contractors. I demand that the IDA withdraw this   recommendation of feasibility studies, as it looks fishy and bogus on an existing road. Such studies were already conducted when the road was being built some 20 years ago. This is not a new road.    I must support my colleagues, David Sisito and Ishmael Toroama, that the free money from the high impact projects earmarked for Bougainville should be wholly expended on Bougainville as a peace dividend for Bougainville business houses.  And we will directly recruit expertise as much as possible from our counterparts from other provinces. The prime minister has spoken,   not to force decisions on the projects, but   allow the local business houses to take ownership, build necessary capacity and share the peace dividend within the local economy.  Let’s be sensitive and mindful of people’s expectations, not just on road projects, but on mining, agriculture and other impact projects that are expected to intensify over the next few years, as announced by the PM. Let us not siphon free government funding out of Bougainville, under the pretext of management companies or feasibility studies. I take the opportunity to thank the prime minister and his delegation for the high level visit to Autonomous Region of Bougainville, visiting all three regions,   and to witness for himself the    issues and development challenges on Bougainville. Similarly the existing presence of the AUSAID Program managed by Roads Consult under SMEC has boomeranged money back to Australia and failed to build any managerial and construction capacity of the local companies on Bougainville. 


Source: Post-Courier

O’Neill gives green light for repeal of mining act


THE people of Panguna have called on Peter O’Neill to start the process of repealing the Bougainville Copper Agreement Act 1967 immediately.

Chairman of the Panguna Landowners Association, Lawrence Daveona, made the call in Panguna during the Prime Minister’s visit.

"We appeal to you as the Prime Minister that you start the process of repealing this Act," Mr Daveona said.

"Our technical team stand prepared to assist with drafting any National Executive Council submission to get the process happening.

"This is the best that the O’Neill-Dion Government can do for the people of Panguna and Bougainville. We want to know your thoughts on this. You, as our Prime Minister, can provide some hope and relief for us, as your former party leader, then Prime Minister Bill Skate, did for the people of Bougainville by brokering the peace agreement.

"If the Act can be repealed through parliament, we can start the process of re-opening the Panguna mine."

Mr Daveona said the landowners were better organised then when the 1967 deal was signed between the then Rio Tinto or CRA, and the then colonial administrative government of PNG through the House of Assembly.

"At present we are organised into nine associations; the SML which I represent, the Upper Tailings, Middle Tailings, Lower Tailings, Port Mine Access Road, Siokate Lease and the Uruawa Lease. This structured arrangement was never in place in the lead up to the signing of the 1967 Agreement," Mr Daveona pointed out.

He said landowners of Panguna mine and the surrounding leases were united for the re-opening of the mine.

"But we wish to put forward certain conditions, one of the key ones being the repeal of the 1967 Act so that we can commence negotiations and discussions under a total new agreement," he said.

Mr O’Neill supported the call by Mr Daveona and the landowners saying that the 1967 Act will be repealed and a new one put in place.

He also emphasised that the process of restoration to provide government services to Panguna has started and will continue.

He said he was very happy for the landowners and Me’ekamui’s desire and commitment to work with the ABG and the national Government for the betterment and progress of Bougainville.



Source: ABC Radio Australia News

Papa New Guinea PM Peter O'Neill visits Bougainville as countries seek reconciliation following civil war

By PNG correspondent Liam Cochrane


PHOTO: Peter O'Neill meets a relative of the Bougainville revolutionary Francis Ona. (ABC News: Liam Cochrane)

The prime minister of Papa New Guinea's visit to the autonomous island of Bougainville this week - the first trip by a sitting PM since the end of the civil war in 1997 - has been warmly received by locals and ex-combatants.

Heavy rain washed away bridges during the three-day trip, but using convoys of helicopters the Goodwill Visit reached Buka, Buin, Arawa and the controversial Panguna mine.

The PNG delegation included minister for mining Byron Chan and minister for state enterprises Ben Micah.

Thousands of people gathered at each event to hear the prime minister's words of apology and reconciliation.

"Along the way we lost focus, we made many mistakes," Peter O'Neill said in the northern town of Buka.

"The government of Papua New Guinea and the people of Papua New Guinea have not forgotten Bougainville."

Across the island, ceremonies were heavy in symbolism.

At one event the leaders of Bougainville and PNG both broke a bow and arrow across their knee to reaffirm the end of hostilities.

"It is time that we stood together and accepted the responsibility to correct the wrongs as we perceive them," Bougainville president John Momis said.

"We must remember the purpose of the peace agreement otherwise there will always be a grave risk [that] violent conflict will begin again," Mr Momis said.

Locals pleased as PM visits conflict epicentre

PNG and Bougainville fought a civil war in the 1990s, sparked by environmental damage and compensation claims flowing from the Australian-run Panguna mine.

The war morphed into a struggle for independence and Bougainville became an autonomous region under a peace agreement in 2001.

The most delicate part of Mr O'Neill's three-day trip was a visit to the epicentre of the fighting, the Panguna Mine.

The area is still a no-go zone, with a roadblock controlled by the hardline Merkamui faction.

As the prime minister's helicopter touched down at Panguna, ex-combatants worked with police to manage security and 20 Merkamui fighters stood by in uniform but unarmed.

Hundreds of locals gathered to glimpse the leader of PNG, taking up vantage points amongst ruined buildings remaining from the conflict.

"I'm happy, really happy because this is the first time he's come since the crisis," Lawrence, a Panguna man who was part of the welcoming cultural group, said.

Mr O'Neill played down the significance of the giant gold and copper mine in the immediate future of Bougainville.

"We are not interested in Panguna mine and some of the mining issues that are being discussed, " Mr O'Neill said.

"We are interested in bringing development to Bougainville as a whole."

PNG development aid continues ahead of independence vote

Since the fighting stopped, little has been done to rebuild Bougainville.

Mr O'Neill jokingly acknowledged the tendency of the main government district of Waigani to hold on to state money and promised to spend $2.4 billion on Bougainville's development in the next five years.

"This Government has already started the irrigation process of Waigani swamp," Mr O'Neill said.

He awarded a $1.45 million contract to a local firm to reseal roads in Buka and pledged to award more contracts for the Buka ring road and the Buka-Arawa road in February.

The issuing of contracts to PNG and foreign companies is a sensitive issue among many Bougainvillians, with particular hostility towards Chinese businesspeople.

At some point between 2015 and 2020 Bougainville will hold a referendum to decide whether to become an independent country or remain an autonomous region of PNG.

However, an education program to explain the full implications of the referendum, autonomy and independence to Bougainvillians was only launched this week.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai

ABG President, Chief DR.JOHN MOMIS today thanked Prime MInister, Peter O'NEILL for his commitment to visit Bougainville despite many issues affecting his visit.

President Momis made these comments at a News Conference in Buka this afternoon.

He said that the Prime Minister made commitment and honored it by visiting Bougainville and challenged Bougainville leaders and the people to work together as one people.

President Momis said that he has been making these comments for many years now.

He said that despite the commitment for increased funding,these funds will still be insufficient to build all the infrastructure needed to reach the level we want.

He qualified statement by the Prime minister that without the rule of law no Investor would want to invest on Bougainville.

President Momis said that Bougainvilleans must now work on the things that can be done practically, like, Roads, Bridges,Schools,Hospitals and economic activities that can create employment for the majority of our people.

He said that the visit by the Prime MInister has challenged the people of Bougainville to unite and work together with the National Government.

President Momis that with this new commitment by the Prime Minister, he hopes to work together firstly with the four National members and the ABG leaders and the people of Bougainville so that we can once again move as one people.

He said that the ABG is already looking at ways to include the Mekaamui,the uvistract and all other groups who continue to stay outside the system so that Bougainville can prepare the people for the approaching Referendum.


Source: Islands Business / Post-Courier

PM O'Neill leaves Panguna mine decision to landowners in Bougainville

PORT MORESBY, PNG --- Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill officially announced to the people of Bougainville that his visit to the region is not to talk about the re-opening of Panguna mine or politics. 

“I am not here either to talk about Bougainville Peace Agreement or to talk about re-structuring of the autonomy government. All these things are already in place and fixed by our past leaders and there is no time for the Government to talk about them," Prime Minister O’Neill told the people of Panguna Wednesday. 

“I came here to Panguna purposely to say sorry, to say sorry for the many lives that were lost during the war – many lives from Bougainville and Papua New Guinea. I came here to say sorry for the action of our leaders who may have not performed their duties well in solving these outstanding issues leading to this conflict.” 

O’Neill said for too long our people have suffered in Bougainville, especially when the governments and leaders of Bougainville did not work together. 

He outlined that many parts of Papua New Guinea were changing while Bougainville was still lagging behind in terms of infrastructural developments. 

“The Government has a responsibility to make sure the Bougainville Peace Agreement and the autonomy power we give to Bougainville must work and progress well,” he said. 

“As I’ve mentioned, we have made many big mistakes but this is not the time to rewind and count our mistakes. It is time to work so that our kids, our future generation, can live happily after – their future we can guarantee." 

“The Peace Agreement has many outstanding challenges which we all need to take ownership of and work together to address. ABG alone cannot do it or Me’ekamui alone cannot do it. 

“ABG and the Government are working in partnership to maintain and sort out the restoration of Bougainville. 

“The PNG Government has chipped in more than K500 million (US206 million) to do restoration work on Bougainville, K200 million (US$82 million) is already parked in the trust account and we must start to rollout projects such as the road sealing from Kokopau to Buin. 

“Also there is an outstanding issue on the K15 million (US$6 million) grants for ABG government that will be sorted. 

“I’m calling on the ABG and all the leaders of Bougainville to work together and put away your differences and speak in one voice for the good of the people and progress of the region. 

“We must be man enough to sit down and iron out our differences. I am appealing to the leadership of Me’ekamui and the leadership of ABG to work together for the benefit of the people of Bougainville because the national Government is ready to work with you. 

“Like I mentioned earlier, the issue and green light to re-open the Panguna Mine is in the hands of the landowners, the ABG and the Me’ekamui government. There is no government in this country who will force the opening of any mine or establishment of any projects without the consent of the landowners first. 

“Negotiation to start off the mine is in your capable hands, like I said earlier, I am not interested to kick-start the re-opening of the mine. If the landowners give the green light, then we can find some way forward into the issue. 

“My interest is to bring government services into Bougainville. I know a referendum will come, my interest is to open Aropa Airport, Arawa Hospital, seal the Kokopau to Buin Highway and all feeder roads in Bougainville. 

“These are the projects that I want to sit down with the leaders of Bougainville and finalise, we are not short of money, and money is already here. The problem is we are not kicking off these projects.”



Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai

At least three bridges along the Buka to Arawa road have been partially destroyed by heavy flooding this week and thanks to the quick response by Jomik Earth moving who have been working continuously to divert the flow of extra water into the main river system.

Pictured is the now fixed Ramazon RIver.

Jomik Excavator trying to make sure that the flooded river does not disturb the Ramazon Bridge




Source: ABC Radio Australia - Pacific Beat

Bougainville women say they were excluded from the reconciliation ceremony 

And while Mr O'Neil has extended the olive branch, the women of Bougainville are angry they weren't included in the reconciliation ceremony involving the Prime Minister and local leaders.

Helen Hakena, from the Leitana Nehan Women's Development Agency, says although there are three women in the Autonomous Bougainville Government, they were excluded from organising events, and none of them was included in the official commemorations.

Presenter: Wendy Everett

Speaker: Helen Hakena from the Leitana Nehan Women's Development Agency



Source: Bougainville24

Mess means money for young Jaba men


Ministers of the ABG were very impressed with the quality of the bricks produced by the young men from Jaba River.

At first sight, the waste gravel mounds along the bank of the Jaba River downstream from the closed Panguna mine are just that – waste – and seemingly of little value.

But this is not the way some young men from the area see things.  To them, the gravel heaps are a valuable resource.

The men have been utilising the otherwise unwanted gravel as the base material for a small scale brick making enterprise.

People had heard there may be small quantities of recoverable gold and copper in the Jaba waste. But this would require a large re-processing operation to extract, possibly after a re-start of mining at Panguna.

But the Jaba boys have not waited around with stars in their eyes.

Inspired by elders of the Ioro 2 council, the brick making project is a community based initiative aimed at encouraging self-reliance and empowering young men who have had little in the way of formal education.

The project not only provides employment opportunities but teaches trade skills which can be employed in house building.

Further, and to their credit, the young men, seeing that funds to purchase a brick making machine were taking a long time to materialise, put their hands in their own pockets and forked out K26,000 to get the equipment.

Their reward is that many now see themselves as self-made businessmen with a future limited only by their imagination.

Ministers from the Autonomous Bougainville Government, seeing the brick makers at work, expressed amazement not only at the quality of the work but also at the gains made by young men who had lived lives disrupted by the years of crisis.


Source: The National

Buin welcomes O’Neill, projects 


THE small township of Buin in South Bougainville came alive on Tuesday with traditional singing and dancing to welcome Prime Minister Peter O’Neill on the second day of his good will visit to the autonomous region.

O’Neill, accompanied by Bougainville President Chief Dr John Momis, were received by traditional dancers when they arrived by helicopter from Buka.

The two were carried from the helicopter’s landing area to the district administration arena where the main programme took place.

O’Neill became the first prime minister to set foot on Buin which the locals embraced through their hospitality and traditional welcome.

Paramount Chief Jacob To’oke told O’Neill that the reconciliation and peace ceremony had brought the people together to rise up. 

“Today when you set foot on my home soil, you’ve seen the other side of the coin,” To’oke said.

Momis told the people that the future of the region was in their hands.

He said autonomy was not a Bougainville issue alone but concerned the national government’s input.

“Bougainville is the only place in PNG to bear a lot of burdens as a result of the crisis,” Momis said.

“The road to peace is already in the Bougainville Peace Agreement. The national constitution recognises Autonomous Bougainville Government as the only government to have a separate house of representatives to make independent laws.”

O’Neill said past governments did not fully participate in implementing the Bougainville Peace Agreement. 

“The national government is a development partner of the Autonomous Bougainville Government,” O’Neill said. “Bougainville has had a hand in the development of PNG.”

He then announced several projects under the District Services Improvement Programme for Buin which included sealing of the Buin town and Kangu road, Buin hospital maintenance, Buin Show ground development and Bougainville Teachers College. 

Following this, O’Neill declared open the Tuiruma Festival.


Source: PNG Attitude / AAP

Peter O’Neill apologises to Bougainvilleans for deadly civil war

The view from Arawa (SBS)PAPUA NEW GUINEA AND BOUGAINVILLE have moved closer to reconciliation after the Pacific island nation's prime minister, Peter O’Neill, made an historic visit.

Mr O'Neill also performed a reconciliation ceremony with the autonomous region's president, John Momis, and visited the site of the Panguna copper mine which sparked the civil war.

"Following custom, I'd like to say we are truly sorry for all the bad things that happened in your communities in Bougainville and our country Papua New Guinea," the Post Courier reported Mr O'Neill as saying on Tuesday.

Mr O'Neill made the comments at Bel Isi Park in Buka, where he and Mr Momis broke an arrow in a symbolic gesture of peace.

Mr Momis told a crowd of hundreds Mr O'Neill's visit meant a new beginning for PNG and Bougainville.

"This means a new beginning and cooperation and collaboration to continue the work for development," he said.

Mr O'Neill unveiled K1.5 million in development funds for Bougainville.

His visit marks the second by a PNG prime minister since Bill Skate in 1998, when both sides of the conflict brokered a peace deal.

Mr O'Neill brought with him the PNG government's chief secretary and Ministers Ben Micah and Byron Chan.

Mr Chan is the son of fformer prime minister Sir Julius Chan, who along with Mr Momis is considered one of PNG's founding fathers.

Bougainville is due to hold a referendum to decide if it will become an independent country between 2015 and 2020.

Australian Strategic Policy Institute analyst Karl Claxton said there is a wide expectation Bougainville will vote to become independent.

"(Mr O'Neill's) visit is definitely a welcome increase in focus and it's exactly what's needed, dialogue between the national government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

"I would call it a very significant step indeed."

Mr O'Neill on Wednesday is expected to visit the site of the Panguna copper mine near Bougainville's capital, Arawa.

At the time of its closure due to the civil war in 1989 the mine was the largest open cut copper mine in the world.

The reopening of the mine is still a hot issue in Bougainville.

However some argue it is a vital potential revenue stream for an independent Bougainville.

Mr Claxton said there is room for Mr Momis to stretch out the independence vote until 2020.

"To build consensus," he said.

"There is very little understanding of what autonomy means and how much is needed to make either of those things (autonomy or staying with PNG) work.

"Independence will need a big income stream."



Visa restrictions for Australians in PNG will not affect business


THE AUSTRALIA PAPUA NEW GUINEA BUSINESS COUNCIL says a reciprocal visa arrangement will make it easier for the two countries to do business together.


The PNG government says it will no longer issue visas on arrival for Australians, unless Australia agrees to allow Papua New Guinea citizens a similar arrangement when travelling there.

It has said the ban will not include tourists.

The Council's president, Peter Taylor (pictured), says it is unlikely such a move will affect Australian business people because many travel on multi-entry business visas which run for a year.

But Mr Taylor says having a reciprocal agreement between the two countries would be a positive step.

"As a business council, our view is that the easier it is for citizens of both Australia and Papua New Guinea to move between the two countries the better.

“We would like to see all barriers broken down so you know there's free movement between the two countries. But we also respect both to regulate entry and border control and security, and set the regulation."


Source: ABC Radio Australia - Pacific Beat

PNG PM completes reconciliation trip to Bougainville

The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Peter O'Neil has just completed a state visit to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

It is the first time a PNG leader has visited the region since the start of the civil war in the 1980's and its seen as a major step in the reconcilliation progress. The visit got underway with a ceremony in the capital Buka, and over the past two days Prime Minister O'Neil has visited parts of Bougainville which were at the centre of the civil war, including a visit to Panguna Mine, which was the reason the fighting began.

Presenter: Bruce Hill

PNG Correspondent Liam Cochrane




Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


BY Aloysius Laukai in Panguna.

Three members of the National Parliament were in Panguna this morning for the Prime Minister's visit.



Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai in Arawa

The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, PETER O'NEILL has announced that Pacific MMI Insurance company will be established on Bougainville to give Insurance Cover for Bougainville's Business and other activities because other private Insurance Companies are afraid to give Insurance cover for Bougainville.

He made this known when announcing a number of State Enterprises that will be established on Bougainville and especially in Arawa ahead of the planned re opening of the Aropa airport.

The Prime Minister mentioned PNG POST, WATER BOARD and other State enterprises that will support the work of TELIKOM, PNG POWER and PORT services which are already on Bougainville.

He said that the Arawa Post office will become the Air Niugini Ticketing agent until the Aropa airport opens this year.

The Prime Minister said that he would want to be on the first inaugural flight into the Aropa airport this year.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai in Arawa

Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, PETER O’NEILL has just completed his first visit to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

The controversial visit now puts all the hot air of the past behind as Bougainville and Papua New Guinea agree to work together to move the Peace Process on Bougainville and look at the infrastructure and Economic recovery of the region.

Since Monday when the Prime Minister arrived in the region he reconciled with the people of North Bougainville, South Bougainville yesterday and today a huge one in Panguna and also a colourful one in Arawa this afternoon.

In all his remarks, PRIME MINISTER apologised for taking the PAPUA NEW GOVERNMENT fifteen years to visit the people of Bougainville.

He called on the people of Bougainville and unite and talk with one voice and not too many voices.

Prime Minister said that Bougainville will still struggle to come off the ground if it leaders continue to create too many groupings and confuse their own people.

He said that the National Government under his leadership wants to accelerate activities that the create impact in the region.

The Prime Minister flew out of Arawa this afternoon with the ABG President and left Buka for Port Moresby this afternoon.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai in Arawa

The ABG President, CHIEF DR. JOHN MOMIS today thanked Prime Minister, PETER O’NEILL for visiting the people of Bougainville and seeing for himself what the region needs in terms of funding for the region.

In his remarks throughout the region, PRESIDENT said that the ABG could not do much because of lack of capacity in manpower and funds and would take time develop these capacities.

He said that Bougainville can do a lot of things if all leaders are united and working together to serve the people of Bougainville.

PRESIDENT MOMIS said that with the commitment made by the Prime Minister he was happy that many things can be accomplished.

He said also called on the people of Bougainville to forget their differences and work together to make Bougainville a better place for all of us.

PRESIDENT MOMIS stressed that Bougainvilleans have themselves to blame if the Autonomy and referendum does not deliver in the end.

And based on this, he also called on the National Government to partner with ABG and move forward into the future.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai

Prime Minister, PETER O’NEILL has promised FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINA for the rebuilding of the PANGUNA PRIMARY SCHOOL.

He made this commitment after all the reconciliation ceremonies with the people of Panguna led by the President of Meekamui, PHILIP MIRIORI.

In a special ceremony before he gave his speech, PRIME MINISTER went down from the stage to say sorry to the people who have lost their lives over the now closed Panguna mine.

He personally reconciled and gave pigs to the Relatives of the late FRANCIS ONA, THE Late Mathew Kove, the late, President JOE KABUI and the late DR. BENEDICT PISI.

This emotional ceremony was witnessed by the people of Panguna and surrounding villages and many other people who gathered in Panguna this morning for the ceremony.

PRIME MINISTER also clarified that his visit was to look at developmental issues and he has no interest on the Panguna mine and also that the Government of Papua New Guinea does not want to push its agenda on Bougainville.

He also thanked the people of Panguna and Bougainville as a whole for their contribution in developing Papua New Guinea during the early years of Papua New Guinea’s Independence.



Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville

PM Inspects Police Guard of Honour in Arawa




Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville



By Aloysius Laukai in Arawa


Arawa town the former Capital of Bougainville was packed to capacity as people from Panguna, Kieta and Wakunai districts gathered to welcome the Prime Minister into Arawa.

The Prime Minister came by Car from Panguna to a waiting crowd of School children the public and several Cultural groups who were painted in traditional colors.


Pictured is the Prime Minister, The ABG President and several government Ministers being carried to the stage by strong men from the Wakunai UPE Group.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville

Colourful Arawa

By Aloysius Laukai in Arawa

Pictured are the people who flocked the Arawa Independence Oval to get a glimpse of the Prime Minister and Delegation in Arawa today.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai in Arawa

Despite the continious setbacks in returning Government HEADQUATER services to this former capital,

Arawa town was set to await for the arrival of the Prime Minister today as this picture shows.




Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai in Arawa.

Prime Minister PETER O'NEILL walked on traditional mats to the place they picked him up and carried by the UPE GROUP.

This is a sign respect for a Paramount chief and is done only on few chiefs during feasts.




Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville





Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville

PM arrives in Panguna

By Aloysius Laukai in Panguna


Flower girls were also lined up near the stage

Another traditional group lined up for the Prime Minister in Buin

Agriculture Minister Tommy Tomscoll was also mixed in the group

Even Upe group

What a sight

They were armed


Kaur group yesterday


The two chiefs were armed to go on the traditional Platform


Source: Post-Courier

Buin rolls out the red carpet


PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill’s visit to Buin in South Bougainville was met with a rousing welcome. He was accorded the highest chieftain welcome in Buin custom. Paramount Chief of Mamaromino Jacob Tooke and his people carried Mr O’Neill on top of a platform with pigs on it. He was given warrior spears with ABG President John Momis and brought from the helipad to the official dais (pictured). Before that from Kavieng and East New Britain went through a peace and reconciliation ritual performed by Namatanai MP Byron Chan and East New Britain Governor Ereman ToBaining Jr. 

Words, picture: ROMULUS MASIU


Source: Post-Courier

PM assures Bougainville contractors

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill announced in Buka yesterday that all national tendered road contracts in Buka and mainland Bougainville will be awarded in February.

The national Government, through the Department of Works, tendered more than K100 million worth of road contracts for the Buka Ring Road and those in Central and South Bougainville, which were scheduled to be awarded during the visit.

But Mr O’Neill said in Buka on Monday that the Government took into consideration issues like capacity and wanted to make sure that firms awarded the contract would deliver the project well, for the sake of the people of Bougainville to enjoy and for the good of the region’s economy.

He delivered a K3 million contract on Monday to a local contractor to maintain the Buka town roads and advised that other payments would be done once announcements are made by the national Government.

"Today, people of Bougainville, I announce that I have brought with me a K3 million cheque for a local contractor to start work on the Buka town roads. The Chief Secretary, Sir Manasupe, who is here with me will present the cheque," Mr O’Neill said.

The other contracts for the Buka Ring Road and those on mainland Bougainville will be delivered next month.

"We had to take into account some issues of capacity for contracts. But I must assure local contractors that nobody will be left out. Everybody will have a share of the money," Mr O’Neill said.

Last week, local contractors took the Government to task over the awarding of these multi-million kina contracts.

This was after learning that the Government awarded a contract to foreign companies.

The local contractors did not want this to happen so they sent notes appealing for change.

Works Department acting Secretary David Wereh later issued a statement to announce all contracts were withdrawn and would be parked in a trust account to be managed by an umbrella company. But this did not go down well with the local contractors.

Yesterday, however, Mr O’Neill said that the Government will make sure no one misses out on the contracts.




Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai in Buin


Prime Minister, PETER O'NEILL has said sorry for the way past National Governments have neglected Bougainville.

Speaking in Buin this morning he promised to work with President Momis and the ABG to make sure more funds are paid to impelement and accelerate development actitivities on the island.

He said that the people of Papua New Guinea know that Bougainville has carried Papua New Guinea into independence and that PAPUA NEW GUINEA needs to reciprocate by allocating funds to get beack Bougainville off the ground.

The Prime Minister said that he does not have any interest on the PANGUNA mine at this stage but wants to work with Bougainville leaders to make sure the infrastrures like roads and bridges are built to speed up development.

He said the issue of Panguna can be discussed later between the ABG the Papua New Guinea Government and the Panguna landowners.

The Prime Minister said that he wants the road between Buka and Buin sealed so that travelors  between Buka and Buin can enjoy smooth rides.

On the closed Aropa airport, PRIME MINISTER says he wants to see the AROPA airport opened this year so that the people of Central and South Bougainville do not have to travel long distance to catch their flight.

He also promised to return to Bougainville later this year to fully cement the connections that he has made during his first trip to Bougainville..

The Prime Minister and the ABG President later travelled to Siwai and will overnight in Buin tonight.

Tomorrow they will travel to Panguna and Arawa before returning to Port Moresby in the afternoon.





Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Maria Laukai

The Buka market has been relocated to the main Buka Town Market as of Monday this week o coincide with the visit by the Prime Minister, PETER O'NEILL.

This was revealed by the Buka Town Manageress, BRENDA TOHIANA and NEW DAWN FM has been relaying this message throughout the weekend.

Other restrictions have been made following the move of the Buai market and that is Chewing will not be allowed in and around the market place.

And persons found to be chewing in these areas would be dealt with as the Council has also imposed spot fines to anyone caught.

To Police this new regulation, Buka Urban Council has also contracted a Company that would look after the market area.

Included in these new restrictions would be the time for market which will be strictly adhered to.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai in Arawa

Heavy rains that is currently occuring throughout Bougainville is creating havoc for road travellers between Buka and Buin.

AND reports reaching New Dawn FM office is that one of the JAPANESE Bridges near KEKESU has its Southern end washed away last night.

And this has made it difficult for road users to travel between Arawa and Buka today.

The road between Buin and Arawa also had some rivers flooded and making it impossible for cars that went with the Prime Minister to cross this afternoon.

And some rivers broke their banks and cut off the main roads.

Pictured are some scenes on the road between Buin and Arawa take this afternoon.





Source: The National

Central ready for O’Neill

 PEOPLE in Central Bougainville are prepared to receive Prime Minister Peter O’Neill tomorrow, a Cabinet Minister says.

Central Bougainville MP Jimmy Miringtoro, the Minister for Communication and Information Technology, said the situation on the ground was normal and peaceful.

“The people are prepared for O’Neill’s visit and the programme prepared will run smoothly,” he said.

“The reports published in the media saying there are mixed feelings on his visit are all false.

“Tourists and the general public are freely travelling on the highway between Panguna and Arawa without any interference from the Meka’amui.”

Miringtoro said whatever internal problems there were had been sorted out on Sunday.

O’Neill will however visit Arawa and Panguna mine under tight security.

Moses Pipiro, the Meka’amui commander for Panguna, had informed people in Central Bougainville that O’Neill’s visit to Arawa and Panguna would be smooth.

Pipiro is ensuring that there is tight security during the visit to Arawa and the Panguna mine.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill started his visit in Buka yesterday.

Today he will fly to Buin by helicopter and on Wednesday will visit the Panguna mine and Arawa before he returns to Port Moresby.


Source: The National

PM apologises to Bougainville people


PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill apologised publicly to the people of Bougainville on behalf of the Government for the 20,000 lives lost during the crisis.

He did that during the start of his visit to the war-torn island now in the middle of rehabilitating the autonomous government.

O’Neill and president Dr John Momis officiated in a reconciliation ceremony, breaking bows and arrows to signify the end of the war and the start of the peace process.

During ceremonial events at the Bel Isi Park in Buka town, Chief Secretary Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc  launched the Bougainville peace agreement.

An awareness programme will be carried out next month in preparation for the 2015 referendum.



The people of Bougainville welcomed O’Neill and a government delegation from Port Moresby in a traditional welcome ceremony. 

O’Neill was met by Maimais from New Ireland led by Mining Minister and Namatanai MP Byron Chan, State Enterprise and Public Investment Minister and Kavieng MP Ben Micah, as he disembarked from the Air Niugini Fokker 100 aircraft. 

There was singing and dancing to welcome him in the Bougainville way as he was escorted to meet Momis and the chiefs. 

He inspected a guard of honour by the Bougainville police.


Source: The National

Own education system

 THE Autonomous Region of Bougainville will design its own education system totally different from the rest of the country, an official says.

Teaching Services Commission lawyer Joel Nava revealed this when highlighting the new ABG Education Act in Port Moresby recently.

Nava said powers and functions from the national education department were transferred to the ABG in 2011 through delegation under the National Education Act. “This law gives more powers to Bougainville to establish its own educational institutions, curriculum and standards at all educational levels and other educational matters,” he said.

“Bougainville decides its own curriculum and standards. It means Bougainville will have to produce its own syllabus and provide its own examinations for all levels of education from elementary, primary and secondary levels.”

Nava said the passing of the 2013 Bougainville Education Act would come with huge responsibilities on the part of the ABG to develop capacity to implement the new law. 

“ABG must increase its funding towards the Education Division in Bougainville to develop the education infrastructure which includes the expansion of the existing Education Division office to cater for additional offices such as the Bougainville Teaching Service Commission secretariat,” he said. 

He said the increase in funding for the Education Division would cater for the increase in the manpower to ensure that the powers given by the National Government through the passing of the Bougainville Education Act were exercised effectively.

 Nava said Bougainville would need technical expertise from outside in the areas of curriculum development, standards and general administration. 




Source: Radio New Zealand International

PNG's O'Neill apologises for horrors of Bougainville conflict

Reports from Papua New Guinea say the Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, has apologised to the people of Bougainville on behalf of the PNG government for the horrors of the Bougainville conflict.

The Post Courier reports he has also promised US$640,000 to Bougainville to help with reconciliation ceremonies.

Mr O'Neill was speaking in Buka on the first day of an historic three day tour of PNG's autonomous region.

The President of Bougainville, John Momis, thanked the prime minister saying the gesture marked a new beginning and was a sign of cooperation and collaboration in Bougainville's development.




Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville

Reconciliation Completed

By Aloysius Laukai

Reconciliation between the ABG President, Chief DR.JOHN MOMIS and Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, PETER O'NEILL which was started in Port Moresby last week was completed at the BEL ISI Park in Buka town yesterday.

When the Prime Minister was given the Bows and Arrows in the first reconciliation at the Parliament house, it was also announced that these weapons of destruction would be finally destructed in the eyes of the people of Bougainville in Buka in a final ceremony and that occurred yesterday.

The reconciliation ceremony which has BEL COLD Money of FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINA each for the three regions of Central, South and North Bougainville which was also announced by the Prime Minister yesterday in Buka.

This now paves the way for good working relations between the ABG and the National Government on other important matters and issues that are needed to quickly implement the Bougainville Peace Agreement. Pictured are the two leaders breaking Bow and Arrows in front of the public at the Bel Isi Park



Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai

The women of Buka want more government services to be bumped to Buka district for their continued effort to maintain the Peace Building efforts on Bougainville.

Women leader and member for women representing the women of North Bougainville in the ABG House, ELIZABETH BURAIN said yesterday that Buka has not been recognized by the National Government for her part in brokering peace after the Bougainville conflict and for establishing Buka town as the temporary headquarters for Bougainville.

She was speaking during the welcome ceremony of the Prime Minister PETER O’NEILLS visit to Bougainville at the Bel Isi park yesterday.

MRS BURAIN said that as a dividend for Peace Buka was promised the Buka ring road which has not moved as expected.

She said that the women of Bougainville and Buka were at the front lines in re-establishing peace but no one has acknowledged their services.

MRS. BURAIN also talked on the need to complete the sealing of the Buka Town Streets and the promised Water and Sanitation project for the Buka town.


Source: Post-Courier

Bougainville welcomes O’Neill


BOUGAINVILLE welcomed Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in spectacular style when he arrived in Buka yesterday morning with a group of dignitaries.

Mr O’Neill was greeted by the Bougainville President John Momis and members of the Bougainville Administration.

The Prime Minister was welcomed at the airport by a colourful local cultural group who performed a traditional Bougainville welcome given to important people.

Also there to greet him were chiefs from New Ireland Province who spoke of unity between the New Guinea Islands populations.

The New Ireland chiefs, including Mining Minister Byron Chand and State Enterprises Minister Ben Micah, presented the Prime Minister, The President and attendant Bougainville regional chiefs with shell and paper money.


Source: Post-Courier

O’Neill’s visit to Bougainville significant

There was a large and enthusiastic crowd gathered to meet the contingent who arrived from Port Moresby on a chartered Air Niugini Fokker 100.

Many in the crowd were waving PNG and Bougainville flags.

A police contingent provided a guard of honour and the Prime Minister conducted a walk-through inspection.

Bel Isi Park in the centre of Buka town was Mr O’Neill’s next stop and by mid-morning a large crowd had already gathered to hear him speak.

Buka town was a hive of activity over the weekend with the potholed roads being graded and groups of youths tidying the streets – though Buka is one of the cleanest towns in the country.



The Prime Minister and his close associates will travel around the Autonomous Region by helicopter.

The Prime Minister has a busy three-day schedule in Bougainville, flying south to Buin and Siwai today. In Buin he will open a one-day cultural festival being co-ordinated by the Bougainville Tourism Division. On Wednesday morning he will travel to Panguna, site of the decommissioned giant copper mine – the the tinderbox for the Bougainville Conflict. As such, the Prime Minister’s visit there is an historic and significant one.

The people in Panguna are making preparations for the visit and there will be a 21-gun salute to welcome Mr O’Neill.

On Wednesday afternoon the party will travel to nearby Arawa, the former mining township.

The visit is significant for Bougainville as the Autonomous Region forges ahead with its peace process and looks forward to Referendum for Independence sometime within the next five years.

It is the first time a Papua New Guinean head of state has visited the region since the cessation of hostilities.


Source: Post-Courier

PM, Momis complete reconciliation process


PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill and Autonomous Bougainville Government President John Momis yesterday took the final step in their reconciliation.

At Buka’s Bel Isi Park, and witnessed by a large crowd, the two leaders conducted the final traditional ceremony to complete what they had begun in Port Moresby last week.

The Prime Minister acco-mpanied by chiefs and Parlia-mentarians from East New Britain and New Ireland, gave traditional shell money and modern paper currency to three regional Bougainvillean paramount chiefs and the ABG President as a symbolic gesture that all ill feeling from the Bougainville Crisis was finished.

The New Guinea Island contingent who included Minister for Public Enterprises Ben Micah, Mining Minister Byron Chan and East New Britain Governor Ereman ToBaining Jr, spoke of how Papua New Guinea was united and there was no more animosity.

"We are moving forward," they said.

Mr Micah paid homage to Mr Momis as a founding father of Papua New Guinea, reminding the people that he had helped to write the PNG Constitution.

He said Mr Momis, Sir Michael Somare and Sir Julius Chan were the only original leaders left in the nation’s politics after all these years.

One of the New Ireland chiefs emphasised that they were not in Bougainville to make peace as this had already been achieved. He said they were in the Autonomous Region to perform the traditional and symbolic rituals to confirm the peace. Two huge pigs and one smaller pig along with bags of sweet potato were laid out on the oval and exchanged as part of the ceremony.

After the money was given to the Bougainvilleans and the pigs were kicked, the Prime Minister and President broke bows and arrows as a symbolic gesture. Witnessing the ceremony were members of the Prime Minister’s party plus members of the AGB and the Bougainville Administration.

The audience responded with enthusiasm as the leaders came together and put aside past differences.

The Prime Minister had a full day yesterday in Buka on his goodwill visit and today heads to South Bougainville. Tomorrow he will be in Panguna and Arawa.


Source: Post-Courier

O’Neill apologises to Bougainvilleans


PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill yesterday apologised to the people of Bougainville on behalf of the Papua New Guinea Government for the horrors of the Bougainville conflict.

And he pledged a further K1.5 million to the people of Bougainville as a customary gesture to help with local reconciliation ceremonies.

"Following custom, I’d like to say we are truly sorry for all the bad things that happened in your communities in Bougainville and our country Papua New Guinea," Mr O’Neill said in Tok Pisin.

The Prime Minister was speaking at the Bel Isi Park in the middle of Buka town. He was there on the first day of an historic three-day tour of Bougainville – the first by a PNG prime minister since the Bougainville conflict ended.

"To mark this apology my Government is going to give K1.5 million – K500,000 for each region."

Mr O’Neill said the money will go to the ABG and the chiefs to look after reconciliations that come up in the community.

Reconciliations – sikan or bel kol in Tok Pisin – on a village and community level are ongoing all over Bougainville as the people make peace and apologise for wrongs committed during the 10-year conflict.

"The money will come from our community development funds," the Prime Minister said.

The crowd showed their appreciation with heavy applause.

Bougainville President Chief John Momis, on behalf of his people, thanked the Prime Minister and his government for the gesture.

"I’d like to thank the Prime Minister for this," he said. "This means a new beginning and co-operation and collabo-ration to continue the work for development."

He said although many had died and terrible things had happened, they had straightened this out in the customary manner.


Source: Post-Courier


Tie up loose ends on Bougainville

THE dust would have settled in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville following yesterday’s reconciliation ceremony between the Prime Minister and his delegation and that of the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

The traditional ceremony should set the foundation for constructive discussions between the National Government through the PM and the ABG, its President John Momis and his ministers and various community leaders including ex-combatants. And if our report from Buka in today’s edition is any indication, the benefits of the visit to the island and the autonomous region will begin to flow to the ordinary Bougainvillean with the PM announcing that the National Government will give K1.5 million to fund the reconciliation process between the conflict-affected villagers.

“Following custom, I’d like to say we are truly sorry for all the bad things that happened in your communities in Bougainville and our country Papua New Guinea. To mark this apology my Government is going to give K1.5million – K500,000 for each region,” he said in Tok Pisin before making the presentation.

The reconciliation process in the three different regions of the autonomous region (North Bougainville, Central Bougainville and South Bougainville) is a critical element in the bid to restore peace and normalcy in the post-conflict communities. The PM’s presentation of the K1.5 million to the ABG to disburse in consultation with the local chiefs of the respective areas will enable the communities to undertake that process. We applaud the PM for allocating funding to the reconciliation process which in recent years has been haphazard due to lack of funding and resources.

Today the PM flies to Buin in South Bougainville and returns to Arawa,  the once bustling township of the shut Panguna copper mine, to spend a night before visiting the defunct mine and meeting with selected ex-combatant leaders. It is understood that he will not meet all members of the ex-combatants as some do not agree with his visit, confirming the differences that still exists between individuals and the various groups on the island.

However, the biggest challenge for both the National Government and the ABG is putting in place an environment free of guns and violence to enable the conducting of a referendum. Both governments know that weapons disposal and good governance are prerequisites for a referendum; this is highlighted in the Bougainville Peace Agreement and the National Constitution of PNG.  There is an urgent need for work on the weapons disposal program to be fast-tracked and funding and support sourced from the relevant stakeholders including the National Government and the ABG.  It is understood the national Government two years ago sought the assistance of the United Nations to recruit an independent weapons disposal expert to conduct an evaluation of the state of the weapons disposal program in Bougainville. What has become of that assistance by the UN and what is the status of that project? The need to undertake a good governance-focused review of the island’s autonomy arrangement should also be on the table for all stakeholders. How much progress has the National Government and the ABG made in relation to this matter? We understand a panel of experts – drawn from within and outside the country – was also put together. Have they kicked off with their review of the autonomy arrangement? Both Governments need to start tying up the loose ends.


Source: Post-Courier - Weekend Courier

The white sheep among the black . . . .Helping the rebels




HARRY Baxter is an Australian citizen originally from Ireland, who has a close, though controversial history with Bougainville. Risking his life, Harry twice travelled to Bougainville during the ten-year conflict. “I had heard that civilians were being brutally murdered,” he says. “Men, women and children were being indiscriminately killed by the Papua New Guinea Defense Force.” The first trip he made was to film the Bougainville people’s struggle and the second time was to help rebel forces build armoured vehicles.

He says he has been called a “Fundamental Irish Terrorist” by certain people who wish to re-open the Panguna copper mine. When asked if he has undergone any military training, Harry replies: “No comment”. Harry initially worked in Bougainville from July, 1969. Firstly as a Draftsman and then as a Field Engineer for Bechtel WKE, the managing construction contractor for Bougainville Copper Ltd, to help construct the Panguna copper mine’s port facilities. He was one of the original workers for the Port Facilities, Power house and the mining township of Arawa. He was also an Engineer with the mine operators prior to the war.

“I supervised the very first bulldozer to enter the now Arawa Town-site in order to build the mining township,” he says. He was also present at the infamous Rorovana incident in 1969 where local women protested peacefully against the taking of their land by the mining company. The women lay down in front of bulldozers and were assaulted by armed riot police for their troubles. “I was ordered to participate and to assist the Surveyor and bulldozers maintain levels above the high water mark,” recalls Harry. “It was also to give me an introduction to the area which I was to supervise and design the building of the indigenous and expatriate construction camps at Loloho.”

Harry’s recollection of the actual police action are hazy. “Whilst I was there, deep into the plantation, we were kept back from the confrontation for safety reasons. I wish I had gotten to see more but that was impossible due to the dense ground foliage.” The incident was widely reported in the world media with headlines like “Bloody Thugs”, “Australia’s Shame” and “Australia’s Bullies in New Guinea” appearing in Australian newspapers. “Bougainville was an Australian ‘Protectorate’ at that time,” says Harry. “The Aussie District Commissioner was there in the plantation with a couple of his aides. It was akin to someone turning up at your house and saying that I am taking this over for the next 40 years like it or not! On top of that…this payment which you don’t like is all you are going to get like it or not! We have brought the riot police along to convince you that resistance is useless.”

Harry went on to plan and supervise the construction of Camp Six at Loloho. “The Project Manager at that time ordered me to have the entire plantation cleared to make way for the construction camps,” he says. “Before clearing commenced, he died up in Panguna. So no, I didn’t have the plantation cleared. Only sixty trees were felled to make way for roads. The camp dongas were nestled in amongst the coconut trees.” Harry left Bougainville in 1972 and returned again in 1977 for a brief visit but, when the Bougainville Conflict started, felt he had to help the people in some way.

“I have always had a sense of adventure,” he says, “but the main reason (I went back to Bougainville) is that I hate bullies. So when I heard about what was going on I wanted the opportunity to go back and help.” In Australia Harry happened to meet a man “who like me, thought he could make a difference”. The man gave Harry a cheque to enable him to buy some film equipment and enough left over to travel to Bougainville to document the war. At the time, the PNG government had placed a media ban on Bougainville and the war’s atrocities went largely unreported. Harry travelled with his family back to Ireland then set off by himself to Bougainville.

He had initially planned to travel via the US but was denied an entry visa. “Yeah…that was hard on me,” he remembers. “At the time I had two passports. One Irish and one Australian. I guess the authorities felt that in their view, I was up to no good. In fact, when I eventually got to fly to Montreal Canada I was taken into an interview room and cross examined for around 45 minutes. After a while I became really upset. I banged my fist on the table and emphasised that I was an honest man and a threat to no one. Eventually and with some reluctance they let me go. I travelled onwards to Bougainville from there.”

In 1989 Harry entered Bougainville through the Solomon Islands on a dinghy captained by a young Bougainvillean. They had to keep an eye out for PNG patrol boats – donated to PNG by Australia – who would have opened fire on them if they were intercepted. “The moment our small boat touched the shore I instantly was overcome with fear and foreboding,” says Harry. “There were around 180 BRA revolutionaries above the high water mark. They were a fearsome looking lot, some wearing cams taken from dead PNGDF.

“I followed my young guide to a waiting 4WD utility. I leant against the tray, trying to stop my legs from shaking. I could feel every eye upon me. I was a smoker back then and did my best to look nonchalant as I took out a cigarette and lit it. “Did my hand shake? I was relieved to be instructed to get into the passenger seat of the vehicle. Five BRA soldiers with shotguns accompanied us.” Harry was taken to see Bougainville Revolutionary Army Supreme Commander Sam Kaouna, an ex-member of the PNG Defence Force. He told Kaouna that he had come to film what was happening in Bougainville in the hope it would bring some attention to the plight of the Bougainvilleans.

After leaving Bougainville, Harry travelled to Australia where he gave the footage to the television stations. He appeared on the ABC’s 7.30 Report and Channel 9’s A Current affair. These clips can be viewed on You Tube. He says he was told that a bounty was put on his head by the PNG Government. Harry later met a man in New Zealand who had heard of his involvement on Bougainville. “He suggested that I consider turning some of the mining equipment into armored vehicles in addition to the weapons-making that the BRA was already involved in. I thought it to be a good idea and pursued it on my next visit to the island.”

This was in 1989 -1990 and he met with the rebellion’s leader Francis Ona. “I gave Francis a brief description of my plan to expand our defense/offense equipment building into to realms of heavily armed armored vehicles. He liked the idea and gave me a letter dictating that I was to be given full support in the way of equipment, tools materials vehicles and manpower. “I had decided on one inch thick ‘T1’ hardened steel plate covering high-track Cat D6 bulldozers, 6 x 6 Isuzu Trucks and Cat 950 front-end loaders. At the time, PNG had nothing that would penetrate this armor. “In the pit-mine workshop there was a very large back-up diesel power generator. We had to scrounge around for batteries with which to start it. By that time there were only a few to be had in central Bougainville. Fuel to keep the huge pit mine workshop generator running was a major problem.

“In a materials lay-down area out back of the pit mine workshop were tons of T1 plate hardened steel plate, plenty of welding rods, but no oxy-acetylene with which to cut the plate. So, we used the welding rods along with compressed air to cut the hardened steel – the welding rods to melt the metal and the compressed air to blow away the molten metal.” The work was hard, slow and hot. Harry organised two crews to cover ten-hour shifts. “The fully enclosed vehicles had heavy American WWII 50 Cal machine guns mounted in a pill-box on top of each vehicle. Some would have gun vents along the sides for ground fire and in the roofs to fire upon helicopters.

As all other available weapons were held by BRA throughout central and southern Bougainville our only defence in Panguna at that time was one 50Cal World War II American aircraft machine gun. Good enough to harass any incoming chopper though. “We had four in total which were in operational condition.” Harry remembers that the rebels he worked with were “absolutely brilliant! They, the BRA, came up with ways and means to achieve the almost impossible. Things they achieved and with minimum resources at hand to build those armoured machines was simply world class. I came to admire the dedication, the determination and especially the skills of the Bougainvilleans who thankfully had been highly trained by the mining company.”

Harry says that during this period he worked twenty-hour days. “I showered twice in six weeks and on the odd occasion I bathed in a little fast-flowing stream at Sam Kauona’s place. “Food in the mountains was basic and scarce at that time. All we had was some taro, bananas and nuts. On two occasions I got to eat a small piece of pig. It was always tough, the pig meat, as the animals were always highly traumatised before and during killing. I lost 13 kilos of my body weight in six weeks. Having gone down with malaria in the last couple of days of my stay probably didn’t help much either.

I had given away too much of the medicine needed to keep myself malaria free.” After six months spent building the armoured vehicles, Harry left Bougainville, still riddled with malaria. “On my second trip around 1990 I was only supposed to be away from my family in Ireland for three weeks, not the six that it took to build the machines. When I reached Honiara in Guadalcanal and still very sick with malaria, I phoned my wife at which time she made it clear that she wanted a divorce. That was devastating for me. She made it clear to me that she didn’t care about helping anyone other than those of her family. I also made it clear that if our family needed help that we would hope that someone would come to our aid. The marriage never recovered.”

Today Harry is retired, having last worked as a Maritime Lecturer. He says he still has strong feelings for Bougainville and her people – and would one day love to go back. “I am still hoping to return to the Island and to help with rebuilding and education,” he says. “It was quite apparent in 1990 that the Australian and Papua New Guinea governments pressured the Solomon Islands Government to ban me from re-entry, thereby cutting me off from Bougainville. “I am still totally unsure if I can once again enter through the Solomon Islands. Some time ago I contacted their Minister for Immigration who basically said that if, in my coming there that it would be for peaceful purposes only, it could be possible. I assured him that that would be the case. “From time to time I would like to come to Bougainville through PNG but would need assurance that I would not be arrested and/or interred.”


ESBC recommends to watch the televisoin report "Playground for Dangerous Fools: The Panguna Mine"


Part 1


Part 2




Source: ESBC Research


Investors please feel free to trade in Frankfurt!




Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai

This morning at Buka airport: Bougainville Police officers waiting for the Prime Minister's arrival.


The Prime Minister of PAPUA NEW GUINEA Honorable PETER O'NEILL arrived in Buka just after ten am this morning on a Chartered AIR NIUGINI Forker 100 for his three-days official visit to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

He created history by becoming the first Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea to visit the three regions of Central, South and North Bougainville since the inception on the ABG on 15 th June 2005.

The only other Prime Minister to visit Bougainville during the Interim Bougainville Government days was the PNC Party leader,the late BILL SKATE who flew by chopper to meet the former ABG President, the late JOSEPH KABUI.

Sir MEKERE MORAUTA went to Arawa for the signing of the Bougainville Peace Agreement in August 30th, 2001.

And Prime Minister, Grand chief Michael Somare attended the inauguration of the ABG in June 15th, 2005.

PRIME MINISTER PETER O'NEILL will overnight in Buka tonight and fly to Buin tomorrow to open the TUIRUMA Festival in Buin South Bougainville.

He will also visit DSIP Projects in South Bougainville and overnight in Buin.

ON Wednesday, he flys to Arawa and Panguna before returning to Buka for his return trip to Port Moresby.

in his welcome remarks, President Momis said that the people of Bougainville are united despite their many differences for this GOOD WILL visit by the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister O'Neill also thanked the President for the warm and traditional welcome received at the Buka airport.

Watch here some pictures taken this morning at Buka Airport:


On time. Shortly after 10 am: Prime Minister Peter O'Neill arrives at Buka airport.




Buka: PM Peter O'Neill welcomed by traditional Kunua group.


PM O'Neill escorted by Kunua group members.



PM Peter O'Neill inspects police parade.




Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville






Source: The National

PM set for Bougainville visit


PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill begins his three-day visit to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville today.

O’Neill will arrive in Buka, travel to Arawa tomorrow, then to Buin on Wednesday, before returning to Port Moresby. 

He will meet with the people and their leaders and launch development projects worth more than K500 million in Central and South Bougainville.

The projects include the Buka Island ring road, Arawa Hospital, Arawa road sealing, Aropa airport, Buka town roads sealing and the Kokopau to Buin trans-island highway. 

O’Neill will be the first prime minister to visit since a peace agreement was signed in 2002 to end the civil war there.

He will be the second to visit Central Bougainville since former prime minister and founder of the People’s National Congress Party, the late Sir William Skate, visited in 1998 to broker the ceasefire between the rebels and the Government.

Last Wednesday, O’Neill and Autonomous Bougainville Government president John Momis reconciled in a traditional ceremony in Port Moresby. 

Both were garlanded with the Mimis (traditional money). 

O’Neill was then handed bows and arrows to be broken publicly in a traditional ceremony to officially make peace with the people of Bougainville. 

Momis led a delegation to Port Moresby to discuss with O’Neill issues of concern, one of which was the granting of autonomy for the region. 

O’Neill told Bougainville leaders that the Government was confident of implementing autonomy for the region as part of the Bougainville peace agreement. 


Source: The National

Ex-MP helping out

FORMER member for Central Bougainville and Minister for Mining Sam Akoitai plans to develop the Wakunai district starting with his village Togarau.

In an interview with New Dawn FM yesterday, Akoitai said that the plan would become a reality from this year.

He said that a company he has registered would work on improving the livelihood of the people in the village and eventually to the Wakunai district in his former electorate then to the rest of Bougainville.

Akoitai said he had plans to complete the hydro project started by the PNG Sustainable Fund which connected all the permanent houses in Togarau and work on six downstream processing projects in the area.

He said the focus would be on projects that were already on the way such as, bottling water, potato chips and animal husbandry.

The ABG will share some stake from the operation, Akoitai said, as it was fair that those people should enjoy some of the benefits from the operation.

He said his team would be making a presentation to the ABG next month.

Akoitai said he had no interest in returning to politics and preferred to work on some impact projects that could improve the economic recovery of Bougainville.




Source: Post-Courier

O’Neill flies off on historic Bougainville visit


PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill will travel to Bougainville for a two-day visit starting today to reaffirm the government’s commitment to the implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

Mr O’Neill,’s visit to Bougainville from January 27-28 is no coincidence as the PNC Party has a special attachment to Bougainville with PNC founding leader, the late Sir William Skate’s visit to Bougainville during the 10-year civil war brokered peace.

Mr O’Neill’s visit to Bougain-ville will reaffirm the PNC Party’s commitment is alive and well and will be a reassurance to the people of Bougainville that the PNC Party and government is committed to what it says.

Before his visit, the PM had held a reconciliation ceremony with Autonomous Bougainville Government leaders,  including President John Momis, elders and chiefs at Parliament House where he reaffirmed the government’s commitment.

"I want to assure the president and our public and citizens that we are committed to making sure that the peace agreement works and that we want to work closely with ABG and Bougainville people,’’ said Mr O’Neill.

"You know that PNC Party has got special attachment to Bougainville. Our Prime Minister then and founder of our Party late William Skate was one of the first ones to visit Bougainville during the conflict and of course he initiated the peace process upon which the peace agreement was signed, so we place very significant and special attachment to issues on Bougainville."

"I want to share with you that our party and our government is fully committed to making sure that the spirit that our founder has built in ensuring that peace took place in Bougainville, that spirit is alive and well in the party and that commitment is alive and well and we will make sure that we will work together with you .

"We reassure the people of Bougainville and even during the visit that we are fully committed to what we say and do."

During the peace ceremony at Parliament House, the Bougainville leaders presented Mr O’Neill traditional shell money (mismis) that is currently in use in Bougainville to pay for land, bride price, compensation and also represents the chief’s status.

The red shell money which was presented to Mr O’Neill initiated him to become a hereditary chief of Bougainville. He was handed a basket and bows and arrows that will be broken publicly in Bougainville during his visit to officially make peace.

"Yes, we have made many mistakes in the past and we will continue to make mistakes in the future, but  it must not deprive the rights of our people on Bougainville so they too can be entitled to better services and enjoy the growth the rest of PNG is enjoying,’’ the prime minister said.

"We are committed to clearing out all the issues that are holding us behind in making sure that the autonomy issue that we want to implement on Bougainville.

"I want to assure the president and our public and citizens that we are committed to making sure that the peace agreement works and that we want to work closely with ABG and Bougainville people.’’


Source: Post-Courier


Historical visit vital for referendum

THERE is no doubt the visit by the Prime Minister this week to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville will be a historical one.

There is a lot at stake for the National Government, for which the PM heads, and the Autonomous Bougainville Government as the countdown continues to the referendum which will determine the future of PNG’s only autonomous region.  Last week the National Government and the ABG held a small but significant reconciliation ceremony within the precincts of the National Parliament in Port Moresby to discuss issues of mutual interest as well as concerns before the visit to the island this week by the PM and selected ministers of his cabinet.

The Central Bougainville MP and the Minister for Communication and Information, Jimmy Miringtoro, highlighted the significance of the visit in an interview with the Post-Courier.

“Central Bougainville is the key electorate in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, although majority of the people occupying the ABG are from North, South (Bougainville). It is Central Bougainville that will determine how Bougainville progresses into the future. There are numerous factions on the ground with various views on the future of Bougainville which keeps the Central Bougainville fragmented, and this is why the visit by the Prime Minister is crucial and timely,” Mr Miringtoro said. The Minister is correct in his assessment of the situation on the ground and his belief that his electorate holds the key to the island’s future – the Central Bougainville electorate hosts the giant Bougainville copper mine and is home to various armed groups and ex-combatants who have differing views (some of which clash with that of the ABG) on a roadmap into the future. Getting them to the same table to discuss a way forward would be a boost to the island’s fragile peace process.

However, the Prime Minister last week set the foundation for what should be fruitful discussions between the two sides when he declared that his Government was committed to the implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.  His admission of the past failures by previous National Governments in Port Moresby to fully implement the Bougainville Peace Agreement would be acknowledged by Bougainvilleans.

But Bougainvilleans have their eyes set on the future and a referendum would offer them the opportunity to determine their own course and destiny. Hence the conducting of a free and fair referendum would not be possible without an AROB-wide disarmament exercise (through an effective weapons disposal program) and good governance ethos being incorporated and embraced in all sectors of government.

We believe the Bougainville Peace Agreement is explicit on the need for the National Government to support the ABG prepare a “free and fair environment” to enable the referendum to be held. ABG President John Momis expressed those sentiments last week when he flew into Port Moresby to briefly meet with the PM before his Bougainville visit; negotiations relating to the Bougainville Peace Agreement are now over it is time for implementation. From last week’s brief discussions in Port Moresby the PM declared that the rights of Bougainvilleans should not be deprived, he is correct and we believe the time has come to deliver on that undertaking by giving the ABG all the support and resources it would need to create an enabling environment for that democratic process to take place.




Source: Bougainville24

PM to arrive in Buka today

Dr John Momis and Peter O'Neill at the reconciliation in POM; decorated with traditional red shell money 

Dr John Momis and Peter O’Neill reconcile in POM; decorated with traditional red shell money.

It is expected that the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Peter O’Neill, will arrive in Buka today, Monday 27 January, to begin a three day tour of Bougainville.

The reconciliation between Prime Minister O’Neill and the President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG), Dr John Momis, in Port Moresby last week  paved the way for the trip.

This will be Peter O’Neill’s first visit to Bougainville as the incumbent Prime Minister and the Bougainville Peace Agreement and continued implementation of autonomy are expected to be key topics for discussion.

Dr John Momis pointed to the importance of these issues to the ABG and the Bougainville people during the reconciliation last week.

“The Bougainville Peace Agreement is a joint creation of the National Government and leadership of Bougainville,” Dr Momis told a joint press conference held with Peter O’Neill.

“It is through the spirit of this agreement that we should deal with issues that affect us.”

“Negotiations have taken place and it is all over; now it is time for implementation.”

“We want people to be free to exercise their choice; their right to choose the future of Bougainville.”

The Prime Minister was keen to stress that PNG has learned from the past and will now push forward with important projects in the autonomous region.

“Our government is very much committed to the implementation of the Peace Agreement we have with the Bougainville people,” O’Neill told the joint press conference.

“We have made many mistakes in the past and we will continue to make mistakes into the future, but it must not deprive the rights of our people on Bougainville.”

“They too can be entitled to better services and enjoy the growth the rest of PNG is enjoying.”

“We will try to fast track those work programs so that our people on Bougainville can receive the services they deserve.”

The Prime Minister will use the three day trip to travel in North, South and Central Bougainville, including visits to Panguna and Arawa.




Source: ABC RAdio Australia - Pacific Beat

Bougainville musician talks about mining, independence and the war


This morning we have a rare treat on Pacific Beat, with Bougainville filmaker and musician, Clive Porabou, in the studio to play for you.


If you were listening to Pacific Beat late last week you might have heard him talking about his upcoming film 'Bougainville After the War'.

But Clive is also a seasoned singer-songwriter with two albums to his name.

Clive Porabou came into our Sydney studio to talk music and politics with Jemima Garrett.

PRESENTER: Jemima Garrett

SPEAKER: Clive Porabou, Bougainvillean filmaker and musician







GARRETT: Clive welcome to Radio Australia.

PORABOU: Thank you

GARRETT: Tell us when did you start playing music?

PORABOU: Oh! When I was a very small boy, my brothers got a guitar so I started playing guitar, yes.

GARRETT: And where do you get your inspiration from?

PORABOU: From my brothers, yes.

GARRETT: Are other people in your family musical?

PORABOU: Yes, my two brothers, they are always singing in gospel concert and like that around Arawa, yes.

GARRETT: Well let's hear one of your songs, 'Love of Freedom'. Can you introduce it for us?

PORABOU: Oh, yes, this 'Love of Freedom', I wrote it actually as a sound track to my film 'Bougainville After the War' when I see that people are free now. They are free to run their own business, they are free to run around, not afraid like during the war or before the war, when we are killed, you know, like by foreigners, outsiders, squatters, yeah.

GARRETT: Well let's hear the song.

Clive Porabou plays 'Love of Freedom'

GARRETT: Thank you, that was beautiful. You were a combatant with the Bougainville Revolutionary Army during the war. What prompted you to join the BRA?

PORABOU: Yeah, from what I stated earlier, actually not from mining at the time, from this squatter settlements. They have been killing us so when Francis Ona put the demand, that there be independence, and towards independence, yes.

GARRETT: So what role did you play in the BRA?

PORABOU: (laughing) Not leading! I was just a junior running around feeding the..yeah!

GARRETT: And what role did music play for you and you colleagues in the Bougainville revolutionary Army?

PORABOU: Yeah, you know, before as a teenager I used to write all the love songs but then during the war I though 'Oh, I should write something about my Island, the struggle itself' So, yeah, the people love it, love all the songs back on the ground, it's all about struggle.

GARRETT: So where do you see that struggle now for you personally?

PORABOU: It is going we will soon have a good future here for the freedom, freedom of our nation island, yes.

GARRETT: You are still a supporter of Mekamui which came out of Francis Ona's work and the Bougainville Revolutionary army but it is split into factions. Where does it stand today as a political movement and as a cultural movement?

PORABOU: Actually, they are split you know but they have one common goal, like 99 per cent of Bougainvilleans have one common goal and that is referendum and independence on the end there. So even though there is, like, Autonomous government they are not party to the peace agreement or whatever, they support what is going on, on the ground and the peace, yes, they support peace too, yes.

GARRETT Let's go to your next song now. That is going to be Dig Garden Taro. Can you tell us a bit about that?

PORABOU: Yeah, well because we .. Later on we stood up, like Francis Ona stood up to close the mine so I think it is like, now that I saw there is a big hole there on the Island so I tend to say, 'I think we leave mining alone and go to something so that is what I wrote this song about, yes. Like if we dig this land we will have a place to plant our our garden, taro yam, and all that, yes.

GARRETT: So you would rather see agricultural development and other kinds of development than mining.

PORABOU: Right, yes.

GARRETT: Well, let's hear the song.

Clive Porabou plays 'Dig Garden Taro'.

GARRETT: There are moves afoot to re-open the Rio Tinto-owned Panguna copper mine and many people on Bougainville believe it is the only way Bougainville will get to the economic self-sufficiency it needs if it is to win independence from Papua New Guinea. Can Bougainville find an economically sustainable path without the mine?

PORABOU: Well my argument always is Bougainville is a big plantation like cocoa and copra, compared to other tiny Pacific Island nations who are independent without plantations in their backyard like Bougainville. So that's my argument every time, 'Is it only mining that can bring independence?'.

GARRETT: There is a major consultation process going on with landowners at the moment about re-opening of the mine. What is your assessment of how that process is working?

PORABOU: Well, I think it is going good. It is depending on the people who are negotiating, who are talking. The landowners, especially they see what is good for the lpeople will not bring bad things again.

GARRETT: So in your view how many people and who are they who support reopening the mine and how many oppose it?

PORABOU: I went around Bougainville on my last trip and I talked to, you know I film a lot of people, out in the villages. They want mining but compensation and all this must come first, that is what they told me, yeah.

GARRETT: If the landowner groups participating in the consultation process decide to go ahead with the mine what would it mean for Bougainville, do you think?

PORABOU: Well, it is up to the people. I don't know, I can't tell. Unless I am on the ground I can have a better idea from getting people's view. But many people are saying it is all Bougainville now because many people died so at least every South to North should have a say too, after the landowners, that is what I see.

GARRETT: Is there the potential still for conflict over the mine?

PORABOU: That is something which many people in my interview raise it. Like maybe because your brother, you lost your wife in the war. Anybody can do anything, but that is what many people in my interviews told me, yes.

GARRETT: So what do you hope for Bougainville?

PORABOU: Well, I hope for no bloodshed on the island. We have to look for some better ways. If mining, there is a difficulty or looks like it is going to cause another bloodshed and look for another avenue and ways without bloodshed, because we have had enough of bloodshed and fighting is not good.





Source PNG Attitude

Mekamui says it will ensure Peter O'Neill's safe visit to Bougainville


PRIME MINISTER PETER O’NEILL is welcome to visit the ideal location of the closed giant copper mine at Panguna in central Bougainville.

The Mekamui fighting faction, leaders and people, have assured the prime minister of his safety.

Panguna is home to the world’s largest open cut mine that once produced billions of kina for Papua New Guinea.

Panguna Mekamui Defence Force commander, Moses Pipiru, says the mine was closed due to issues fought between parties involved with landowners which gave birth to the Bougainville crisis; a nightmare that turned into a bloodshed of war and destruction.

Mr Pipiro says it is now a thing of the past welcoming the prime minister to Panguna.

Panguna wants to be part of Bougainville’s independent dream and Mr O’Neill’s visit is significant. It will embrace a strong partnership and open up opportunities between the national and the autonomous governments.

Preparations for the prime minister’s visit to Panguna are well underway. The Mekamui Defence Force, following a traditional ritual, will fire a gun salute to honour Mr O’Neill.

A liquor ban has been imposed and Police with Mekamui help have been working closely to ensure that it is an undisturbed visit.

Mr O’Neill and the delegation will arrive tomorrow and begin the official program. The prime minister will visit north central and south Bougainville regions.


Source:  EMTV



The Haisi people of Siwai in South Bougainville have retold a story that occurred during the peak of the Crisis.

These are some of the many stories that portray the treatment from several members of the Papua New Guinea Defense Force to Bouganvillean’s. But of those, entire religious phenomenon’s also occurred, one at the Haisi care center, involving these soldiers.

Haisi in Siwai District is a three hour drive from the former mining capital Arawa.

It’s a wetland, full of rivers with the road condition not promising, but filled with gravel to make it accessible.

Arriving at the Haisi Mission station, the Our Lady’s statue reaches out with her welcoming hands at the grotto. It’s the Our Lady Queen of Peace.

The statue is eye-catching, as there is a black spot on her bosom.

As a newcomer to that area, I asked about the black spot and was told the story.

Haisi was PNG Defense Force soldier’s camp, and off course, peoples care center during the Bougainville Crisis.

And where there were care centers, there was also order. The people were not allowed to speak with any Bougainville Revolutionary Army member’s. Those who do so will be punished.

Eleanor Maineke was a small girl at that time. She lived with her grandmother at the Parish Priest house.

She recalled, seeing what that all had happened at this area, the PNGDF banker was where people received pain for breaching orders.

Mrs Maineke is Eleanor’s mother and one of the witnesses to the crisis events.

During the Crisis, she said Bougainvilleans always prayed for a lasting peace on the island; A union with God. That often was made fun of by some soldiers.

It was in 1994; shoot out between the PNGDF and BRA’s; when the lieutenant shot Our Lady Queen of Peace.

He walked towards the grotto, aimed his gun at her bosom, pressed the trigger and fired the bullet.

It was intriguing as Mrs Maineke explained, white powder poured out, which later formed clouds that surrounded the area.

The clouds prevented the soldiers to see their enemies – the BRA’s.

She said the person who fired the bullet, also received wounding in the same manner.

Mrs Maineke said after the shootout, all houses were burnt down with people transferred to Tonu care center.

This story is just the tip of an iceberg of the Crisis events involving the PNG Defense Force in the height of the Bougainville Crisis.



Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai

ABG President, Chief DR JOHN MOMIS today officially announced the visit of the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Honorable PETER O'NEILL starting tomorrow,Monday January 27th 2014.

He revealed this on his radio broadcast on Radio Bougainville and New Dawn Fm this afternoon.

President MOMIS called on the people of Bougainville to unite and welcome the head of Papua New Guinea saying that the Bougainville Peace Agreement and the implementation of Autonomy on Bougainville requires the cooperation of both the ABG and the National Government.

And to make this happen both the ABG President and the Prime Minister must work together to make sure these agreements are implemented in full.

President Momis also announced that the Prime Minister will arrive and overnight in Buka,travel by chopper to Buin in South Bougainville on Tuesday, overnight in Buin and fly to Panguna on Wednesday morning then visit Arawa before traveling all the way to Buka on Wednesday afternoon for his return flight to Port Moresby.

This now confirms all the Prime Minister's visit to North, Central and South Bougainville in his first visit to Bougainville.

All other previous programs are now superseded by this announcement .


Source:  EMTV



Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has been welcomed to visit the ideal location of the closed giant copper mine, at Panguna in Central Bougainville.

The Mekamui fighting faction, leaders and its people, have assured the Prime Minister of his safety.

Panguna is home to the world’s largest open cut mine that once produced Billions of Kina for Papua New Guinea’s Purse.

Panguna Mekamui Defence Force commander, Moses Pipiru, says the mine was closed due to issues fought between parties involved with landowners which gave birth to the Bouganiville Crisis; A nightmare that turned into a bloodshed of war and destruction.

Mr. Pipiro says it is now a thing of the past welcoming the Prime Minister to Panguna.

Panguna wants to be part of Bouganville’s independent dream and Mr. O’Neill’s visit is significant. It will embrace a strong partnership and open up opportunities between the National and the Autonomous governments.

Preparations for the Prime Minister’s visit to Panguna are well underway. The Mekamui Defence Force following with a traditional ritual will fire a gun salute to honour Mr. O’Neill.

A liquor ban has been imposed and Police with the Mekamui’s have been working closely to ensure that it is an undisturbed visit.

Mr. O’Neill and the delegation will arrive on Monday and begin the official program in The North Central and South Bouganville Regions.


Source:  EMTV



Students in a rural school in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville will now be connect to the outside world through television.

They will join other schools nationwide for broadcast lessons from their classroom.

The project is funded by the Bougainville Regional MP’s office, under the Provincial Services Improvement Program.

Haisi Primary School, located in the Siwai District of South Bouganville, was established in 1962 by the Catholic Missionaries.

With the New Television Disc, senior Teacher Chris Turapidik says, this will assist the 120 plus students from grades 3 to 8 in their learning.

Education Programs like News is essential to student learning and Mr Turapidik says it will become part of their program.

No form of assistance or maintenance has been received from the education authorities since the school’s establishment by the Missionaries.

Board Chairman, Rex Rumal, told EMTV News the buildings were condemned by the education authorities.

But Now Haisi has a reason to smile. All classes will be accommodated with the inclusion of a double classroom funded through the Provincial Services Program

Mr Rumal thanked regional MP, Joe Lera, and other stakeholders for prioritizing in education.

The new classrooms and TV disc, funded by MP Lera’s Office, the South Bouganville MP and Aus-Aid, will improve learning in Haisi Siwai in Bouganville.




Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai



The President of the Bougainville SDA Union Mission, Kepsy Edolo was officially welcomed to Buka by SDA SOHANO and Buka town members.

The President was appointed to lead the Bougainville SDA Church from his previous post as the secretary of the PNG SDA union mission based in Lae Morobe province.

In his welcome remarks in Buka, senior SDA church member and ABG Speaker,ANDREW MIRIKI called on the new President to work with the people especially SDA church members on Bougainville.

MR. MIRIKI said that his appointment as the head of the SDA church on Bougainville comes at a very critical time, that is just one year into the five year window of referendum.

He said that this must be the plan of God for him to be the head of the church at this time.

The ABG speaker said that Bougainville church members will support the new President as long as he remains and cooperates with the leaders and church members of Bougainville.




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