Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville
CANADIAN POLICE CARRY OUT INVESTIGATIONS IN BOUGAINVILLE
By Alex Munme
A team of four Canadian Police Investigators are in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville to carry out investigations on Canadian Companies operating in Bougainville and to find out if they are operating legally.
Bougainville’s Acting President Albert Punghau told a Press conference in Buka yesterday that these Canadian Investigators were carrying investigations on possible breaches by the Canadian Companies operating in Bougainville under the Canadian Law-the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act 1998 and are here at their own initiative.
Under the Canadian Law Canadian Companies and citizens must not be allowed to use bribery or corruption to get advantage when doing business in developing countries and countries re-building after conflict like Bougainville.
The team of Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigators include; two Police Crime Investigators, one Lawyer and a Police Liaison Officer.
The Acting President while welcoming the team said they will conduct investigations only and whether or not criminal charges will be laid depending on the outcome of their findings.
He said that although it’s a Canadian Law it is intended to help places like Bougainville who do not have the capacity to scrutinize investors trying to come into Bougainville.
Mr. Punghau added that section 15 of the Bougainville Constitution directs full cooperation on similar operations to ensure that Bougainville is not used in any way to support terrorism or money laundering or other trans-national crimes and no people in Bougainville should support or assist terrorism or money laundering or other trans-national crimes.
He said that the Constitution also commits all Bougainvilleans to work to eliminate universal problems in Bougainville including corruption.
He called on the ABG and Bougainvilleans particularly Bougainville Administration Officials, current and former ABG Ministers to cooperate during the investigations.
Meanwhile, the Acting Chief Administrator, Chris Siriosi, while sharing the same sentiments, said that the Bougainville Administration has been directed to cooperate in full with the team.
He said that Bougainville’s mineral resources were one of its main sources of wealth and it is wrong for foreigners to try to get access to that wealth unfairly by corrupt practices. He said the focus of the investigation is whether that has occurred here.
Mr. Siriosi said the investigation is based Canadian own interest and initiative and is not the result of any complaint by the ABG.
Bougainville Police rewarded for learning
The people of Bougainville will be supported by better police investigators and police prosecutors following the graduation of 23 students from intensive training today. The advanced investigations skills and prosecutions courses were provided by Royal PNG Constabulary trainers and supported by Australia through the PNG-Australia Law and Justice Partnership. Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) Vice President, the Hon Patrick Nisira, and Minister Counsellor, Development Cooperation, at the Australian High Commission, Mr James Hall officiated at the graduation and law and justice recognition event in Buka. They were joined by senior representatives of the Bougainville Administration, Bougainville Police Service, and other high-ranking law and justice sector officials as well as donor and partner representatives from the New Zealand Police and United Nations Development Program. “The rule of law and an effective justice system is fundamental to economic and social development of Bougainville and to its democratic system of government,” Mr Hall said. “These graduations are important and powerful symbols of dedicated people sharing a commitment to peace and to the delivery of law and justice services to the people of Bougainville.” Prior to the training Bougainville had no qualified detectives. Following a rigorous assessment process and recognition of prior learning, 11 Bougainville Police graduated today, including two women, one of whom, Sheena Cook, achieved second place on the advance investigators course and was rewarded. This means that there are now Bougainville police, from across all three regions that are qualified to become detectives. The training was provided by Royal PNG Constabulary trainers from the Bomana training centre of excellence. Mr Hall, who will visit the recently opened Police Family and Sexual Violence Unit, commended the Bougainville Police Service for committing resources to support and protect victims of family and sexual violence. “Eliminating family and sexual violence is a critical area that requires the attention and commitment of all of us - whether we are working in government, as magistrates, in corrections, or for non-government organisations,” Mr Hall said. “When half of Bougainville’s total population are at very high risk of violence, this fundamentally undermines the development of the whole of the community.” Australia’s support to rebuild law and justice services in Bougainville includes renovations of the Buka Police Station, construction of the courthouses in Buka and Buin and a temporary courthouse in Arawa. Australia has also built housing for law and justice service staff and provided a training centre that is for the first time providing joint training between the Bougainville Police Service and members of the Community Auxiliary Police as well as other law and justice agencies.
Minning issue not to be confused with Referendum and Independence
Despite opposition on the ground, ABG has continued to push for mining. In the efforts to water down opposition to mining and to muster support of the people, ABG put out a distorted idea that referendum on the future political status of Bougainville is not possible without minding. This is completely misleading and to put a price tag or a condition on referendum which the National Government had agreed to is totally wrong and unacceptable. whilst there are conditions set down in Bougainville Peace Agreement with regard to a timeline to referendum; one must not forget that the people of Bougainville paid ultimate price in blood and thousands of lives lost in the crisis. Agreements are not set in stone and must be reviewed when time and season requires it or else it will suffer the same fate as the Bougainville Copper Agreement which still hangs out there in the shadows. Why then is ABG worried so much about “back door mining deals” when it fact its front door deal happens to with a mining company that shows no remorse for the suffering and death from war efforts that it supported. Why can’t the President and his people for once draw up a bill that gives a better deal to the people of Bougainville rather than writing nonsense to promote BCL’s mining interests? WHY MINING CANNOT BE ESTABLISHED AS YET IN BOUGAINVILLE Having heard what my people had to say regarding resumption of mining In Panguna and/or, establishment of another large scale mine on the island, I have decided there are a whole lot of issues to be resolved before mining can take place on Bougainville. In the meantime ABG should consider other revenue earning opportunities to run its operations and to provide services for the people. There are sustainable industries that can be developed such as agriculture, tourism and fisheries. We can also establish manufacturing and downstream processing of our commodities and raw materials. Bougainville is a resource reach island and blessed with water, high rainfall and fertile soil. Mining cannot be established in an environment where people are still recovering from traumatic experience of a war that started as a result of it. Mining can only be considered if we have strong mining laws that will ensure resource owners are shareholders and that there is minimal damage to the environment through better waste management and mining methods that will not cause so much pollution and degradation of arable land. Above all these laws must also ensure equitable distribution of wealth from the mine so that no one group in Bougainville becomes while the rest are poor. At this point in time it is highly unlikely that ABG will be able to manage the impact of mining in Bougainville because it simple lacks the resources and the capacity to do so. Issues that need to be resolved before mining can be established. There are basic grievances of the people of Bougainville to do with compensation for loss of land and environmental damage that need to be addressed before the resumption of mining is considered. This has led me to a conclusion that ABG must consider alternative means of revenue generation in the meantime because to establish new mines we must have proper mining laws drawn to protect rights and interests of the resource owners and the people of Bougainville. There must be greater involvement by resource owners and community leaders throughout Bougainville in the creation of this laws and must have a same hearing as the Bougainville constitution received. STOP MISLEADING THE PEOPLE My patience and tolerance with the good President is wearing thin and I cannot continue to stand by and watch him mislead my people of Bougainville. In the 40 years he had served in the National Parliament of Papua New Guinea, the President had done nothing to improve the condition of resource owners. In fact beneath his rhetoric he has nothing to show for his term as one of the longest serving politicians in the history of this country. Just before the crisis he came up with a dream called “Bougainville Initiative” in which he attacked BCl likening it to a “wild pig that had come to destroy the garden”. His attack was so effective that it helped to fuel anti-BCL sentiments which was a factor in bring about the landowner uprising and the subsequent crisis. Had he made some in-roads in the parliament in having the Bougainville Copper Agreement reviewed to accommodate a better deal for the landowners, we would not have gone through so much heartache and a costly war. The people of Bougainville must know that during his term in Parliament he voted for the option to declare war on the people of Bougainville. I am not surprise at the stand he has taken to continue to subject people to endless suffering at the hands of BCL. I have advised my people at Panguna to dissolve the umbrella organization established to deal with landowner issues because it is a rubber stamp for ABG and its advisor Tony Reagan who has been working on a draft mining bill for Bougainville which is oppressive and colonial. The people of Bougainville should not be rushed to accept something they don’t fully understand. That has been the way of the past in which outsiders have been in telling us how to run our affairs only for us to find out later that things had worked out in their favour and not ours. It is time ABG must woke up from its long sleep and develop industries that will create employment for our people who need to work and pay taxes instead of being “looked after” by the state. The reality is that this people are farmers, fisherman and carpenters and cannot be expected to find employment at the mine unless they are skilled in some trade. We have a large tourism potential but so far not much is being done to develop it. Unless we have our people occupied in something kind of job or occupation mining will cause envy and jealousy when the old “haves and have nots” comes back to haunt us. I have the duty to serve my people and if I find that they are not served then Iwill step in to help them.
Source: Radio New Zealand International
PNG minister from Bougainville says strong mining laws vital
Papua New Guinea’s information minister, Jimmy Miningtoro, who represents central Bougainville, says mining in the province can only be considered if strong mining laws are in place.
The Post Courier reports Mr Miringtoro saying such laws must ensure resource owners are shareholders and there is minimal damage to the environment.
He says there are a lot of issues to be resolved before mining can take place.
Mr Miningtoro says this includes compensation for loss of land and environmental damage done in the past.
He says most importantly the laws must ensure equitable distribution of wealth so no one group in Bougainville becomes rich while the rest stay poor.
Mr Miringtoro says at this point it is highly unlikely the autonomous Bougainville government will be able to manage the impact of mining because it lacks the resources and capacity to do so.
Source: Papua New Guinea Mine Watch
Mine Watch and PNGexposed wrong says AusAID advisor to Bougainville
Yesterday we published Part 1 of a debate between Australian National University researcher, Anthony Regan, and University of Ulster Lecturer, Kristian Lasslett. Today we publishPart 2, where Regan takes aim at two prominent PNG blogs – PNGexposed and PNG Mine Watch.
Regan is currently legal advisor to the Autonomous Bougainville Government, paid for by AusAID. Regan is overseeing the drafting of legislation that will see Rio Tinto return to the island as early as next year. Parts of this legislation has been heavily criticized by landowners and commentators, including this blog, as has the money Regan earns in his AusAID role.
In the extract below, featured on Facebook’s Bougainville Forum, Regan responds to his critics, and Lasslett provides a response.
PNG Mine Watch & PNGExposed Oppose Democracy, Regan Claims
“Friends, I’m in Bougainville now, working with the ABG. This is the first time I’ve been able to connect since Sunday. I don’t have much time, as we are very busy. So I’ll not even try to comment on the various interesting points different people have been making. But I do note, briefly that a couple of comments seem to be based on misunderstandings about the kind of work I do.”
“I should therefore clarify: As a lawyer, I work for the ABG. I act on the instructions of the ABG. I do what the ABG asks me to do. Of course, like any lawyer, I am also often asked to advise on particular issues, but that is usually restricted to legal issues. But because the Peace Agreement is the basis for complicated constitutional arrangements, where there is a lot of room for interpretation – and argument – and as a result very often a great deal of negotiation needed. The things I have been working on this year have been, as always, many and varied. They have included a role in development of the draft Bougainville Mining Law – work that I have been doing with Bougainvillean lawyers, officers of the Bougainville Mining Department and many others. The draft Mining Act is still the subject of awareness and consultation.”
“In much of the comment on it there’s been many quite serious misunderstandings – so much so that sometimes it looks like people commenting have not read or understood it. While some commenting on PNG Mine Watch and on PNG Exposed blogs have attacked what President Momis has said about it involving a radical new approach (or words to that effect),”
“I disagree with them. The ABG is really trying to give a great deal of protection to landowners. For example, the current draft provides that customary owners of minerals will have a right of veto over exploration licences. Those critics attack the idea of landowners being represented in decision-making by democratically established associations of landowners. Perhaps there might be better ways of ensuring landowners have valid spokespersons, but the ABG is not yet aware of them.”
“The Administration is trying very hard to do this properly. Another important aspect of the draft law which no-one comments on is the fact that it aims to legalise almost all the small-scale mining that under PNG law is now illegal – for at present the only legal small scale mining is alluvial mining by a citizen on his or her own land, but only if its in or within 30m metres of a river bed (wet or dry). Mining on anyone else’s land is illegal, as is mining with any kind of machinery.”
“So the draft Act makes it legal to mine on any land of your own (river bed or not, machinery or not) and on anyone else’s land with agreement of the landowners, provided its on land less than 0.5 hectares. (And by the way, in relation to the research grant I’m involved in to study illegal mining, because of this push – in which I’ve been heavily involved – to ensure almost all small-scale mining is legal, the title of the project has been changed to ‘Small-scale and illegal mining’. The project is in no way directed to trying to shut down small-scale mining – rather the opposite. The main aim with small-scale is to get a better understanding of the needs and problems of the people doing that kind of mining, particularly because its become such an important industry in Bougainville, with many, many people relying on it for their main income.”
“And while on the subject, the implication – intended or not – of some comments on that research project has been that somehow the money for that project comes direct as income to me and my co-researcher. That is absolutely untrue – research grants of this kind can only be spent on the approved research budget, and accountability for the expenditure is very tight indeed.)”
“But I also need to emphasise that the work I do for the ABG does not involve only mining related work. In fact, that’s a fairly new area for me. This year, for example, I’ve also been involved in much other work. That’s included work (together with many other officers) on aspects of development of a separate Bougainville public service (including issues on both the draft Bougainville Public Service Act and the Bougainville Public Finance Management Act. A major area of work has been on funding for the ABG from the National Government, including issues about calculation of some of the grants to the ABG. These are just some of the examples, amongst many. But I realise that what was going to be a brief post has got long. And I need to get back to some work in relation to the draft Bougainville Public Service Act.”
“Anthony just a few points of clarification. I have read the critiques made by PNG Mine Watch and I think your summary perhaps does not quite do their position full justice (in the interests of transparency I should note that I have written on the blog before).”
“For example, you note: “Those critics attack the idea of landowners being represented in decision-making by democratically established associations of landowners”.”
“Quite the opposite in fact. PNG Mine Watch raised concerns that the legislation would empower the Bougainville Executive Council to ordain certain landowner associations as legitimate while marginalising others (http://www.islandsbusiness.com/…/landowner-revolution…/). This has the potential – without adequate safeguards – to lead to politicised decision making where small, unrepresentative landowner bodies who happen to tow the state-corporate line, are given formal recognition, while those democratically elected bodies, more critical of existing policy, are marginalised.”
“Indeed, this almost happened in 1987/88. Francis Ona and Perpetua Serero were democratically elected the Secretary and Chairwoman respectively of the PLA. When it became apparent that the latter two won on an anti-mining platform, BCL refused to recognise the election, which caused all sorts of problems. In this case Joseph Kabui stood firm behind the landowners and their democratic decision. But in the future this may not always be the case. Safeguards are thus possibly needed.”
“Also you criticise PNG Mine Watch for taking issue with the ABG’s controversial press release, which announced the handing back of mineral ownership to customary landowners (http://www.abc.net.au/…/bougainville-mining-law…/4559170). You note the draft legislation “provides that customary owners of minerals will have a right of veto over exploration licences’. What PNG Mine Watch argued was that after this preliminary stage – exploration being the earliest stage of the mining process – ABG are legislatively empowered to overrule landowner decisions.”
“Fair enough perhaps. Governments need to create certainty for investors. On the other hand, overruling landowner wishes can have fairly significant impacts. So clearly there are important issues here, in need of debate.”
“If you could possibly upload the current draft legislation, on this forum, that might help generate more informed views (assuming, of course, it is a public document). Its important to remember the PNG Mine Watch critique related to a previous version of the mine legislation, I believe as a result of landowner concerns it has now gone through two redrafts.”
“On the other hand it is good to hear about the AusAID small mining project you are working on. The problem with large-scale mines seems to be that communities become spectators to the destruction of their environment, as profits are largely distributed overseas, or consumed irresponsibly by governments. Small-scale mining provides a community-centred method for earning income, with less radical environmental consequences. Though the latter seems to be the challenge, ensuring communities are assisted to do alluvial mining so their own health, and the environment’s health is not a risk. I wish you the best of luck on this important endeavour.”
“On the funding front, I think the criticisms have been largely limited to the advisory fees paid by AusAID to foreign advisors. For example, in addition to fixed daily travel rates, advisors working on law/mining can earn K2,500 per day (http://aid.dfat.gov.au/…/adviser-remuneration-framework…); given local salaries, these significant amounts, on occasions, rightly or wrongly cause frustration. The critiques I have read argue that some of this advisory work could be done locally – I have no idea if this is true. While I have met some formidable Bougainvillean lawyers, I accept perhaps Bougainville lacks skills in discrete legal area?”
“However, I think what upsets people most (I could be wrong, my evidence is anecdotal) – the money is an issue, not the main one – is the perceived connection AusAID advisors have with Rio Tinto, a company many communities view as criminal, and responsible for death and destruction on a major scale (added to that, many landowning communities simply cannot understand why the proposed mining legislation protects BCL/Rio’s historical claims over Panguna, given the latter’s unapologetic stance, without also enshrining the community’s right to reparations for damage suffered. In short it seemingly violates basic principles of balance).”
“Sam Kauona argued this in The National and pointed to links between ABG advisors and Rio Tinto/BCL. Perhaps he has an agenda, I don’t know, Axel Sturm and others allege this is the case – but he deserves the presumption of innocence. That aside, Sam made this argument because he knows it resonates with many on the ground.”
“For example, your Co-Investigator on the AusAID illegal mining project, who also acts as an AusAID mining adviser on Bougainville, obtains “substantial financial assistance” from Rio Tinto to conduct research (https://newmatilda.com/…/ausaid-fuels-bougainville…). Given the role the latter organisation played in the violence and destruction on Bougainville, at the very least, this would seem a poor choice of funder; at worse it create a potential conflict of interest, given Rio Tinto’s significant financial interests on Bougainville. There are also important ethical issues here. For example, many researchers would not take funding from, or do consultancy work for BCL/Rio, in light of its human rights record (though to my knowledge, no scholar does consultancy work for BCL, perhaps for this reason).”
“The attack on you in The National may have been unfair, and perhaps the more limited critiques on this forum, including my own, are also unfair. But at the same time, when discussing the nefarious role BCL/Rio played in the military operations on Bougainville, you have claimed that there is no credible evidence to support this allegation. You appear to be aware (please correct me if I am wrong) that senior BCL managers have acknowledged this role, a fact that has been corroborated by numerous PNG government officials, and internal company records (minutes, memorandums, letters). Yet you maintain this evidence is not credible. You may not agree with your critics, but at the very least Anthony can you appreciate their concern in light of your unmoved position on BCL’s conduct?”
Source: Papua New Guinea Mine Watch
Mr Regan and the Rio Tinto takeover of Bougainville
Starting From Scratch
We should examine what it would take to run an ethical, transparent operation – one that doesn’t require Australian academics to serve as advisory mercenaries to launder unethical behavior in the name of progress
David Martin | Inverted Alchemy
I’ve spent a considerable amount of time this week reviewing the creative writing of Australia National University’s Fellow of State, Society & Government in Melanesia Program Mr. Anthony Regan. Having “specialized in constitutional development” in Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, East Timor and Uganda, Mr. Regan has recently submitted a proposed “transitional mining act” to the Parliament of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
And, for those of you who are not familiar with Bougainville, a little history lesson is in order. Under a dubious entitlement mandate from the United Nations following the Second World War, the Australian government decided that it needed to take possession of the massive metal reserves in the island at the end of the Solomon chain and, in 1967, confiscated Bougainville for their exploitation while ‘facilitating’ independence for the state of Papua New Guinea. Over the well-documented opposition of many local communities, the Australian Administration and their appointees in the Papuan Administration, the 1967 Bougainville Copper Agreement Act became a supra-Constitutional Agreement between a territorial administration and Bougainville Copper Limited. As if to prove that they knew that they were violating international legal standards, clause 4 of the amended Act states that “no other law of Papua New Guinea, affects this Act or the Agreement.” In clause 5 of the amended Act, the Prime Minister (remember, the State had not yet been established) is granted the power to exclusively administer the Act without any consent, approval, or any other law. In other words, the Australians, in what amounts to unlawful territorial seizure, enacted a law above ANY sovereign law directly expropriating land for their exclusive economic exploitation. Oh, and for their $5 million trouble of exploring the mineral reserves, the Company (BCL) had to pay the extraordinary sum of 1.25% of ‘applicable revenue’ from the mine!
In an elaborate scheme reminiscent of the first theft of Bougainville’s assets, Mr. Regan has complied with the wishes of his paymasters and drafted a new mining bill that preserves nearly all the abuses embodied in the 1967 Act. To add insult to injury, his proposed bill reinforces the corruption quotient by burying in Clause 26 the nullification of the over 200 provisions with the simple empowerment of the Autonomous Bougainville Government to act unilaterally and without consideration of any law as it wishes. Using his “constitutional” expertise, he’s taken to the U.S. government’s definition of Constitutional Law – if it is expedient, do it and tread on the Constitution to get what you want (thanks GW and BO!).
Now Mr. Regan and BCL (along with Rio Tinto – the 54% owner of BCL) want to take advantage of the pro-autonomy movement in Bougainville and pull off another heist of gargantuan proportion. But they forget that the world is more interconnected. And while they and the BCL shareholders desperately want to take another malevolent trip around their merry-go-round of abuse, they are ignoring the simple fact that their “advice” and extra-governmental manipulation are now available for the world to see.
Whether the Panguna Mine opens or not is an issue that should be decided by the citizens of Bougainville – including those who participated in the armed uprising in 1989. But more fundamentally, we should examine what it would take to run an ethical, transparent operation – one that doesn’t require Australian academics to serve as advisory mercenaries to launder unethical behavior in the name of progress. If the citizens of Bougainville determine that they would like to see their land utilized for mineral extraction, that’s a call that they should make fully informed of all the facts. They should be informed of the state-of-the-art in development, mining, environmental management, power generation, and market participation at all capital levels. If Rio Tinto and BCL want to be candidates as future operators, they should step up to the damage that they’ve already done and evidence their candidacy for action not by manipulating the law but by being responsible citizens accountable for past harm.
This week, Australia has a chance to amend a blight on its post-War legacy in the Pacific. It can intervene in this miscarriage of due process. Together with the citizens of Bougainville, Australia can start from scratch and see if it can win in the full light of day rather than in the veiled obscurity of manipulation and corruption. We’ll see.
Strong mining laws needed in Bougainville
Mining on Bougainville can only be considered if strong mining laws are in place, says Central Bougainville MP and Minister for Information and Communication Jimmy Miringtoro.
Mr Miringtoro said such laws must ensure that resource owners are shareholders and that there is minimal damage to the environment through better waste management and mining methods that will not cause so much pollution and degradation of arable land.
"Having heard what my people had to say regarding resumption of mining in Panguna and the establishment of another large scale mine on the island, I have decided there are a whole lot of issues to be resolved before mining can take place on Bougainville," Mr Miringtoro said.
The MP said there are basic grievances of the people of Bougainville in terms of compensation for loss of land and environmental damage done in the past that need to be addressed before the resumption of mining can be considered.
"There must be greater involvement by resource owners and community leaders throughout Bougainville in the creation of this laws and this must have a same hearing as the Bougainville constitution received," he said.
"Above all, these laws must also ensure equitable distribution of wealth from the mine so that no one group in Bougainville becomes rich while the rest are poor."
Mr Miringtoro said at this point in time it is highly unlikely that ABG will be able to manage the impact of mining in Bougainville because it simply lacks the resources and the capacity to do so.
He expressed disappointment at the way the ABG conducted its mining forums which he said were not as inclusive as they should have been.
Only certain chosen people with name tags hanging around their necks were accorded more time to talk at the forum and many people felt unwelcomed by the forums which were staged inside a building instead of out in the open in view of the general public," he said.
"These chosen people were of course none other than the ones who supported the return of Bougainville Copper Limited to Panguna."
He said these forums were rushed to justify that the people of Bougainville had been informed.
"We all know that the reopening of Panguna mine was always high on ABG’s agenda," he said.
Mr Miringtoro said the people were ignored by the ABG when it was carrying out its mining forums which were brief and not extensive enough to give leaders and key community members and rural Bougainville opportunity to register their input on the mining agenda.
Bougainville preparations for PNG Games get underway
By ROMULUS MASIU
THE Autonomous Region of Bougainville is taking onboard enhancement of coaches in preparation for 2014 PNG Games in Lae, Morobe Province. ARB sports fraternity has dreams to do well and improve its performance at the Games. Sport is also striving to build a healthy, educated, peace, loving and a productive Bougainville.
To achieve this plan the Division of Community Development responsible for sports in the region in partnership with the PNG Sports Institute will conduct a coach enhancement workshop from January 13-17, 2014. All applicants will be screened and approved by the division.
The workshop is designed to enhance and have practising sport coaches, physical education teachers, fitness trainers and those who intend to apply for coaching positions for PNG Games to come together and share experiences, knowledge and learn from each other’s success.
This is a better time to share and explore ideas on the values, skills and attributes of a successful coach. Have a better understanding on how the body works and apply the basic movements for sports performance, use simple methods to improve technique in a given sport.
Participants will look at ways in which the human body produces energy during training and how to develop the fitness components and design appropriate training methods to improve it.
Using the PNG Games as a catalyst for a real scenario, the participants will plan the phases of training from a yearly to a daily training session. Coaches will be reinforced to goals setting, motivation, and team cohesion practices and anxiety management. Affirm the participants understanding of nutrition in sport and help them establish good nutritional habits related to sports performance.
Similar workshops will be offered by staff of the National Sports Institute in Manus from November 25th to 30th and New Ireland from December17th – 21st. Thirty participants will be given that opportunity due to limited space. Those interested to share and learn can contact Geoffrey Gideon, course coordinators on 5322391 or 71016376 during official hours or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest
Source: ESBC Research
A boat-trip in the Buka passage
Source: Manila Standard Today
PME Intl, Bougainville sign development deal
The Autonomous Region of Bougainville, a newly independent country carved out of the Papua New Guinea group of islands, has partnered in a national economic program with PME International, a corporate conglomerate.
President John L. Momis, president of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, and Gil-Su Jung, PME president, led the signing of the contract on Nov. 20, 2013, at Shangri-La Manila, covering key resources on land and at sea.
The agreement was put into a formal pact, joined by Micheal Oni, ABG minister of mineral resources; Edwin Uy, Counsel of ARAB Dae gu Jeon, Incheon Metropolitan City international advisor, among other company and government executives.
“The contract deals with the development of 60,000 hectares of the forest,” the ABG said in a statement. “This includes the production of wood, and the establishment of plywood and wood pellet factories. The overall goal is to raise the sales to approximately three billion dollars” leading to the creation of palm oil farms for “a steady stream of income.”
The joint venture involves gold, iron and copper production along with expanding the tuna and related industries.
“PME International will join hands with the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, a country that has rich natural environment and an abundance of underground resources,” President Gil-Su Jung said.
“PME International will exert efforts to incorporate advanced management techniques and introduce land development strategies in this region; thus it will fund the development of road, harbor, and bridge facilities. This joint effort will help stabilize the newly-independent country.”
He said proceeds “will be used to increase the income of the native people improve the education system, and promote their welfare.”
PME International is the first Korean enterprise to set foot in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and “develop its wood production industry based on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climatic Change Treaty.”
Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville
BY ELECTION ON SCHEDULE
By Aloysius Laukai
The ABG By-Election for the five vacant seats is on schedule according to the Bougainville Acting Electoral Commissioner, GEORGE MANU.
He told New Dawn FM this afternoon that Polling is on schedule and will start from Wednesday 4th December and will run for the next five days.
The Electoral Commissioner said that because of the Mountainous terrain of Kongara the polling there will be for Seven days.
MR. MANU also announced that the ABG has made amendment to the Polling time from 8 am to 6pm to a new timing from 8am to 4pm.
He said that this law will be applied during the By election and on the 2015 ABG Elections.
The ABG electoral Commissioner also announced that all countings will be made in Buka.
On the Outstanding payments from the 2012 National Elections, MR. MANU said that the National Government has allocated 20Million Kina for all outstanding payments in Papua New Guinea including Bougainville.
And payments will be settled before Christmas.
Bougainville government to conduct inquiry into Numanuma plantation
By WINTERFORD TOREAS
THE Autonomous Bougainville Government will soon be conducting an inquiry into what was once the biggest plantation in the Southern Hemisphere, the Numanuma plantation in the Wakunai District of Central Bougainville.
The inquiry, which will be conducted by the government’s sectoral committee on economic development, natural resources and taxation, follows a matter of public concern and importance raised in the ABG Parliament in 2011 regarding the ownership of the plantation. This came about following grievances raised by the landowners and people of Wakunai over the plantation’s ownership.
The inquiry’s terms of reference will allow the committee to seek and verify all parties involved in the cocoa and coconut plantation in relation to its sale. “The inquiry will involve investigations which caused disputes and arguments between landowner groups and the principal owner of the resource (Numanuma plantation),” said committee chairman and ABG member for Atolls, Frank Pasini Marena.
“Landowner parties were previously concern about their customary land boundaries as far as the Melanesian customary practice is concerned. “We will need to have wider consultations on this matter with all stakeholders. We will also consult the Bougainville Constitution and other legal documents during this inquiry,” Mr Marena said.
He said though the ABG was focused on the reopening of the Panguna mine as a means of fast economic recovery, the viability of the Numanuma plantation should also be considered as one one way of reviving Bougainville’s post-conflict economy. “We are very keen to get public participation in this important inquiry,” Mr Marena said.
The inquiry will be divided into two phases; phase one will held in Wakunai from December 2-6 and will involve all stakeholders there. The next phase will be held in the ABG parliament chamber following first phase, and will involve the principal landowners of the plantation and several other key stakeholders.
The committee is now inviting submissions from interested individuals, groups and stakeholders. Mr Marena said people who are willing to gain more information on this inquiry can contact the inquiry manager on 72977035/73797592 or visit the committee’s secretariat office located at the top floor of the Matanhei building in Buka town.
Siriosi, ex-combatant bury hatchet
By WINTERFORD TOREAS
BOUGAINVILLE’S Division of Peace and Reconciliation is continuing to facilitate many reconciliation ceremonies in the region. These events are being organised to settle crisis-related problems that came about during the height of the Bougainville crisis. Recently, two reconciliation ceremonies were witnessed in North Bougainville, one in Nissan Island and the other in the Hagogohe area in Buka.
Last week again saw the Peace Division facilitating another reconciliation ceremony at Waropa village in the Tinputz District of North Bougainville. This event was held between the Acting Bougainville Chief Administrator Chris Siriosi and a former Bougainville Revolutionary Army commander from the area, Glynn Tovirika.
The event, which was witnessed by the Autonomous Bougainville Government ministers Rev. Joseph Nopei (local level government) and Melchior Dare (community development), North Bougainville police boss Inspector Spencer Aili, government representatives and the chiefs and clan members of both leaders saw Mr Siriosi and Tovirika coming together and settling their crisis-related differences in front of everyone. Mr Siriosi, who hails from the Kunua area of North Bougainville but related to Mr Tovirika, was the first to offer his apology, on behalf of his family and clan members.
“I want to give my biggest apology, on behalf of my people, who had caused the troubles here,” Mr Siriosi said. “I do not know what had happened, but as their leader, I am saying sorry on their behalf. “I am sorry because Glynn is not another person. After this I want us to become one family again.” He later called for unity to prevail between both their families and clansmen.
“First thing we must do is to unite our people. If there is no unity among our people, forget about our dreams because they will never be achieved. I want unity, I want us to stand together,” said Mr Siriosi. Mr Tovirika, after accepting the acting chief administrator’s apology, also called for forgiveness which Mr Siriosi did.
He said after years of living with the guilt, this event had again brought them together as one family. “Let’s hold our hands together because we have a future which we will lead our people to. We must forget the experience that we had encountered. They will be like our landmarks for us to see and will guide us forward,” Mr Tovirika said.
Child pregnancies up in Bougainville
By ROMULUS MASIU
UNWANTED pregnancies are on the rise in Bougainville and are getting out of hand, a medical officer told a violence against women forum in Arawa on Monday.
Dr Joseph Vilosi said if the young people of Bougainville don’t change their mindset and attitude, the child pregnancies, which on most cases were unwanted, it will spiral out of control if nothing is not done about it now.
Dr Vilosi, who has moved from Buka General Hospital to Arawa, said violence in the family is caused by us. He said he regretted that after coming out of one crisis (Bougainville), we are creating another crisis for ourselves, and that is violence at our own homes.
“Our dreams of one day becoming independent will not materialise if we don’t respect women and our own communities. If we don’t respect this particular woman who has brought us peace, then we are definitely headed for another crisis which we are creating ourselves,” he said.
Dr Vilosi said being traumatised, uneducated or unemployed doesn’t give men the right to beat their partners. He took a swipe at the education system in Bougainville which he said is failing the youths and people of the region.
“Unwanted pregnancies are rife with school age girls getting pregnant. In Buka I attend to three to four cases a week of school-age girls getting pregnant and requesting abortion. Some do abortion on their own, resulting in deaths.”
Dr Vilosi also called for all families to go into family planning for manageable sizes because families won’t control their children. There is not even any fallback plan for kids at high school who drop out of formal schooling. Children are just going back to homebrew and marijuana, he said.
“Family planning is a must in all homes. Change in attitudes at homes is crucial, where a male counterpart must recognise and respect women in their homes, recognise their rights to education and other means,” Dr Vilosi said.
Source: Papua New Guinea Mine Watch
“Not Credible”: AusAID Mining Adviser Defends Rio Tinto Against War Crimes Allegations
Across the region more and more communities are joining in condemnation of multinational companies that act with disregard and disdain for our environment and people. Rio Tinto is one company that is right at the top of the list. Despite frequent denials in the press, there is plenty of highly credible evidence that links the company to a range of war crimes on Bougainville.
At the forefront of debates on Rio Tinto’s complicity in war crimes, is Australian National University researcher, Anthony Regan – he also acts as legal advisor to the Autonomous Bougainville Government, paid for by AusAID. Regan is overseeing the drafting of legislation that could see Rio Tinto return to the island as early as next year.
To this day, Regan resolutely maintains that no “credible evidence” exists linking the company to war crimes on Bougainville; an opinion echoed by Bougainville Copper Limited’s (BCL) current Chairman, and Axel Sturm, the head of BCL’s European Shareholder group. Regan also argues existing estimations over the death toll on Bougainville are “fanciful” and should be revised down to 5,000 or less.
Opposing Regan’s controversial position is University of Ulster researcher, Kristian Lasslett. He has interviewed BCL’s management, and obtained a heap of internal company records, evidencing the allegations of complicity. Lasslett has also criticised Regan’s position on Rio Tinto, and has questioned the methodology Regan employed to claim that the military blockade – which was placed upon Bougainville in 1990 – may have produced health benefits that outweighed the deaths it caused.
Recently Regan and Lasslett went head to head on Facebook’s Bougainville Forum, this is what they said:
AusAID man, Anthony Regan
Regan Questions the Depth of Bougainville’s Suffering and Rio Tinto’s Alleged Complicity
“Kristian Lasslett is an intelligent researcher, who’s done impressive research through interviews and locating and analysing records. He also has his own strong views, and expresses them vigorously. I support his right to do that.”
“But in doing so, my own view is he at times misrepresents my views. As he knows, my comments – made 14 years ago, in 1999 – on deaths in Bougainville during the conflict that he often quotes, were in fact in part a response to a claim that more than 50,000 people had died, and dealt with the difficulty in accurately determining numbers of deaths in a particular category – that is, people whose deaths were caused or contributed to by the PNG blockade.”
“While the blockade undoubtedly did cause or contribute to many deaths, one of the difficulties I had experienced when discussing how to assess numbers involved is that many people who lived under blockade advised me (beginning with Theodore Miriung in October 1994) that in many ways health for many people living under the blockade was better than before the conflict, due to a range of factors (better diet etc.). “
“As for the documents filed in the US case against BCL, yes, I’ve read them, yes I’ve spoken with some litigants. I’ve also interviewed a number of people who signed affidavits in the case, who told me how those affidavits were prepared. But it would not be fair to them to discuss those issues here. Its on the basis of that work (which I aim publish in due course) that I still believe that credible evidence is yet to emerge. Perhaps such evidence will emerge one day, but I’m yet to see it.”
“But I believe my own views, based on the evidence available to me, and perhaps I’m being unfair to Kristian by suggesting he misrepresents me. Perhaps its just best to say we are both amongst the outsiders who are trying to better understand the complex history of Bougainville, one which neither of us experienced, and that we have some disagreements. And that’s alright.”
UK based academic Kristian Lasslett
“Thank you Anthony for your measured and thoughtful response. And I agree we are indeed outsiders, who are just seeking a better understanding of a complex and wonderful part of the world to which we are both indebted. I apologise to others on the forum if we sound a little crass, two outsiders going on about something we did not directly experience. But in ways I will explain, the matters we have discussed are not only intrinsically important, in a profound moral sense, but effect our democracies too. Indeed, the history of Bougainville is deeply entwined with the region and the world.”
“Anthony, I am genuinely sorry to hear you remain unconvinced of BCL’s direct involvement in the military operations. The evidence is wide ranging, and readily available. For example, you note my published work features interviews with key company personnel. Indeed it does, this includes Robert Cornelius (MD, BCL), Paul Quodling (MD previous to Cornelius), Ken Perry (General Manager, BCL), Steve Jopling (GM, BCL), Colin Evanson (GM, BCL), Douglas Fishburn (GM of Bougainville Copper Foundation), Ian Johnson (MD CRAE Minerals PNG), in addition their opposite numbers in the PNG government including Rabbie Namaliu (PM), Ted Diro (Deputy PM), Ben Sabumei (Defence Minister), Paul Bengo (Secretary PM’s Dept), Jerry Singirok (PNGDF), Lima Dotaona (PNGDF), John Toguata (RPNGC) … to name just a few.”
“BCL’s logistic and strategic support for the military operation was acknowledged by a wide range of officials I interviewed – indeed I cant recall a single denial. And I have made the evidence available in easily accessible forums. As we know academic publications tend to be read by few.”
“Here is a quote from one BCL Manager:
“The reality was, ‘we [PNGDF/RPNGC] can’t do our thing because we haven’t got vehicles’. So we’d give them vehicles. ‘Ah we haven’t got radios so we can’t communicate’. So we’d give them two way radios. ‘Ah we can’t support our men over here, we haven’t got enough provisions’. So we’d put them in the mess, we’d feed them in the mess, we’d provide them with accommodation. We did everything they asked of us to make their life more comfortable, and better able to manage through, with transport, communications, provisions, whatever, fuel. You know we gave them everything, because as a far as we saw it we were hoping that they were going to solve the situation, so we could start operating again. So we supported them every way we could”
“This acknowledgement was confirmed by numerous PNG government officials. For example, one senior official told me: “We relied heavily on some of the civilian facilities provided by the company. They did everything, I mean we spent lots and lots of money, to provide backup support services for the operation. But the defence force was not properly equipped at all”.”
“The internal BCL records I have viewed (which include meeting minutes, internal memorandums and letters), and even put online, corroborate the oral testimony (these records feature in the US court case, and this was the documentary evidence I was referring to in the previous post, not the affidavits). Indeed, BCL was in weekly meetings with the PNGDF and members of Cabinet. You even had the MD of BCL suggesting preferred targets to the PM at a meeting on 13/7/1989, such as “Damien Damen the charismatic Cult Leader”, and telling the government “security force offensives [are] ok and should continue” (this is recorded in BCL meeting minutes), this was after the PNGDF had bombarded villages with mortars and strafed them from the air.”
“Indeed, a former ADF officer wrote: “The use of the mortar platoon on 10 July  at night on Guava village was irresponsible and indefensible … Mortar rounds often fell indiscriminately, wounding civilians and terrorising the local population … The PNGDF’s use of white phosphorous rounds (WP) attracts particular condemnation. WP burns the skin and can drift well beyond target areas”.”
“And as I have pointed out in my work. BCL officials were aware of the destructive ends to which this support was being put. They were informed of civilian deaths and mass village burnings. “
“Then we have the powerful civilian testimony – people witnessing troops arriving in their village in BCL trucks, burning homes, taking away the youth.”
“To my mind, direct admissions from the most senior levels in BCL and the PNG state corroborated by a thick file of BCL internal records (meeting minutes, memorandums, letters), counts as credible. To my mind, the growing body of testimony provided by victims is credible. I have never relied on the affidavits, for the reasons you allude to, they are court documents designed for a specific purpose.”
“But what pains me, in light of this evidence, is the impact denial has on the families who lost loved one, or who suffered displacement and property loss as a result of these actions; I have watched them shed tears, and each time BCL’s Chairman appears before the media denying their allegations, families have to endure further indignation. We would not allow a street offender to cheapen their victims, why should a large multinational be treated differently?”
“Thanks for your explanation re the death toll. Fair enough, I understand you felt the death toll had been inflated for political reasons (though my impression was you were trouble by a 20,000 estimation, not 50,000). At the same time it was never my intention to misrepresent you.”
“That said, the suggestion that the deaths caused by the blockade may have been outweighed by the health benefits of the blockade, in my view remains extremely problematic (one can’t simply cancel out the counting of human life in such a fashion). You made this statement to a parliamentary inquiry, it was an official forum of national/international significance. Only the most rigorous and thoroughly researched factual statements should, in my view, have been adduced in evidence. The method employed to offset alive versus dead, simply would never make it through peer review. And when the denial of a crime’s significant human impact is at stake, even greater weight is on the scholar to make sure their evidence is adduced with utmost rigour (especially if one tells the international media that current death toll estimates on Bougainville are “fanciful”: http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/stories/s422294.htm and should be revised down to 5,000 or less).”
“Of course, I entirely accept you were attempting, in good faith, to challenge possible methodological flaws in existing counting methods. But given your expertise lie in constitutional law, it may have been stretching things a little to challenge the findings of Medecins Sans Frontieres, Amnesty International, Community Aid Abroad and Bougainville’s own courageous medical professionals, who kept to their best of the ability records of the suffering and elevated deaths.”
“And it’s the human and moral gravity of your claim, made in a major national and international forums – including its impact on those who watched relatives suffer and die – which is the reason behind my critique, nothing more.”
“These are important points of contention. But I in no way wish to appear disrespectful towards your scholarly record. It speaks for itself, both with respect to Bougainville and PNG more generally. And you have organised some remarkable interventions, such as Bougainville: Before the Conflict, the latter is one of the most rich textual testaments available to the cultural and historical vibrancy of Bougainville.”
“We will have to agree to disagree on certain issues. But my point remains, the movement for accountability and justice – which is being spearheaded by many courageous Bougainvilleans, from all walks of life, along with some notable international actors – would benefit from your support, I hope in time it will come.”
“Many I have spoken to on Bougainville who suffered terribly as a result of the company’s actions, are not greedy or opportunistic people. They simply want the dignity of truth – a simple and unqualified statement by Rio Tinto, acknowledging BCL’s actions and apologising to those effected (and also from the Australian government). Untied efforts to repair the damage caused by these actions are also being called for; when I say untied I mean contributions to the island’s regeneration, without it being tied to the mine’s reopening, or indeed its expansion. They are separate issues. These are very elementary claims of justice that are enshrined in international law.”
“And Anthony you are right I have strong views which I express vigorously, I make no apologies for that, it is supported by extensive, pain-staking research. If our companies and governments are committing crimes abroad, it is a citizen’s duty, particularly those in the privileged position to know about these crimes, to stand in solidarity with the victims no matter where they are, or who they are. If we fail our democracy is diminished, and their right to justice denied.”
Trekking an attraction for tourists
Erovit – Courtesy of Harry Greenwell
The most walked trails in Bougainville are just outside the town of Buka. They are pleasant walks, but tourists should take along a local Bougainvillean who knows the conditions.
Work has started on upgrading the most historic track in the autonomous province, the 62-kilometre Numa Numa track which runs from Wakunai on the east coast across the central mountains of Bougainville to Torokina on the west coast.
The scenic track traverses rivers, jungle and volcanoes and was central to the Torokina perimeter defence during the initial phases of the Bougainville campaign in World War II.
Source: ESBC Research
Focus on fraudulent practices!
Australo-Canadian backdoor player Lindsay Semple and alleged local criminal Sam Kauona under scrutiny of Canadian detectives!
Find out more below:
Source: ABC Radio Australia - Pacific Beat
Canadian Mounties in PNG
Officers from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or Mounties, have travelled to Bougainville in Papua New Guinea to investigate the activities of Canadian mining companies.
They were welcomed by the acting Bougainville president Allbert Punghau.
To find out more Bruce Hill spoke to PNG Correspondent Liam Fox...
Presenter: Bruce Hill
Speaker: Liam Fox, PNG Correspondent
FOX: The Mounties themselves haven't made any public statements. The information that we have about they're reason for being in Bougainville came from Mr Punghau.
Mr Punghau says they're here to investigate the activities of two Canadian companies, Morumbi Resources and Invincible Resources and they're investigating allegations about possible breaches of the Canadian Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act, that's a law that prevents Canadian companies and citizens from engaging in corrupt activity, like bribery when they're operating overseas.
Mr Punghau said that the Mounties have been investigating this issue for three years and that it was not initiated in any way by the Bougainville government and the first they heard of it was about a year ago.
Mr Punghau says at the request of the Canadian investigators, the chief administrator of the Bougainville government has sent letters to the proposed witnesses, but he didn't name them and as you heard, he welcomed the arrival of the Mounties and urged all Bougainvilleans to cooperate with them.
It should be noted that among the Canadians, there are three Mounties, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and also a Canadian Crown Prosecutor.
HILL: Now, the whole question of mining on Bougainville is massively sensitive. They fought a civil war there for ten years over the royalties from the Panguna Gold and Copper Mine. Is there some suggestion that these Canadian companies might have been trying to get back in, get mining back up and running on Bougainville and perhaps cutting a few corners to get there?
FOX: I think it's safe to assume that those are the allegations. The future of mining on Bougainville is the big picture context, to what is happening here.
The Bougainville government is developing mining legislation. It's leaning towards only allowing one, possibly two large mines, one of those would be the reopening of the Panguna Mine, over which the civil war was fought, whereas Morumbi and before it Invincible Resources want to be able to conduct their own mining operations there.
Now Morumbi in recent years, has been signing deals with local landowner groups, that it says pave the way for mineral exploration and development.
It's announced these in notices to the Canadian Stock Exchange, but these announcements come despite a moratorium on any exploration and any mining activity on Bougainville.
Now, a central figure in all of this is the Australian man and expatriate, Lindsay Semple. He's connected to both Invincible Resources and Morumbi Resources. When he was with Invincible Resources, some our listeners might remember that Invincible Resources signed a deal with the former Bougainville President, Joseph Kabui, back in 2008, where in return for a payment of around 20 million kina or eight million dollars. Mr Kabui gave Invincible 70 per cent control of Bougainville's mineral resources. Mr Kabui spent some of that money on going to Cairns for heart surgery and died not long after that deal was reached. The deal was later rejected by the next Bougainville government and so you would think, because we haven't been able to talk to the Mounties and it's unlikely they'll be making any statements, but these are the things that they'll be investigating.
HILL: I imagine they weren't wearing red surge or carrying snow shoes or anything. But one of the things that we do know about the man whose, of course, they always get their man, don't they Liam?
FOX: That's right. I actually asked one of the local journalists who was at the press conference if they were wearing their famous red uniforms and wide brimmed hats and he said they actually weren't at the press conference. They were somewhere else. This press conference was held to notify the people of Bougainville that the Mounties are here, and what they're doing. The journalist said that the Mounties are keeping a low profile for the moment and they're due to be in Bougainville for the next five days.
HILL: OK, Thanks very much for that update. That's our PNG correspondent, Liam Fox.
LISTEN HERE !
ABG ACCEPTS CANADIAN INVESTIGATORS
Source: The Global Mail
Canadian Mounties Investigating on Bougainville
By Jo Chandler
Foreign treasure hunters have descended on the battle-scarred and economically bereft Pacific island of Bougainville, as jockeying for its natural riches intensifies. Hot on their trail: The Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Detectives from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are on the Pacific island of Bougainville to investigate deals by Canadian-based miners positioning for a stake in the war-torn territory’s vast gold and copper riches.
Three Mounties, members of a specialist unit briefed to investigate allegations of corruption of public foreign officials, flew to the Papua New Guinea capital of Port Moresby on Sunday, November 24, en route to Buka in Bougainville, where they are expected to spend a week gathering evidence and testimony and probing the miners’ interactions with the internecine workings of the island’s powerbrokers.
Though economically bereft, Bougainville has immense minerals wealth. Its Panguna site was once one of the world’s largest copper mines and underwrote PNG’s economy when it gained independence from Australia in 1975. Jockeying for access to, and income from, its buried treasure has become fierce ahead of the now autonomous island’s decree of new mining laws and the easing of a decades-long exploration moratorium.
“The Canadian police investigators have informed the Autonomous Bougainville Government [ABG] that they wish to undertake interviews with certain people who have interests in companies called Morumbi [Resources] and Invincible [Resources], both companies who are pursuing mining-related activities in Bougainville,” the region’s acting chief administrator, Chris Siriosi, has confirmed.
Invincible Resources gained local prominence back in 2006 when it paid Kina 20 million ($AU8 million) to the skint ABG in a deal for a 70 per cent share of the island’s future mineral resources. It also secured a smelter royalty recently estimated to be worth US$19.5 million.
Then-president Joseph Kabui was facing a vote of no confidence in his parliament over fallout from the still-unstamped deal when he died of a heart attack in 2008.
Invincible subsequently changed directors; had a falling out with the principal of its Bougainville operation, Australian-born mining entrepreneur Lindsay Semple (unsuccessfully suing him); changed its corporate identity; and faded from the scene in Bougainville.
But a couple of its key figures – Semple and his longtime PNG highlander associate Philip Rali – reappeared in 2011-12 in association with a new player, Morumbi Resources, which set out to distinguish itself from traditional Big Mining by cultivating grassroots relationships and goodwill with several communities, including investing in health clinics and training student teachers, and preaching a sustainable-mining model. It today claims to have negotiated deals with half-a-dozen landowner groups “in anticipation of the [exploration] moratorium being lifted”.
At a press conference in Bougainville this morning, Acting President Albert Punghau told local media “the visiting group are conducting an investigation only. I believe decisions about whether or not criminal charges should be laid will only be made when the investigation is complete. Until then all involved are presumed innocent”.
The present Bougainville Government has been co-operating fully with the Canadian inquiry since learning of its existence several months ago, Siriosi says. He stressed that the ABG had not laid any complaint with Canada, but that the Mounties had initiated their investigation independently three years ago. A Canadian police liaison officer told The Global Mail the unit could not comment on ongoing inquiries.
The island’s infrastructure and economy have profoundly decayed in the years since the war and many people rely on scavenging scrap metal from abandoned sites and on artisanal mining to survive.
The serving Bougainville President, Dr John Momis, has been outspoken against what he labels “back-door mining deals” as landowner groups, local militias, and international prospectors – small and large – jostle in anticipation of new mining laws and the re-opening of the war-ravaged island to exploitation of its mineral wealth.
Momis has slammed deals being brokered between individual communities and smaller companies as unfair to the wider population – most recently in a two-page paid spread in The National newspaper on Monday, November 25. He has foreshadowed world-first legislation which would see Bougainville landowners share mineral rights with the state; gain veto over exploration; and rights to object to developments when they are already underway.
But his government is under attack from powerful opponents who accuse the President and his AusAID-funded advisor (lawyer and long-time Bougainville scholar Anthony Regan) of crafting laws that sympathise with Australian interests and favour the return of Rio Tinto subsidiary Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL). Regan has strenuously denied such claims.
These opponents include the ABG’s former finance and mining minister Mathias Salas, and local hero and former Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) leader Sam Kauona, the latter an enthusiastic advocate for the Canadian operators now being scrutinised by the Mounties.
Kauona is an old colleague of one of the original directors of Invincible, Philip Rali (the pair were in the PNG military together before Kauona defected to the BRA). Rali introduced Kauona to his friend and business partner Lindsay Semple.
The BRA warrior and the Australian businessman developed a strong rapport, as Kauona explained to ABC correspondent Steve Marshall in 2008: “Lindsay Semple, out of hundreds of interested investors that came into Bougainville, turns out to be that person, that special person, who is genuine, who is able to listen to the way people think … I have chosen Lindsay because in my heart I feel that he's the person Bougainville needs.”
Contacted by phone yesterday, Rali told The Global Mail that he didn’t believe the claims about the Canadian investigation. He said Semple and Kauona were out of telephone range.
Morumbi’s Toronto spokesman said last night the company had no knowledge of the investigation and that the company had “no dealings with government officials in Bougainville or PNG”. Attempts to locate Invincible Resources for comment were unsuccessful.
LIFE EXPECTANCY on Bougainville is just 60 years for women, 59 for men – that’s eight and five years behind the PNG national average, which itself rates right near the bottom among international indicators. The island’s infrastructure and economy have profoundly decayed in the years since the war, and many people rely on scavenging scrap metal from abandoned sites and on artisanal (small-scale) mining to survive.
The island’s mostly subsistence society is mired in deep poverty and social division, according to a just-published report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). “The Papua New Guinea Government, donors, neighbours and officials on Bougainville have failed to build the capacity needed by the Autonomous Bougainville Government to remediate the causes of the 1990s conflict.”
Many leaders and communities on the deeply disadvantaged island support some level of mining activity to secure their future as either an autonomous region or a fully independent nation. Under the peace deal they are due to vote on that issue between 2015 and 2020. But the clashes over mining policy are testimony to the deep divisions and enduring anxieties about the region’s prospects and the revival of the minerals industry. Antipathy toward mining interests generally, and BCL particularly, remains high, as is concern about a descent back into conflict.
Bougainville President Dr John Momis has been outspoken against what he labels “back-door mining deals”.
Rumblings about such a threat – “The Second Bougainville Crisis” was the headline on another paid newspaper statement published by Momis opponents back in March – reverberate widely.
“The truth is that few Bougainvilleans have opposed BCL longer or harder than me,” Momis responded in his paid newspaper statement this week. “When I became President, I explored other [non-BCL] possibilities for ... re-opening of Panguna. But the Panguna landowner communities said they wanted the ‘devil they knew’ and not a ‘new devil’.
“So I respected their wishes. As a result the ABG is consulting them about how to handle possible negotiations.”
It’s now 25 years since a cauldron of disputes – local clashes over the distribution of mining royalties; fighting between rebel separatists and PNG forces; and fallout overclaims of substantial environmental damage – erupted in the 1988 uprising that shut down BCL’s massive Panguna mine, then one of the largest copper mines in the world, in 1989, and ignited a decade of civil war in which thousands of people died. Figures are hard to confirm and the subject of expert dispute, however, upwards of 10,000 are believed to have perished from direct action and as a consequence of a long blockade, which stymied food and medical supplies. A UN estimate put the figure at 15,000, other reports go higher. Thousands of women and girls were raped, one third of the population lost their homes, and a generation of children missed out on an education.
The recent ASPI paper warns that Bougainville’s fragile peace is at risk of collapse unless the Australian Government invests soon, and substantially, in a new development effort.
The report, co-authored by ASPI executive director Peter Jennings and institute analyst Dr Karl Claxton, urges Australia’s new Coalition government under Prime Minister Tony Abbott to engage in active diplomacy, together with a tripling of aid to the island to $100 million a year.
Bougainvilleans do not yet have realistic options to choose either autonomy or independence, the pair argue. “Misunderstandings between Port Moresby
and the ABG persist, while Bougainville remains a deeply divided society. Economic imperatives to resume mining add new pressures.
“The most likely referendum outcome at the moment – Papua New Guinea refusing to ratify a clear but far from unanimous vote for an independence Bougainville is utterly unprepared for – would be destabilising.”
They argue that a prompt, resourced and focused engagement by Australia with Bougainville could mitigate the risk of another collapse.
“The Bougainville situation presents an early test case
for the Abbott government’s credentials for focusing Australian foreign policy more on our immediate region,” the paper argues.
“More than anything, Bougainville needs its economy and infrastructure developed to help sustain peace. A new international effort to assist Bougainville could be thought of as a preventive development initiative to forestall the need for another peacekeeping mission.”
Violence against women on rise
By ROMULUS MASIU
VIOLENCE against women is surely and steadily on the rise in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
Police statistics show that the violence against women reported to the police has gone up as high as 70 cases in Central Bougainville from 2011 to 2013, with many more gone unreported. Twenty-two cases on rape and sexual penetration were reported while 20 cases of threatening words and behaviour, including insulting words, were reported to police during the three year period. Only five incest cases were reported to police with many unreported, three attempted rape was reported and five sexual assault and touching, including indecent assault, and only two sexual harassment and three cases of spreading false reports and indecent pictures.
According to the police report supplied to the public at the stall during the stop violence against women day at Arawa Park, the prominent offence is assault, prominent place of offence is at the urban centre – Arawa, prominent offender group are the unemployed, active offender age group are in their 20s-40s with the youngest offender at 14 years of age and the oldest offender is a 54 year old.
In most of the cases, the offenders are known to the victims and are their husbands, uncles, boyfriends, brother in law, son, and father in law and biological father. Meanwhile, a Bougainvillean male champion Sam Kauona appealed to women to respect their husband and vice versa and to have a happy family life and live in a happy home. Mr Kauona was honored as Bougainville’s Male Champion by Sr Lorraine Garasu and her group after his distinguished and outstanding family life.
Mr Kauona encouraged his male counterparts to have constant dialogue with their wives, sort it out if there is a family problem and come up with compromises instead of resorting to violence. The former BRA general who is married for 24 years now said he had not laid his hands on his wife at any single time and challenged husbands and boys to be true gentlemen and not to beat up their wives.
ABG digs deep for typhoon victims
By WINTERFORD TOREAS
THE Autonomous Bougainville Government has donated K100,000 towards victims of the super Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines. This funding assistance, which was presented by the Acting ABG President Albert Punghau to representatives of the Filipino Association in Buka last Friday, was sourced from Bougainville’s internal revenue earnings.
Speaking before the cheque presentation, Mr Punghau said the ABG had come up with this assistance following a request for financial donations from the Filipino Association of PNG which was published in the newspapers about a fortnight ago.
He said theappeal clearly showed that the people of Philippines have been greatly affected by this typhoon. “As a responsible government, we feel that we should, in a meaningful way, also donate some money to those people in the Philippines that have been affected by this Typhoon Yolanda,” Mr Punghau said.
Mr Punghau said though this was just a small contribution, this money was given for a worthy and humanitarian cause as it will be used in meeting some of the urgent needs of those affected. He said this assistance has the backing of President John Momis.
Mr Punghau also outlined the relationship and contribution in terms of medical and technical assistances that the Philippines government had given to PNG since the country gained independence in 1975, before adding that Bougainville is no exception to the assistance program brought on by the Philippines workers that came to the country.
Mr Punghau said President Momis has already made four visits to Philippines to discuss with their government about the types of technical assistance to be given to help rebuild Bougainville.
Representatives of the Filipino Association in Buka, Bernard Soriano thanked the ABG for the contribution, saying this assistance will go a long way in helping those affected. “On behalf of the Filipino Association and the victims of the typhoon, we are very happy and thank you for this assistance. “This is a big thing to us, and we thank the ABG for this contribution,” Mr Soriano said.
Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville
HEALTH SUMMIT OPENED
By Aloysius Laukai
The two-days Health/Donor Partners summit was officially opened by the ABG Minister for Finance, Planning and Treasury and Acting President, ALBERT PUNGHAU at the Kuri village resort this morning (picture).
ABG acting President, ALBERT PUNGHAU has just opened the Health donor Summit in Buka.
In his opening remarks, MR. PUNGHAU expressed his utmost gratitude to all donors and participants of the first ever summit to be held in Buka.
He said that the people of Bougainville through their government is happy for their presence and be able to deliberate in presenting and discussing priorities in Health that may need external donor support over the next five years.
The Acting President said that he was able to note the intended outcome of the donor summit in that there are clear intentions as defined by the summit goals and objectives.
To the external participants, MR. PUNGHAU said that he was pleased that their input as experts of various activities in the public service is of paramount importance.
He said their input were very important to Bougainville and to develop a realistic Health service delivery mechanism that can serve the people of Bougainville better was what Bougainville wants to see especially our efforts to serve the women and children who are most vulnerable to common infections.
And to the local participants, MR. PUNGHAU called on them to provide to the summit the reality of the challenges, constraints and what ever other impediments that they encounter at the work place fairly to our donor partners for their consideration, been the implementers of government policies, and objectives.
He said that he trusts that you will express your experiences to the donor summit realistically and constructively.
On the part of the ABG Health system, the acting President informed the donors that the ABG wants to make all sectors focus more on the family unit and therefore the Health division will be the one that will be accountable to the demands for health services by the people at the village level and that is where 95percent of Bougainville’s population live.
He said that the system should take account of improving accessibility to basic and even secondary health services by all persons who have the need for, it should critically identify loop holes, constraints and challenges with the current system.
The Acting President said that he hoped that the system is designed to address efficiency and effectiveness of the important core government resources.
Health summit underway in Bougainville
A HEALTH summit is currently underway in Bougainville.
The two days summit, which started yesterday and ends today, was opened by the Acting President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Albert Punghau yesterday morning.
The summit was spearheaded by the Bougainville Division of Health and will involve representatives from various stakeholders including the National Department of Health, World Health Organisation, United Nations, Strongim Pipol Strongim Nesen (SPSN) and others.
The aim of the summit was to update the donor partners in Bougainville on the division’s five year master plan and constrains, impediments and challenges faced in the delivery of essential health services in Bougainville. The importance of the event was for the government and the donor agencies to be given first-hand information on the delivery of health service in the region.
Topics that will be discussed include ABG master health plan and priorities, health infrastructure and solar lighting, human resource for health, capacity development/training of the health workforce, district hospital development and transport and equipment (medical and cold chain). Others include maternal and child health and the public health programs for malaria, HIV and the sexually transmitted diseases.
Arawa hosts carnival of sport
By Lisa and Ishmael Palipal
Arawa Town played host to primary schools from all over Central Bougainville for their sports carnival last week.
The games began on Monday volleyball, athletics, basketball, netball and touch rugby all contested.
The festivities started with a ceremony at the Independence Oval and was officially opened by the Education Minister in the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Anita Salas.
Source: ESBC Research
Post Courier launches new website
By FRANKLIN KOLMA
South Pacific Post officially launched its online news medium entity, Post Courier Online yesterday at the Lamana Gold Club.
Post Courier Online is Post Couriers latest flagship to the online community. It will allow anyone who has an internet connection, to access the latest news. From local to International news, Business to Sports, Post Courier Online can now be the one stop site for every Papua New Guinean’s news and media needs. Apart from news, there will be the daily Post Courier questions poll to keep users up to date on the country’s latest hot topics.
The site can now for the first time in PNG media, act as an advertising medium for companies and organizations that wish to appeal to the broader online community, world over. The event was well attended with representatives from many high profile companies showing an interest in the newly launched website. At the event, it was disseminated that the first three months of the Post Courier Online will see a free subscription with a standard rate to be announced after the three months of free service.
The site’s web address is www.postcourier.com.pg - Click here or above!
Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville
SOME ARRIVE FOR HEALTH SUMMIT
By Aloysius Laukai
Participants of the two days HEALTH DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT started arriving today for the summit that will be held at Kuri village Resort in Buka town.
In welcoming the first arrivals at the Buka airport this afternoon, Deputy Administrator, PAUL KEBORI thanked them for accepting Bougainville’s call for their participation at this summit which is the first of its kind to be held in Buka.
In response, DR. DATTA , Technical Officer with the World Health Organization and DR.GILBERT HIAWALYA Assistant Representative of UNFPA said that they were here to listen to what the people of Bougainville want in terms of Health service delivery throughout Bougainville.
They said that they were happy to be part of the planning process of Health Services on Bougainville.
The other participants are expected to arrive tomorrow morning in time for the Official opening ceremony at 9am
New Dawn FM understands that this summit was organized after a call was made by the ABG Minister for Health and Vice President, PATRICK NISIRA during the launching of the Bougainville Health Service TEN YEAR Plan last year.
MR. NISIRA had requested the Health Division and the World Health Organization, to come up with a development summit that can get donor partners to come and find ways of funding the plan.
DR. Datta from the World Health Organization being welcomed at the Buka airport by the ABG Chief Protocol officer PHILIP KIHA.
DR. DATTA and DR. Gilbert Hiawalyer Assistant Rep for UNFPA were the first people to arrive on Air Niugini this afternoon for tomorrow's Health Summit in Buka.
Bana feeder roads worsen
By ROMULUS MASIU
THE Sirakatau-Sianeki feeder road in the Bolave Constituency of the Bana District in South Bougainville has gone from bad to worse after negligence from relevant authorities, including the local MP Steven Pirika. According to a local from the area, Ambrose Raphael, a local road works company, Jomik Plant Hire, was engaged to undertake the maintenance of the road after funds were set aside for the work by Member for South Bougainville Steven Kamma Pirika. However, Mr Raphael said the work just stopped without completing the maintenance of the feeder roads which serve more than 2000 population of Bolave. “The Jomik Plant Hire pulled out all its equipment when Mr Pirika won the 2012 national general election and became Member for South Bougainville. Now the state of the road is going from bad to worse, with many sections of the feeder roads becoming impassable.” Speaheading the voluntary maintenance of the Sirakatau-Sianeki feeder road, Mr Raphael said since no one has taken any interest in completing or maintaining the road, the people have come together to patch very bad sections which the vehicles could not negotiate through. He said there is not even a word from the MP or even ABG on whether their feeder roads will be maintained or what really happened and why Jomik Plant Hire pulled out their machineries when the work was not completed.
Power outage forces students home at lunchtime
By DAVID LORNIE
CHILDREN at the Kamarau International School in Buka are being sent home at lunchtime daily due to the town’s continuous power blackouts. Headmistress Ms Haii said that since September the school has been experiencing power outages which last the whole day. “The blackouts start at around eight or nine and sometimes before the kids come – 7.30,” said Ms Haii. “It is a hygiene issue. We have one toilet and we pump the water in the morning and once that water is used up for the toilet we can’t keep the kids here.” The children also have to take lessons outside as the classroom is too dark and hot. As a result of the constant blackouts, lessons have to be rushed and condensed into the morning schedule. “We get the kids in the morning, teach them English and Maths lessons in the morning and squeeze a little bit of the general subjects in before we send them home. The kids say they don’t want to go home – it’s boring at home – but we can’t do much,” Ms Haii said. “It’s really disrupting us and we have to get ready for our end of year presentations, our awards evening,” said the headmistress. “PNG Power, what it’s done to the business community, my school, I’m really concerned. My (students’) parents pay so much money and I’m pretty sure a good number of parents are complaining about me sending the children home. I’ve been expressing to them I can’t do much. But I feel for them. I want PNG Power to at least come up with a constructive idea, have a timetable put out so we know when the power cuts will be so we can plan around that.”
When contacted by this newspaper, PNG Power’s Port Moresby office said the outages were due to a technical fault with the generator unit. “Customers have been issued with load shedding notices through our office (in Buka),” they said. But Ms Haii confirmed that no notices had been sent to Kamarau. Other local businesses, when asked, said they had not seen them either. “There are notices sitting at the cashier of the PNG Power office in Buka,” said the PNG Power representative when asked. A copy of this notice was sourced at the cashier. It indicated the power would be off daily for only three hours. Blackouts at Kamarau and other parts of Buka last an average of eight hours daily. PNG Power’s response: “With load shedding, it is sort of referred to as a guide and not necessarily will it be followed.”
UN opens peace office in Buka
THE United Nations (UN) office in Buka opened its peace and development analysis (PDA) consultative program in Buka yesterday in partnership with the Autonomous Bougainville Government. Chief executive officer of the Division of Peace and Reconcilia-tion Nick Peniai, in his opening remarks said Bougainville has found ways to make peace as we have seen more than half of the 1200 registered reconciliation cases from 2010 decreased to 600 this year. “These reconciliations that have taken place have been either addressed by the people themselves or by the division and rehabilitation must be hosted with political, social and economic cohesion,” said Peniai. The UN is coming in through Interpeace Geneva and wants the community to contribute to make sure what comes out of collaborative level is to be implemented in the strategy plan for peace as the referendum for Bougainville’s Independence in 2015. Anthony Agyenta of UN Bougainville said: “Everything has lost track in the peace agreement with dynamic, fluid and social problems and we are working in partnership with the Government of PNG and ABG to find solutions from the community level.” “A lot of resources have been used and that has gone and we must leave that and look forward with consultations with the people so we have engaged Peter Bauman who is an American and works with Interpeace Geneva to spearhead the Peace Building Priority Plan with plan consultative discussions with the people at the lower level,” said Agyenta.
Speaker issues by-election writs
By WINTERFORD TOREAS
MR Miriki signing the writs in the presence of Mr Nanu.
SPEAKER of the Bougainville House of Representatives, Andrew Miriki yesterday signed and issued the writs for the by-elections of five constituency seats.
The signing ceremony, witnessed by the acting Bougainville electoral commissioner George Manu, the assistant returning officers of these constituencies and the ABG member for women in Central Bougainville, Joan Jerome, took place yesterday at 4pm at the Bougainville parliament chamber.
The constituencies that will be having their by-elections include Hagogohe and Peit in North Bougainville, Rau and Kongara in Central Bougainville and Lule in South Bougainville.
These constituency seats have been vacant for the past months and years
Lule and Rau seats have became vacant following the death of their members, Paul Mitu and Joseph Egilio, while the members for Hagogohe and Kongara had resigned last year to contest in the National Election.
In the case for Peit constituency, their member, Mr Alexis Sarei was dismissed from Parliament this year by Mr Miriki after failing to attend three consecutive parliamentary sittings due to sickness and old age.
Mr Manu, while delivering his speech before the signing, said though they had gone through a lot of difficulties leading to this signing, they were still able to perform their duties resulting in yesterday’s important activity.
School lacks support
THE institution has taken upon themselves to extend the girls dormitory after no financial assistance from stakeholders especially government.
By ROMULUS MASIU
THE Koromira Technical High School in Kieta District of Central Bougainville is not getting financial support from stakeholders, especially the government.
The school is experiencing shortage of accommodation spaces for its students, shortage of classrooms and more importantly lack of workshop tools for students to do their practical, Principal Glen Mihen has revealed.
Mr Mihen said this is the result of the school’s unpreparedness with authorities ‘forcing’ the transition from vocational status to technical high school system. Previously the school was known as Koromira vocational.
Mr Mihen outlined this year a lot of students, especially from the southern region have withdrew because of no spaces in the dormitories to cater for the increasing number of students enrolling at the beginning of 2013 academic year. Classrooms are also not enough for all the students and the workshops barely have any tools for students to do practical with.
“The students are very interested to do practical but there is lack of handy tools for carpentry, mechanical and plumbing. The school is going more into academic and not technical aspects as stipulated in the status of the institution.”
Also Mr Mihen pointed out that there is also lack of teaching curriculum such as text books and more over there is no funding forthcoming from the Bougainville Catholic Agency which owns and looks after this institution.
Though there is free tuition fee from the National Government, a component of K500, 000 earmarked for the school that will come from Autonomous Bougainville Government through the Bougainville Education Division has not reached the school yet. The money is for building two more classrooms for Tourism and Hospitality and Business Studies.
“There is no support from stakeholders, especially the government though the government preaches through its leaders that education is their number one priority. They are not putting money where itsr mouth is.
When we talk about providing our own skills man and women, we must seriously address and look at improving our vocational and technical schools. We need support to improve our technical schools, financially we are down. We really are struggling and just hope that good things will come.”
The school has drawn up a good five year plan but needed good support from the government to fund this five year plan. By 2017, the school will take in the first Grade 11 intakes and the institution will be known as technical secondary school. At the moment the school offers carpentry, joinery, mechanic, plumbing and tourism and hospitality. There is no electrical classes because of no teacher with the shortage of technical people who can teach in vocational and technical schools.
Kieta district games underway
THE Kieta District Games, dubbed the “grassroots games” are finally underway.
The games will involve thousands of youths from North Nasioi, South Nasioi, Urban, Kongara and Panguna District.
Kokoda Constituency is missing out again due to financial problems.
Arawa town will host the sporting feast with sports men and women converging to showcase their styles, strength and talents.
The opening ceremony was conducted in the presence of ABG Member for North Nasioi Nicholas Darku. Present also were the Kieta District Sports Authority (KDSA) team led by Augustine Kikira and Steven Baona.
Although faced with a shortfall in the games budget, KDSA did well to host the games for the sake of the grassroots youths in the remote areas of Kieta and Panguna districts.
Present at the ceremony also was a representative from Care International, Kosma Piri, who is preparing his peer group educators to do some awareness during the tournament.
Mr Darku asked the athletes to maintain fair game and respect to each other. He appealed to them to take sports seriously apart from their normal daily lives.
Mr Darku also announced the soccer academy that will be built in Bougainville which is going to be the first of its kind in the region. Many saw it as a Christmas present for the people of Bougainville as it will benefit them.
The academy is jointly funded by FIFA through Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) in partnership with PNGFA and BSF. After the opening ceremony Mr Darku tossed a ball signifying the opening of the Kieta district games. Volleyball kicked off straight away while soccer, basketball and rugby touch will start tomorrow. Darts and boxing will follow later in the week.
Source: The National
ABG gets thumbs up for progress of projects
By ALOYSIUS LAUKAI
CHIEF Secretary Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc (right) is happy with the progress of some projects being carried out by the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) under the national government’s rural electrification programme.
It includes the upgrading and sealing of the Buka Ring Road.
He visited the rural electrification project up to Malasang village on Buka Island last Saturday.
Sir Manasupe said although there had been some differences between the ABG and the National Government on projects under the Special Intervention Fund, it was now evident that some work had been done and this must be acknowledged.
He was briefed by the ABG’s special project officer, Aphraime Eminoni on the progress of the rural electrification programme covering North, Central and South Bougainville.
Eminoni said electrification on Buka Island had reached Malasang village and would continue to Kessa which was on the tip of island.
He said the programme would not wait for the road sealing which was being done at a slower pace.
Eminoni said the programme on mainland Bougainville would start from Kokopau up to the proposed Ramazon hydro-powerproject.
In Central Bougainville, Eminoni said the project from Arawa has already reached Toniva.
The Buin District Power has been fully established and will soon come under the control of PNG Power.
Eminoni said the ABG aimed to fully restore power generation in Buka, Arawa and Buin before it moved to the other districts.
He said hydro-power generation centres had been identified in North, Central and South Bougainville and work would start soon on these projects.
On the continuous power blackouts in Buka town, Eminoni said they would talk to the ABG about buying new and bigger generators while waiting for the Ramazon hydro power project to come on line.
Source: The National
Aussie soldiers in Bougainville to remove WWII ammunitions
By ALOYSIUS LAUKAI
AN advance party of seven Australian soldiers is currently in Bougainville to remove unexploded World War II bombs and ammunition in the Torokina area of South Bougainville.
Bougainville acting chief administrator Chris Siriosi said the soldiers had been invited by the Autonomous Bougainville Government.
The team arrived in Buka on Saturday and will be in Torokina from Nov 27 to Dec 2. They will leave Buka on Dec 5.
He said a much larger group would arrive later to remove the remaining bombs and World War II artillery around the Torokina area which was the main American Base during the war.
Any persons wanting information can call the division of media and communication on telephone 973 9978
Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville
Tourists visit Buka
By Aloysius Laukai
More than 50 tourists from 6 countries visited Buka yesterday in their 6 hours stay in Buka on their way to Gizo in the Solomon Islands.
They arrived in Buka aboard the Cruise ship, OCEANIC DISCOVERER (pictured) which anchored just off Madehas island and the passengers came off on the ship's landing craft which took them to Kokopau on mainland Bougainville for their visit and cultural activities at the newly opened Sorom Tsuana.
In Sorom, two schools, Sorom and Tilowa Primary Schools had their children participating in cultural activities with the villagers from Selau district.
The colorful activities started with the washing off hands at the Kokopau beach front and later at the Sorom Tsuana.
They were welcomed by the chief, Joseph Watawi and the local ABG member Terry Mose and the students of the two schools who sang the Bougainville and National Anthems.
After dancing with the locals the group were ten loaded back to the vehicles and brought to Buka for their final shopping of artifacts at the Buka main market before returning back to the ship after 2 pm yesterday afternoon.
New Dawn Fm understands that the Oceanic Discoverer came in March this year and this is their second trip to Buka.
Their last visit by the tourists from this boat was to Ramundata village.
Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville
FORMER BRA ENEMIES RECONCILE TO SUPPORT ABG
By Alex Munme
TWO former enemies during the Bougainville Crisis met to publicly forget the past, say sorry, accept each other, unite and work together with the Government to achieve its dream for the future.
Former BRA Commanders, Glyn Tovirika and Chris Siriosi now the Acting Chief Administrator of the Autonomous Bougainville Government reconciled last week at Waropa, in the Tinputz District, Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
The reconciliation was necessary to unite them and their people together and pave way for the ABG to carry out awareness to inform the people as to prepare them for Referendum and possibly Independence for Bougainville.
During the reconciliation ceremony Mr. Siriosi said if there is no unity, let us forget the dream of our future.
While apologizing to his former enemy he said Glyn and I are brothers. He said this is my home because my grandparents were from this place.
Mr. Tovirika while accepting the apology said he was also very sorry saying they were once divided. He said they have a future and to achieve their dream, they need to forget the past and look to the future.
Chairman of Tinputz COE, Lawrence Wane said the reconciliation was to cleanup all the past rubbish and to continue with assisting ABG as their Government into the future.
Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville
ABG HOLDS HEALTH DONORS AND PARTNERS SUMMIT
By Alex Munme
THE ABG through its Health Division is holding a Health Donors and Partners Summit in Buka, Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
The two days summit will be held on Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th November, 2013 at the Kuri Village Resort Hotel.
The summit is aimed at getting the donor partners into the region to listen and learn from the Health Division, get the donor partners to agree to provide assistance and why it is important to hold this summit.
Some Donor Partners for the summit include World Health Organization, AUSAID, Leprosy Mission-New Zealand, US Embassy, Strongim Pipol Strongim Nesen, UN Women, UNDP, World Vision, UNICEF, CARE and others.
The summit will make the donors actually feel the service need and the opportunity for ABG to talk directly in relation to donor support to the health division and other sectors in the ABG.
Donor Partners arrive in Buka tomorrow for the summit.
NZ to give ABG taxman a hand
Improved tax collection could be the latest assistance project to flow from New Zealand to Bougainville according to the High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Marion Crawshaw.
Ms Crawshaw told Radio New Zealand International that New Zealand will look to assist the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) with efficiency of tax collection.
For the ABG, taxation is a key area for improvement as it pushes to decrease dependence on the Government of Papua New Guinea ahead of an independence referendum, which could be called as early as 2015.
Source: Islands Business
ABG enacts business laws
BUKA, PNG --- The Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) has passed a legislation that will balance economic development with the needs of the local people.
Director of local law firm, Tuia Namani International, Hubert Namani congratulated the ABG on the passage of Bougainville’s Inward Investment Legislation describing it as an historic moment in Bougainville and PNG.
“Too often in this part of the world we have seen investment take place with no thought for the consequences on the indigenous people. The ABG’s model for responsible investment means that only the right type of investor will be able to operate in Bougainville, bringing in much needed expertise and capital, but ensuring that the needs of Bougainvilleans are met. This is a great example of how to tailor policy and legislation from the ground up to meet local aspirations and to provide certainty for the investor”.
Namani, a director of the Small Business Development Corporation and went on to say that the PNG mainland could learn much from the approach that the ABG has taken in developing and implementing its policy.
“We must welcome responsible foreign investment because it has helped build PNG’s economy and it will continue to enhance the wellbeing of our people by supporting economic growth and prosperity.
“Foreign investment brings many benefits. It supports existing jobs and creates new jobs, it encourages innovation, it introduces new technologies and skills, it brings access to overseas markets and it promotes competition amongst our industries.
He said the national government must review foreign investment proposals against the national interest on a case-by-case basis and link it to a development strategy and policy for future development of our economy and country.
Our processes must also protect genuine investors who have been a part of the PNG economy for considerable time as opposed to fly by companies who come in to the country with competing interests and no capital.
Namani further said that “We are proud that our partner in Tuia Namani, Tuia International, has played a leading role in working with the ABG on it policy, legislation and implementation”.
Tuia Namani is a PNG registered joint venture between local law firm Namani & Associates and New Zealand based Tuia International & Tuia Group.
The business group jointly provide expert services in the following areas of trade development, investment promotion, public policy, law and regulatory advice, organisation design, performance measurement, strategy and economic development.
Source: Radio New Zealand International
Bougainville gives aid to Philippines typhoon victims
The autonomous Bougainville Government in Papua New Guinea has donated 38 thousand US dollars to the relief effort in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
New Dawn reports the acting ABG president, Albert Punghau, saying the gesture is Bougainville’s way of showing its support to the people of the Philippines.
Mr Punghau says the funds are not from any government grant but from internal revenue generated in the province.
He said Filipino nationals have contributed a lot to Bougainville and PNG as a whole, from churches to businesses, and the donation is a means of saying thank you while extending a humanitarian hand.
Arawa Library needs local books
By Leonard Fong Roka
Still in need of books – Bougainville Haus Stori & Cultural Centre.
The manager of the Arawa’s public library, Mr Allan Gioni, said the library needs literature that is Bougainvillean to educate Bougainvilleans about themselves and the library needs external help to reach that goal.
The library, Bougainville Haus Stori & Cultural Center, was initiated and funded by Lloyd Jones, the author of award winning novel, Mr. Pip, which is now a movie set out at Pidia village some 10 kilometres east of Arawa.
The library, built within the perimeters of Arawa Secondary School, is supported by the New Zealand Bougainville Library Trust and so gets some funding assistance and book donations from that source.
Allan Gioni knows that this is not secure in the long term so he has called on all Bougainvilleans and those interested on Bougainville to stand behind the library.
Source: ABC Radio Australia - Pacific Beat
General Jerry Singirok looks back on the Sandline Affair
It's been 16 years since the Sandline Affair in PNG, which led to the ousting of the government of then prime minister Sir Julius Chan.
He was effectively removed by the then military commander, General Jerry Singirok (pictured), who disagreed with his decision to hire mercenaries from the Sandline company in an effort to win the civil war of Bougainville by force.
Bruce Hill 's been talking to General Singirok who says that looking back on the events of 1997, he believes the main problem was that political leaders thought there could be a military solution to what was really a political conflict.
Presenter: Bruce Hill
Speaker: General Jerry Singirok, former Papua New Guinea Defence Force commander
LISTEN HERE !
Source: PNG Attitude
Falsely accused: The 1989 raid on Tonanau Village
LEONARD FONG ROKA
THE TONANAU VILLAGERS in the Tumpusiong Valley of Panguna knew that the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) had burned down the neighboring hamlet of Kavarongnau but decided to remain at Tonanau because they knew they were an innocent party because none of their youth was in the bush with the militants.
Traditional beliefs had sustained their progenitors since time immemorial, so the important feast they had prepared for a dead relative had to be executed despite the guns. The villagers, led by the family of the late Itamari, were halfway through preparing for an overnight feasting ceremony when the PNGDF raided and torched nearby Kavarongnau.
In the midst of the grieving family was Ansca Siraori, a young man and relative from Kupe in the hinterland of Arawa, who was helping the mostly women and children with the feast. He had never joined the young men of Tumpusiong who were in the militancy.
Reacting to the torching of Kavarongnau, the villagers sped up work on preparation and sent out messages to distant stakeholders to come to the feast at Tonanau.
“We had 13 to 15 live pigs prepared,” Ansca Siraori told me, as he busied himself with gold panning. “Food, especially taro, was brought in from the slopes around Tonanau.”
On the final day of preparations, Ansca and other men built the pupu, a traditional bamboo cage for feasting where live pigs are kept for slaughtering and distribution.
Along with the preparation of the pigs, the men also built the komu, a wooden structure erected to hold food for the feast like taro, yam, and coconut. In the morning of the feast, the pork is parcelled with this food and distributed to participants. Later the women and children watched as the men climbed the komu and placed the food into position.
During the night the happy villagers rested and looked forward to welcome the invited guests the next afternoon.
Exhausted with the preparatory work, Ansca left the workers early and went to shower and to bed. After the feast he had plans to go home to Kupe.
Early the next morning the women began to sing and cook breakfast. Ansca set sat warming his body near the burning fire on the open lawn as the PNGDF arrived.
Occupied with the excitement and the singing, the villagers never heard the convoy coming to a stop on the main road. They felt their presence only when they stood shouting at them and firing gunshots at houses and animals.
“Olgeta kam sanap lo hia (Everybody move here).”
“A PNGDF soldier ordered us to the centre of the village,” Ansca recalled.
“Kam lo hia yupla laikim gun lo singautim yupla (Come; or do you want the gun to call you here)?”
Everywhere Ansca looked there were PNGDF soldiers wandering about searching for militants. The villagers watched as they shot at their dogs and a few chickens. At the edge of the village, the house where Ansca had been sleeping was in flames.
“I watched in fear as a big Tolai man came and stared angrily at me,” Ansca said. “Then he walked away down towards the main road. In a matter of seconds a bunch of redskin soldiers came back on us; looked me and dragged me out of the group and towards the road.”
Away from the eyes of the villagers, Ansca was beaten. He was kicked, gun butted and banged against the rocks that infest Tonanau before being brought to the road where he saw the long convoy of BCL transport vehicles used by the PNGDF.
Bringing him to the road they directed him to the big Tolai man. So he staggered on with his weak legs that were unable to carry his body. He was also sobbing with tears running profusely.
“Yes, em yu tasol boi blong Francis Ona, ah (So, it’s you the Francis Ona’s boy)?” the big Tolai man asked him as he looked up. “Yu tok, bos blong yu Francis Ona stap we (Tell us, where is your boss, Francis Ona)?”
Ansca could not utter a word and a gun butt struck his mouth and he collapsed on the ground unconscious.
Hours later he woke up at the Panguna police cell. His front teeth had gone and he was bleeding badly so a police vehicle rushed him to the medical centre where he was treated. The medical officers cleaned his mouth and operated on him. They replaced his lost row of teeth with false teeth held in position by a stainless steel rod.
He was then brought to the Arawa police cells to await his court case where the PNGDF accused him of being a close aide to Francis Ona, the militant leader. This accusation was in the Post-Courier newspaper in 1989 with Ansca’s picture on the paper.
In court, Ansca Siraori (pictured below) was found not guilty.
Today, the false teeth and the steel rod that holds them together, remind him of the brutal PNGDF who harmed him. He regularly shed tears thinking about those moments of his life.
Ansca now lives in the Kupe Mountains panning gold in the former 1930s Kupe gold mine to support his kids in school. His first born child is now in secondary school and he hopes that his child will positively contribute in the freedom struggle for Bougainville that he suffered for.
Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville
NDB COMES TO BUKA
By Aloysius Laukai
Good news at last for the people of Bougainville, that the NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT BANK will be established in Buka as of this week.
The national development bank was established by the PNG Government their to support Small to Medium Enterprises in Papua New Guinea.
And their presence in Bougainville will definitely increase the capacity of Bougainville's business activities.
The Office is expected to be opened this week.
Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville
By ANTHONY KAYBING
The Autonomous Bougainville Government has donated K100, 000.00 to the relief effort in the Philippines following the damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan which caused extensive property damage with atleast 4000 people confirmed dead.
ABG Acting President Albert Punghau says this gesture is Bougainville’s way of showing their support to the people of the Philippines.
“It is also a way of showing our humanity to the world and that despite what little we give to the people of the Philippines it is from the hearts of the Bougainville people,” the Acting President said.
The Acting President also said that the funds donated were not from any government grant but from internal revenue generated in Bougainville.
He said that Filipino nationals have contributed a lot to Bougainville and PNG as a whole from churches to businesses and this donation by the ABG was a means of saying thank you to the people of the Philippines while extending the hand of humanism and aid.
He added that ABG President Chief Dr. John Momis who is on compassionate leave was aware of this initiative and pleased with the ABG’s decision to help in this humanitarian effort.
To receive the cheque on be PNG Filipino Association was Vincent Mallari and Bernard Soriano who live and work in Bougainville.
Both men thanked ABG for their selfless donation in aiding the people devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.
“Right now they need basic necessities to sustain them like food and clothing and this donation will go a long way in helping the people in the affected areas,” Mr Soriano said.
The K100, 000.00 will be given to the PNG Filipino Association in Port Moresby where it will be sent straight to the Philippines to aid in the relief efforts.
> Newsroom 01.11.2013 until 23.11.2013