Mom is not the man for Independent Mekamui/Bougainville.
On the 8th of February a new shipping Company in Solomon Islands, Solfish shipping took a trial trip to Bougainville with only three Bougainvillean passengers who are returning back to their motherland and a Bougainvillean Papua New Guinea Diplomat with his wife. The shipping trip between Bougainville and Solomons has been arranged by the former Bougainville Revolutionary Army General Sam Kauona and the Bougainvillean PNG Diplomat to Solomon Islands.
I was at the wharf when told by some Bougainvilleans later that afternoon. When I didn’t see many people and other business houses coming to take the trip and try out the new business route I questioned fellow Bougainvilleans, was it published in the papers and aired on the radio that Solfish is taking a trip to Bougainville? The answer was we don’t know we just heard it from others.
The Bougainville Association President in the Solomon Islands, Blackstone Oraru quickly called a meeting for the Mekamui Hardliners and we met to discuss if the shipping service is for the best interest of the people of Bougainville and the Solomon Islanders. We finished with the task of finding more information.
At the Solfish shipping notice board their next trip to Bougainville is scheduled on the 14th of March. Upon seeing the notice a Bougainvillean businessman rang Solfish Office if he can load some cartons of taiyo or tinfish. The response the lady at the office gave was, “we don’t allow any cargoes apart from Lee ko kwen [the Company that owns the ship] and George wu”, the two biggest Chinese Company in Honiara, Solomon Islands. She further stated that they have a big investment for Bougainville, They will soon take machineries across. “We are dealing with Bougainville Veterans Holdings” or BVH for short. BVH was formed by the former BRA Top Commanders after the civil war.
As the report reaches us and we got enough facts, we met again as we don’t want monopoly in shipping service to Bougainville also on top of that we don’t want Chinese in Bougainville running business which local people should run. Late in the night on the 25th of February we called Justin, the right hand man who comes over to Honiara with Sam Kauona to strike the deal. Blackstone Oraru question Justin, did the Chinese in Honiara help us in our struggle during the height of the war, or the Solomon Islanders? Why do you left them out? The two borderline Provinces own two ships, they should be the ones running this trip. He realized that and told us that it was Sam not him. He will talk with Sam and get back to us.
Meanwhile, on the ground too, the ex- combatants heard about it and they were really infuriated about it so on Monday 1st of March they held the meeting and Sam told them that he made a mistake and realize the point so they cancel the deal with Solfish shipping. They rang us on Tuesday night [2nd of March] and told us that we will talk with the two borderline Provinces and make arrangement so that their ships will be running this trip and it will be shipping service not monopoly, any Solomon Islanders who want to sell what products from the Solomons will go and likewise from Mekamui/Bougainville side too.
Blackstone Oraru contacted Lauru 1 shipping manager straight away and briefed him that Solfish deal was being cancelled. The manager mentioned that he is now happy and look forward to talk with the BVH. Before that he and his people of Choisuel were felt like being left out. They sacrificed their time and life to assist Bougainvilleans as they were at the entrance to the Solomons from Bougainville. Blackstone tried to contact Shortland shipping Manager but he was not available.
On Wednesday morning we congratulated each other for the achievement.
Now we are trying our best again to voice out in the media and also to as many people on the ground to bear in mind that the candidate for the “New Bougainville Party” in the up coming Bougainville Autonomous election John Momis is not the right man and we will not gain what we had been fighting for that is Independence for our motherland. John Momis will take us back to PNG and back to square one. So far I had sent articles to PNG Post courier and the National newspaper but it wasn’t printed simply because for the simple reason, the PNG Government don’t want Mekamui/Bougainville to be an Independent Island Nation.
“We the Indigenous people must choose an Indigenous leader who has a heart for the people and land, so that our cultures and forest will remain and we will gain political Independence”.