During the early days of mining on Bougainville, the women the mothers of the land in Mekamui/Bougainville were kicked, punched and been drag like animals along the beach than thrown into a hole, this was when they were protesting against the mining Company coming to destroy their land.
After 15 years of operation which leads to a mass destruction to the land, culture, customs and plant life the mine was closed for almost 21 years now. Leaders and people who base their believes and life on money are talking about re-opening that mine again. The women who cares about their land, culture, customs and their children are coming out again to say no to mining.
Today the 29th of April the Bougainville Copper Limited held their AGM in Port Moresby and they talk about re-opening the mine for Bougainville to go forward. We hope the history will not repeat itself and don’t want bloodshed on our motherland.
Below is a voice from the women who care for the land, Culture and their future generation.
Post Courier, 27/04/10
Women oppose mine bid
By MOHAMMAD BASHIR
THEY flashed imaginary cash on their fingers and tucked their fists into their
pockets to stress their points.
They said many Bougainville leaders had made decisions for their own selfish gain
which had led to bloodshed during the crisis and would not allow any repeat this
time. The two women who flew in from their village want women in Bougainville to be
consulted before any discussions on re-opening the giant Panguna mine are made.
Bougainville is traditionally a matrilineal society like East New Britain and New
Ireland. The womenfolk own the land and men are merely house husbands whose jobs are
to garden, fish and make babies. Most decisions are made by the women. Since
colonisation of PNG, women however have taken the backseat while men became leaders
and made most of the decisions. Lynette Ona and Joan Dateransi are ordinary looking
Bougainville women who have lived it all. They are in town for some other business
but decided to call into the Post-Courier to express their opposition to reports
that certain Bougainvillian leaders were mooting the idea of re-opening the Panguna
Joan is the president of the Bougainville Indigenous Women Landowners Association
(BIWLA) while Lynette is her deputy. After hearing the rumours, the two women said
the mine will not be opened and CRA will not be allowed back to Bougainville. “We
have never been consulted and we will not agree to allow CRA back to Panguna,”
They said the root cause of the Bougainville crisis was land because CRA simply did
not worry about the future generation of the island.
“CRA destroyed our land, environment and our culture. Our association has been
established to stand for those rights.”