A GROUP of Chinese tycoons invited by the Autonomous Bougainville Government were “chased out” of Panguna and denied access to the mine site over the weekend by the self-styled Me’ekamui Defence Force soldiers.
Chris Uma, Me’ekamui Defence Force commander, told the Post-Courier from Arawa that the time was not right for outsiders to visit the mine, especially the Chinese.
“We did not fight for the Chinese to come over,” Uma said. “We are still in the negotiating process so let the landowners and Bougainvilleans decide.”
The ABG leaders refused to comment yesterday and the Chinese delegation, accommodated at a guesthouse in Buka, also refused to comment.
But ABG Parliament officials said the issue was being politicised and resulted in the Chinese being locked out or chased out of Panguna when they went for a sightseeing visit.
The group arrived in Buka on Saturday and travelled to Arawa with the hope of “sightseeing” on the Panguna mine.
These are the group that are part of the business tycoons chain that signed part of the seven MOUs in China early this year to come and develop Bougainville in partnership with the ABG.