4 08 2013
Central Ex-combatants

Central Ex-combatants

On Thursday 1st of July at 7am I got a called from my fellow comrades asking if I am free and would be willing to join them and go to Buka to attend a meeting for the Ex-Combatants, I told them yes so they picked me up. After picking four former senior BRA men we drove straight to Buka.
When I asked the comrades what’s the agenda for the meeting they told me it was an urgent one and nobody is sure about it. When we arrived in Buka we got words that it’s about mining but not a thing was given in Black and white till the 2nd of August.

Many of the Ex-combatants from the three regions of Bougainville [South, Central and North] came. As we arrived in Hujitena High School Hall I saw the topic, “Panguna Mine Negotiations workshop for ex-combatants”. Professor Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh from Griffith University who has been funded by AusAid with $613,267 will run the workshop. It started with introduction by the ABG leaders with all talking much in favor of reopening Panguna mine because ABG is so desperate for money.

Professor Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh’s presentation was more like he is talking on behalf of BCL and trying to persuade the Ex-combatants into agreeing for possible reopening of the mine. This makes former BRA General Sam Kauona to be on his toes and fired comments during questions and answer time. Sam Kaouna and his group were very furious too on section where it says if the compensation is high and reopening the mine gets to a deadlock cut down the compensation demands. Sam told Professor Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh that he is watering down the demands and this can’t be done when blood has been spilt fighting over the land.
Some members of the Ex-combatants from North spoke in favor of reopening the mine, however a strong opposition came from the Central region Ex-combatants who wants the Bougainville mining law to be completed and pass and referendum first before talks of reopening starts.

The Central Region Veteran’s affairs spoke person Junior Dake when speaking before the end of the workshop says that reopening the mine is not a problem as Sam Kaouna and Ismael Toroama mentioned but our mining law must be completed first so that we will have the power and rights over our resources. He further stated that he’s from North Nasioi where Arawa town is, during those days our mothers and sisters used to be raped in front of our eyes by the squatters who were here because of mining so this must be taken into consideration. We don’t want a repeat of that again.

This is the main issue which North Nasioi people are concern much about it. From the survey carried out by the women leaders in North Nasioi, 70% don’t want reopening Panguna mine before referendum because they don’t want outsiders coming into Arawa looking for jobs and start building squatter settlements as we are still under the freedom of movement under Png law.

Ex combatants at the Hujitena School Hall

Ex combatants at the Hujitena School Hall




2 responses

4 08 2013
Peter Nerau

The Panguna Mine is closed forever and it’s not reopening again according to the Meekamui Government and its citizens. 20,000 lives perished during the epic struggle of our human rights to preserve and protect our resources and the environment. The mining lease has expired and legally they BCL do not own anything in Panguna and therefore not welcome. Meekamui as an alternative government on Bougainville have big plans to kick start the economy to develop the island and provide opportunities for its people. The present talk by ABG and BCL about reopening the Panguna Mine is a joke and stock hype on their part to give false confidence to the share holders and prospective buyers of its stock in their company on the stock exchange. Everybody on the Island knows that the Meekamuis are in charge of the Panguna Mine now and ABG and BCL cannot talk about reopening the mine when the Meekamui Government is totally against its reopening. The Panguna Mine is a human rights issue because of the 20,000 lives lost and who are yet to be compensated and their memorial set up to honor them for the freedom we have now. Without the memorial to honor and appease the spirit of our dead children, women and man Bougainville cannot move forward economically because its morally and spiritually bankrupt.

5 08 2013
dave sansone

Freedom is number 1

I salute the freedom fighters! You continue to inspire people around the world for doing what few have been able to do and against all odds. Be pround and stay strong comrades. I stand in solidarity working towards peace and freedom on another island.

An open mine before complete Mekamui independence is like going back to 1980’s. Blood split for nothing. Other’s stealing the bones of your island.

The me-first worlder’s spend lots of money to convince people to do what is wrong. They get the money from robbing the earth (like Panguna) and the people where they live. Too bad they waste your time and try to call the shots.

An open mine after freedom is the choice of the people who live at the mine, but please don’t forget how the earth cried when the money was squeezed out of the ground. Future generations are robbed when people kill off the forest and squeeze the earth for money.

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