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The time for excuses is over, Momis to tell O’Neill


ON THE eve of critical talks in Port Moresby, Bougainville president John Momis has said he does not want to hear any more excuses from the PNG national government about its continual denial of outstanding grants to the autonomous province.

This week’s deferred meeting of the high level Joint Supervisory Body which is responsible for PNG-Bougainville relations is to thrash out an issue so vexed that Dr Momis has threatened to take the national government to court.

Dr Momis told EM-TV News last week that he does not want to hear any more excuses from the PNG government when the two parties meet today and tomorrow.

“The national government must first address the status of Bougainville under the Bougainville Peace Agreement that it had failed to honour over time,” he said.

Dr Momis said the O’Neill government has no gratitude for Bougainville’s contribution in the past.

He said funding issues will have to be addressed and resolved to enable the execution of powers and functions and the implementation of services in Bougainville.

The national government had to make available all provisional funds enabling the ABG to operate.

Dr Momis said Bougainville must not be seen as a beggar because, under the Bougainville Peace Agreement and the constitutional laws of PNG, funds were needed and they were due.

“Both governments must work together to achieve the results of the Bougainville Peace Agreement,” he said.

Unfortunately for Dr Momis, the Autonomous Bougainville Government's financial problems, which have been growing for some time, have now run into the substantial fiscal challenges facing the O'Neill government.

At the weekend, social media reports said that public servants - including the entire staff of the national broadcaster - were not being paid.


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Paul Oates

It's really the same as a gigantic 'Ponzi' scheme. It always looks great until the flow of new money stops. Then the illusion that is the house of cards swiftly collapses.

If it weren't for the perilous situation of not being able to feed a large number of the quickly growing population it might not be such a serious problem.

What will happen in the moral vacuum called Canberra will be very interesting (not) when they start to discover they have no real idea about how to deal with the fallout.

No doubt there will be a contingency plan originally produced by someone that has been gathering dust in a long forgotten corner. The plan would no doubt have been written by someone who has perhaps visited Mosbi but never lived at the kunai level and and is therefore totally out of touch with reality.

Canberra could well learn from PNG's traditional way at the village level of at the very least listening to those who have practical experience.

I'm so glad I haven't become cynical in my senior years.

Barbara Short

Yes, I foresee a tough time ahead. O'Neill had made some unwise decisions regarding borrowing large sums of money.

He appears to be doing this borrowing without going through the correct procedure.

The average educated PNG citizen does not have a great understanding about what is going on and as so much is done in secret, nobody does. Confusion abounds.

I think things may get worse before they improve.

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