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Put rights before resources: Toroama

Ishmael Toroama
President Ishmael Toroama - Bougainville constitution must put 'rights before resources'

| Radio New Zealand

AUCKLAND - Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama has said the autonomous province needs a strong constitution guaranteeing the civil rights of its people.

Bougainville’s Constitution Planning Commission, comprising people representing different walks of life from throughout Bougainville, is about to begin work.

They will travel around the province asking for the people's views on what should be in the constitution for the new independent Bougainville that Toroama expects to emerge from current negotiations with Papua New Guinea.

He told the first meeting of the commission that the document must promote democracy, the rule of law, social justice, equality and respect.

He said it must also protect the rights of the people of Bougainville, its resources, its cultural heritage and the rights of indigenous owners to their land and resources.

Toroama said the commissioners should take a 'Rights Before Resources' approach to development and this must be enshrined in the constitution to protect the natural resources and people's rights.

He said the constitution also needs to take into account the natural environment as it remains a very important source of people's livelihoods.


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Bernard Corden

I wonder if Hochtief, ACS or CIMIC will secure any forthcoming construction contracts:





Harry Topham

Noble sentiments. One can only hope that such thoughts transpire into actions and that 'kastom' can keep greed at bay.

Bernard Corden

Many global behemoths such as Rio Tinto, BHP, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Google no longer have to lobby governments because they run the government and are definitely not moral agents.

This was reflected in the recent outrageous destruction of an ancient aboriginal heritage site at Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Indeed, a corporation cannot possibly be ethical if its only responsibility is to make a profit. Any quest for sympathy from a corporation lies somewhere on the continuum between shit and syphilis in its glossary of sesquipedalian sludge.

The merger of corporate and state interests has extirpated democracy to the extent that there is no longer any left or right and warfare usurps welfare.

It is now top versus bottom and government of the people, by the people and for the people has degenerated into government against the people.

There is nothing in the middle of the road except a double white line and roadkill.

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