Joseph Nobetau - "The case always meant more than a job to me"
BUKA - Today in the Papua New Guinea national court, Justice Nicholas Miviri ruled that my termination as chief secretary of the Autonomous Bougainville Government was unconstitutional
I stand vindicated.
It has taken a long time to reach this point: more than 12 months since initiating legal proceedings against the Bougainville executive council and government, who dragged the matter out and delayed proceedings at every opportunity.
Continue reading "Nobetau termination was unlawful: National Court" »
Ishmael Toroama and United States ambassador to PNG, Erin Elizabeth McKee
| Office of the Bougainville President
BUKA - The Autonomous Bougainville Government says it is making headway part way in its first 100 days in office with progress in the economic and development sectors as well as in its relations with the Marape government.
President Ishmael Toroama’s overarching theme over this period has been ‘Innovation and Change’ with a strong focus on raising revenue and steadying the government’s course ready for post-referendum consultations with the national government.
Continue reading "Midway report on Toroama’s first 100 days" »
Liam Fox meets Noah Musingku in 2010 (ABC News)
| Australian Broadcasting Corporation
SYDNEY - Noah Musingku turns to an ancient PC that looks like it stopped working years ago, taps away on the keyboard seriously for a few seconds, then looks up and says: "You're a millionaire, Gorethy!"
"Your account has $2 million in it. Just send me your bank account details and we'll send the money to you," Musingku says.
Continue reading "Bougainville's conman 'king' still on the run" »
James Marape and Ishmael Toroama - trying to get substantive talks going
BUKA – Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape and Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama met in Port Moresby on Monday to lay the foundations for a successful meeting of the Joint Supervisory Body (JSB) in Kokopo later this month.
JSB is the formal body in which matters affecting the relationship between PNG and Bougainville are thrashed out.
Continue reading "Leaders plan format for Bougainville's next steps" »
President Ishmael Toroama meets prime minister James Marape at Buka in September
| Office of the ABG President
BUKA – Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama will confer with Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape at the Bougainville pre-joint supervisory body meeting in Port Moresby next Monday.
The meeting is a prelude to a formal proper JSB meeting scheduled for 30 November 30 in Kokopo, East New Britain.
Continue reading "Toroama & Marape get down to business" »
Eivo Torau women bear gifts of food at the civil war reconciliation ceremony
BUKA - The Eivo Torau Constituency in Central Bougainville has conducted six reconciliation ceremonies to signify its readiness to progress economic development for its people and the rest of Bougainville.
The six ceremonies were to resolve grievances and issues between parties over conflicts that occurred during the Bougainville Crisis.
They were a prelude to the redevelopment of the now defunct Manetai Limestone Project that existed pre-crisis.
Continue reading "Eivo Torau: reconciliation & development" »
President Toroama says the rights of people as resource owners come first
| Office of the ABG President
BUKA – Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama has welcomed the efforts by the Eivo-Torau Constituency to move past their differences and focus on the economic development of their land.
The president was witnessing the Eivo-Torau Constituency reconciliation ceremony at the Manetai Catholic Parish as the people settled their differences from the Bougainville Crisis of the 1990s.
Continue reading "Toroama happy with Eivo-Torau reconciliation" »
President Ishmael Toroama - "Bougainville's youth must start engaging in political decision-making"
| Office of the President
BUKA – Bougainville’s youth has been challenged to maintain the Papua New Guinea autonomous region’s political journey to independence at every level of Bougainville society.
Newly-elected President Ishmael Toroama issued the challenge during this week’s Bougainville Regional Youth Forum at the Kuri Resort.
Continue reading "Toroama challenges youth to address problems" »
AMANDA HA WATSON, JEREMY MILLER
& ADRIANA SCHMIDT
| ANU Department of Pacific Affairs
CANBERRA - In late 2019, the people of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville voted in a non-binding referendum offering two choices: greater autonomy or independence.
People voted overwhelmingly for independence (97.71%) in what was widely regarded to be a successful process with an informed and engaged citizenry.
Continue reading "Pacific democracy & mobile technologies" »
Theonila Roka Matbob looks down on Panguna mine (Human Rights Law Centre - Reuters)
LEANNE JORARI & BEN DOHERTY
| The Guardian | Judith Nielson Institute | Extract
Link here to the complete story in The Guardian
PORT MORESBY - For all of Theonila Roka Matbob’s three decades, the scar on her land that was once the world’s largest copper mine has cast a pall.
The Panguna mine in Bougainville, eastern Papua New Guinea, has not yielded a single ounce in her lifetime – forced shut the year before Matbob was born - but she grew up in the shadow of the violent civil war it provoked.
Continue reading "Girl from Bougainville versus Mining Giant" »
Author Leonard Roka is now a farmer and educational entrepreneur in Bougainville
LEONARD FONG ROKA
Award-winning author Leonard Roka is the brother of Theonila Roka Matbob. He was among the 15 losing candidates who stood in the seat Theonila won in the recent Bougainville election. This story was originally published in PNG Attitude on 29 November 2015
BUKA - At the peak of the Bougainville Crisis my father was gunned to death while my mother struggled to save his life as she confronted blood-hungry Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) men from our own Kieta society in Central Bougainville.
So it was that great inhumanity murdered my dad, John Roka, who so loved Bougainville and his Bougainvillean family. Inhumanity was perpetrated in the name of Bougainville freedom.
Continue reading "The heart can kill, or it can liberate" »
James Marape in Bougainville last month (Post-Courier)
| ABC Pacific Beat | Edited extracts
MELBOURNE - The overwhelming vote for independence in Bougainville, and now the election of a new president for the autonomous region, appears to have spooked Papua New Guinea's prime minister, James Marape.
He has raised the possibility of a change to the constitution to prevent any other PNG province from promoting the subject of independence or autonomy.
Continue reading "Marape spooked by Bougainville ‘feelgood factor’" »
"We live with the impacts of Panguna every day,” says Theonila Roka Matbob, local landowner and Bougainville education minister pictured at the closed Panguna mine pit last year (Human Rights Law Centre)
| New York Times
DARWIN, Australia — The mining giant Rio Tinto has been accused of environmental and human rights violations in a complaint that says an abandoned mine is leaking waste and poisoning rivers on the island of Bougainville.
The claim, signed by 156 residents of the autonomous region in Papua New Guinea, is seeking an investigation by the Australian government into what it calls Rio Tinto’s failure to clean up millions of tons of waste at the former Panguna copper and gold mine.
Continue reading "Rio Tinto blamed for toxic Bougainville rivers" »
James Marape and Ishmael Toroama at Bougainville's presidential inauguration
NOOSA - In his inauguration address to the Bougainville House of Representatives, new president Ishmael Toroama revealed his leadership strategy, the first element of which is the autonomous province taking “political control of its own destiny”.
“We must be masters of our destiny, and we can only do this by putting our own ‘software’ into the structures and institutions we are going to build,” Toroama said, launching his five-year term as president of Bougainville’s 380,000 people.
Continue reading "First we control our destiny, says Toroama" »
Sir Mel Togolo - "Rio Tinto’s readiness to enter discussions is a positive development and BCL intends to play a constructive part”
| Bougainville Copper Limited
BUKA - Rio Tinto’s readiness to enter talks with key stakeholders about social and environmental issues arising from its prior operation of the Panguna mine, has been welcomed by Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL).
Rio Tinto was responding to a complaint brought by the Human Rights Law Centre on behalf of residents and communities in Bougainville and reportedly said it is ready to enter into discussions with those that have filed the complaint as well with BCL, the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the PNG government.
Continue reading "Rio ready to talk on Panguna environment says BCL" »
Inauguration of Ismael Toroama (right) James Marape (left) and former President John Momis (behind) (Bougainville Electoral Commission)
| Radio New Zealand
BUKA - Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape is in Bougainville today to witness the swearing in of the autonomous region's new president.
Ishmael Toroama, a former rebel militant commander, was elected as Bougainville's president last week.
Continue reading "Marape welcomes Toroama's rise as leader" »
Bougainville president-elect Ishmael Toroama
| Radio New Zealand
AUCKLAND - Former commander of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army, Ishmael Toroama, yesterday won a clear majority to take over the presidency of Bougainville.
In his acceptance speech, Toroama appeared to hit back at allegations from the outgoing president, John Momis, who suggested there had been corruption in the poll.
Continue reading "Toroama sets sights on Bougainville independence" »
Colonel Siale Francis Diro of the PNGDF meets former foe and BRA commander Ishmael Toroama
NOOSA – Ishmael Toroama, who has just been voted in as President-elect of Bougianville, built his reputation as a bold fighter and later a commander in the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA).
The BRA was engaged in a 10-year civil war in the 1990s with the aim of closing the Panguna copper and gold mine and gaining the independence of Bougainville from Papua New Guinea.
Continue reading "Ishmael Toroama – rebel, peace-maker, farmer, leader" »
MONDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE
NOOSA – The nineteenth elimination count in the Bougainville presidential election was completed this afternoon with the candidate who has led throughout, Ishmael Toroama, maintaining a significant lead.
Toroama is still more than 13,000 votes ahead of the second-placed candidate Fr Simon Dumarinu, while former Bougainville president James Tanis found himself eliminated.
Continue reading "Toroama surfs towards presidency in Bougainville" »
The longer the count continues, the further ahead moves Ishmael Toroama, who seems to have the Bougainville presidency in his keeping
MONDAY MORNING UPDATE
NOOSA – After the eighteenth elimination count in the Bougainville presidential election, the leading candidate Ishmael Toroama has surged even further ahead of the field.
With the elimination of Wesma Piika and Sione Paasia this morning and the pending elimination of former Bougainville Revolutionary Army commander Sam Kauona, Toroama is now more than 13,000 votes ahead of the second-placed candidate Fr Simon Dumarinu.
Continue reading "Toroama continues his surge in Bougainville" »
Ishmael Toroama has consolidated his position as front runner in the Bougainville presidential election
LATE SUNDAY UPDATE
NOOSA – The trend is your friend, it is said, and the trend in counting votes for the next president of Bougainville remains firmly with Ishmael Toroama, who continue to move ahead of the field.
With the elimination of the fourteenth presidential candidate late afternoon it became clear that only the two leaders amongst the 11 remaining contenders can come close to an absolute majority of 71,725 votes.
The release of updated figures this afternoon showed Ishmael Toroama consolidating his position as the likely winner as he moved out to a 10,500 vote lead over second placed candidate Fr Simon Dumarinu.
Continue reading "Toroama increases lead in Bougainville count" »
NOOSA – The Bougainville presidential election has moved into its final stage with the end of counting of the 283 ballot boxes and completion of three days of quality checks.
None of the 25 candidates got even close an absolute majority of 72,213 votes so the elimination of lower placed contenders has begun.
Continue reading "Elimination starts in Bougainville presidential race" »
Former Bougainville Revolutionary Army commander Ishmael Toroama - presently leading the Bougainvlle presidential count
NOOSA – Former Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) commander, Ishmael Toroama, was retaining his lead in the Bougainville presidential election after the 280th count this morning.
The Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commission registered 222,333 voters and 446 candidates for the election.
Continue reading "BRA chief leads Bougainville presidential race" »
Woman panning for gold in Bougainville
| Human Rights Law Centre
MELBOURNE - Mining giant Rio Tinto is responsible for multiple human rights violations caused by pollution from its former mine in Bougainville.
For 45 years, the Panguna copper and gold mine on the island of Bougainville was majority-owned by the British-Australian mining company, but in 2016 Rio Tinto divested from the mine, leaving behind more than a billion tonnes of mine waste.
Continue reading "Living with Rio Tinto’s deadly legacy" »
Demonstration for Bougainville high school students on how polling booths operate
JONATHAN BARRETT | Reuters
BUKA – Young people in Bougainville are seizing the opportunity to help reshape the future of the autonomous region of Papua New Guinea as they began head to the polls yesterday to elect a new leader.
The general election is the first since Bougainville voted overwhelmingly for independence from PNG in a referendum at the end of last year, and the new president will manage negotiations on the terms of separation.
Continue reading "Bougainville presidential polling starts today" »
James Tanis - "Our aspirations for independence cannot be waylaid by impractical approaches"
| Former President of Bougainville
BUKA - Greater voter participation in this year’s Bougainville government general elections will demonstrate the province’s seriousness to initiate progress following the 98% affirmative independence vote in the referendum last year.
The outcome of the referendum does not mean Bougainville is well on its way to being a fully-fledged independent nation.
Continue reading "Bougainville must complete political journey" »
James Tanis - "“My people of Bougainville will get through this pandemic. We are a resilient people who have faced adversity and prevailed time and time again...."
BUKA - Bougainvilleans are being urged to remain vigilant and to comply with state of emergency orders in light of the growing concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic which has already hit Port Moresby.
Former Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) president James Tanis has urged Bougainvilleans throughout PNG to adhere to restrictions to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Continue reading "Tanis urges optimism on Covid-19" »
Joseph Nobetau - a large, mixed and colourful field of candidates are offering themselves for election as president of Bougainville -
BUKA - With 25 candidates set to contest the upcoming election for president of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, the opportunity for renewed leadership in the fledgling autonomous region is greater than ever before.
Coming off the internationally applauded independence referendum at the end of last year, Bougainville is now at a crossroads.
Continue reading "Colourful field for Bougainville presidency" »
John Momis today - guided Bougainville through some stormy seas to the threshold of independence
John Momis as a young leader, 1970 - mature and already wise
| Radio New Zealand
AUCKLAND - In his last speech in the Bougainville parliament last Thursday, president John Momis spoke passionately about a political career that began nearly 50 years ago.
He spoke of how it began in the early seventies when he was anointed by chiefs in Kieta in a cultural ritual and sent on a mission to help the people determine their own future.
Continue reading "Momis bows out with 'sense of fulfilment'" »
Professor Ted Wolfers
President John Momis
| Radio New Zealand
AUCKLAND – Australian academic Professor Ted Wolfers says Bougainville's John Momis will be remembered for his ability to draw people together.
In February the Bougainville parliament voted down an attempt to change the Constitution to allow a president to contest a third term.
Continue reading "John Momis: A man of principle" »
Thursday 11 January 1973 was a tough day for chief minister Michael Somare - helicoptered out of Panguna when felt to be under threat only to be confronted by an angry protest in Kieta
BOUGAINVILLE 1970-73 – Bougainville is a magnificent gem of an island; and its people are warm and generous in that customary Melanesian way.
Kieta, which had become the Bougainville district headquarters just before I arrived in late 1970, was an idyllic seaport nestling on the side of a steep ridge; its deep harbour protected from the ocean by Pokpok Island.
Continue reading "Radio Days: Brink of secession" »
How Rio Tinto left the once pristine Jaba River - now a toxic 40 km drain to the coast
NOOSA - The Human Rights Law Centre in Melbourne has said Rio Tinto Ltd should fund an investigation of health and safety issues and clean up the environmental mess from the Panguna copper and gold mine in the 20 years from 1970 to 1990.
It says the review would be a starting point for compensation talks and negotiations about rehabilitating the old minesite at Panguna and nearby waterways including the ruined Jaba River.
Continue reading "Hey Rio! Get back & fix your mess" »
Bill Brown MBE with Fred Kaad OBE. A recent photo of two of colonial Papua New Guinea's distinguished district commissioners
BILL BROWN MBE
THE CHRONICLE CONTINUES - It was not a massive upheaval, but the last quarter of 1967 and the first quarter of 1968 saw two of the kiaps enmeshed in Conzinc Rio Tinto’s (CRA) operation leave Bougainville and four newcomers arrive.
District Commissioner John Wakeford moved to another hotspot, the recently created West Sepik District. His headquarters were situated at Vanimo, just 45 kilometres from the border with West Irian. (1)
Continue reading "A Kiap’s Chronicle: 27 – The UN Visiting Mission" »
John Momis - winds of change blow for this towering figure in Papua New Guinea and Bougainville politics
| The Interpreter | Lowy Institute
SYDNEY - Bougainville’s president John Momis has long been a towering figure in local politics.
President for two consecutive terms since 2010, he was a leading instigator of the archipelago’s early secessionist movement in the 1970s while still a Catholic priest, then an important facilitator during the protracted peace process in the 1990s, and later governor from 1999 to 2005.
Continue reading "Bougainville: Ringing in the change?" »
"It is to the advantage of Bougainville that we have John Lawrence Momis as a uniquely experienced leader"
RABAUL - The parliamentary select committee on constitutional law headed by former Papua New Guinean chief ombudsman Simon Pentanu is looking at Bougainvillean views on whether their constitution should be modified to allow the current president to recontest for a third term.
The committee is also considering whether to abolish the three seats reserved for ex-combatants from the three main parts of Bougainville.
This is because of the critical importance of Bougainvillean unity and leadership continuity to enable successful negotiations with the national government in this post-referendum period.
Continue reading "In defence of a Momis recontest" »
The Kana people of south Bougainville call this the Oruru Road. Not trafficable at all in the wet season it is their only connection to the outside world and a huge constraint on economic development
LEONARD FONG ROKA
PANGUNA – “When election times comes around,” a Kanauro community leader exclaimed, “I see our three sitting members in parliament are really friendly to us.
“But when they are in power, they are really angry looking. “I fear them.
“So how can I tell them that the Kana people of Paubake need a trafficable road?”
Continue reading "Will the longest plea be heard?" »
The carcasses of massive ore trucks still lined up in the derelict Panguna mine, closed more than 30 years ago after guerilla warfare erupted
| Guardian Australia | Extract
SYDNEY - The president of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) has accused an Australian-linked mining company of lying to the Australian Securities Exchange over its plans to reopen one of the world’s largest copper mines.
In a scathing statement, ABG president John Momis accused the Australian-linked RTG Mining of “lies and deceptions” and said his government “will not rest until all RTG and their executives are banned for life from Bougainville and Papua New Guinea”.
Continue reading "Momis accuses mining company of lying" »
Author Leonard Fong Roka - "Why should I vote for the political leaders under which this rot is happening"
LEONARD FONG ROKA
PANGUNA - I re-entered the service of the Autonomous Bougainville Government in May 2017 after a short stint in late 2014-15.
My desire was a permanent career in the Bougainville Peace Agreement and Implementation Department’s referendum directorate. But, as the bosses said, I was kicked out for non-performance.
Continue reading "Me & corruption – a true story" »
| Papua New Guinea Today
BUKA - The Autonomous Bougainville Government is set to change its name to the Bougainville Constitutional Transitional Government to reflect the people’s vote for independence.
Bougainville’s post referendum minister Albert Punghau told The National newspaper that because 98% of Bougainvilleans had voted in favour of independence in last year’s referendum, the Bougainville government felt the need to change its name to reflect the overwhelming result.
Continue reading "Bougainville govt to change name" »
President John Momis - a Bougainville hero, but is he pushing too hard to assert control or do the difficult times need him?
| Pacific Beat | Australian Broadcasting Corporation
MELBOURNE - Three proposed amendments to the Bougainville constitution are set to be tabled in the provincial parliament, and one in particular is causing consternation in many quarters.
That change would allow the current president, John Momis, to run for an unprecedented third term at the election later this year.
Continue reading "Bougainville ‘dictatorship and suppression’?" »
“This land must become holy again, Me’ekamui. We prayed to God and he gave us strength. This directed us to engage in clean battle. We were fighting for our rights, to get rid of all these bad companies and their effects. All BRA and all Bougainvilleans practiced this holiness… Our spirits had to be holy, so God would get rid of Satan [the mining companies} …And God helped us…” (the late Francis Ona, Bougainville Revolutionary Army commander)*
CANBERRA - A staggering 98% of Bougainvilleans voted for independence from Papua New Guinea in the recent referendum held between 23 November and 7 December.
Despite the overwhelming desire for autonomy, Bougainvilleans require political support and good faith from the PNG national government in Port Moresby before a new sovereign state can be established.
Continue reading "Bougainville: Which way, big man?" »
In Greek mythology, Clio is the muse of history
ADELAIDE - Many readers may be as surprised as I was to learn that there is a thing such as cliodynamics, much less that it may have any role in explaining what is happening right now in Papua New Guinea and elsewhere.
Cliodynamics is defined as a transdisciplinary area of research (stay with me) integrating cultural evolution (how societies change over time), cliometrics (a form of economic history), macrosociology (the study of social systems and populations on a large scale), the mathematical modeling of historical processes over the very long term, and the construction and analysis of historical databases.
Continue reading "Cliodynamics & Bougainville" »
| National Public Radio (USA)
BUKA - "The people have spoken," says Albert Punghau, an official in Bougainville, speaking about the region's referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea.
After nearly three weeks of voting and counting, the results announced on 11 December showed residents of the South Pacific island group overwhelmingly voted to break away from Papua New Guinea and form their own nation.
Continue reading "Trying to form a country" »
The mining agreement between the copper company and the colonial Administration passed into law without the field officers in Bougainville being forewarned, let alone fully briefed
BILL BROWN MBE
THE CHRONICLE CONTINUES - As far as my kiap colleague John Dagge and I were concerned, everything was going well around Barapina and Panguna.
We were not gaining acceptance, but the people were at least listening to our explanations about CRA’s prospecting activity.
Then, on 29 August 1967, the House of Assembly – Papua New Guinea’s parliament - passed into law a mining agreement bill between the company and the Administration.
Continue reading "A Kiap’s Chronicle: 26 – The plot against Bougainville" »
South Bougainville community leaders want president John Momis to answer questions about finance minister Robin Wilson who is under investigation
BUKA - The community governments of South Bougainville have called upon Bougainville president John Momis to answer questions surrounding his embattled finance and treasury minister, Robin Wilson.
Mr Wilson is the subject of official corruption charges before Papua New Guinea’s national court and is under active investigation on a range of matters but retains his portfolio in the Momis cabinet.
Continue reading "B’ville finance minister under pressure" »
Dr Momis expressed disgust at the Kalia Group for allowing its geologist into an area where there were criminal elements resisting exploration. He has suspended the company's mining licence
| Radio New Zealand | Extracts
BUKA - A geologist has been killed in Bougainville by what president John Momis has described as a group of criminal thugs.
The victim, Terry Win Kilya, from Enga Province was an employee of Kalia-Toremana Joint Venture Limited, which has been conducting mineral exploration in a disputed area.
Continue reading "Geologist killed by B’ville ‘thugs’" »
| Australian Strategic Policy Institute
CANBERRA - It seems that the overwhelming outcome of the referendum on Bougainville, with over 97% of eligible voters supporting independence, surprised even seasoned observers.
Still, as is well known, the vote is not binding. Under the terms of the 2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement, the governments of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville are now required to consult over the outcome of the referendum, and the result of that consultation will be subject to ratification by the PNG parliament.
Continue reading "Independent Bougainville not so easy" »
BCL is tiring of Osikaiyang landowners who under the Bougainville Mining Act have no status in representing landowners and own no mineral rights
| Bougainville Copper Ltd
BUKA - Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) says it is both regrettable and disappointing to see members of the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association (SMLOLA) issuing misleading and provocative statements following Bougainville’s peaceful and successfully conducted referendum.
BCL again repeat its calls for SMLOLA to desist from purporting to speak on behalf of all Panguna landowners as part of its ongoing campaign to undermine Bougainville Copper Ltd.
Continue reading "Osikaiyang landowners out of order" »
Bougainville is strategically located in the south-west Pacific and that locational advantage can be traded for aid, underpinning a viable economy
TUMBY BAY – The discussion about the future of Bougainville seems to be coalescing around its economic viability, which seems to be the lever that will be used by Papua New Guinea in its attempt to retain the province as part of the nation.
What seems to be missing from the debate so far is the issue of identity.
Continue reading "Geo-strategy & Bougainville’s future" »
"A truth commission might provide an easing valve for past hurts, short of that Bougainville remains a powder keg, awaiting to be lit"
| Eurasia Review
ALBANY, USA - It would be an understatement to claim that Bougainville, that blighted piece of autonomous territory in Papua New Guinea, had been through a lot.
Companies have preyed upon its environment with extractive hunger. Wars and civil strife have beset its infrastructure and economy.
Continue reading "Bougainville: Powder keg awaiting a match?" »