Bougainville Feed

Revisiting Hahalis: Cult or flawed crusade?

'John Teosin was a complex personality and an enormously deep thinker. He was ahead of his time in many ways. Among the living dead, John Teosin shan’t be forgotten'

Hahalis headline

COMPILED & EDITED BY KEITH JACKSON
| With some useful references from Dr Robin Hide

NOOSA - The John Teosin Highway (aka the Buka ring road) connects villages along the east coast of Buka Island with Bougainville’s commercial and administrative centre, Buka Town.

The ring road plays a vital role in people’s lives as well as moving them from one place to another.

Continue reading "Revisiting Hahalis: Cult or flawed crusade?" »


The unseemly scramble for B'ville resources

Panguna mine, derelict for 32 years following the outbreak of a 10-year civil war, becomes the main target of an ugly race for Bougainville's wealth

Boug Bougainville rebels guard the Panguna mine site  1996 (Encyclopaedia of New Zealand)
Bougainville rebels watch over the Panguna mine site (Encyclopaedia of New Zealand)

JUBILEE AUSTRALIA

Scramble for resources: The international race for Bougainville’s mineral wealth, Jubilee Australia Research Centre, Sydney NSW, June 2022, 44 pages. Free download here

Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd:Scramble for Resources shines a much-needed light on the practices of the new waves of mining and exploration companies in Bougainville. Given the sheer number of Australian companies involved in this stampede for Bougainville’s resources, and the consequences for people living on the island, its findings should cause Australians to sit up and take notice”

Continue reading "The unseemly scramble for B'ville resources" »


Out of Pandora’s box: the Panguna paradox

When Bougainville people sense a threat, or get the notion they might be dispossessed of land, they will fight and protect it with their lives if they have to

Pentanu pic
"Let us ensure our agreements hold because if we do the same thing over and over and expect a different result, our hopes will collapse like the benches around the mine pit"

SIMON PENTANU MP
| Bougainville News

KIETA - The benches that wound around the Panguna mine were a conspicuous feature of the humungous pit are still visible but either collapsing because of erosion by slow-seeping water or perhaps just tired of lying around with no purpose.

The pit is a massive ‘dingkung’ (hole) on Bougainville’s landscape; it is also a massive statement that people are capable of gutting the Earth’s resources and leaving the land wasted and torn when the riches have been extracted and shipped away.

Continue reading "Out of Pandora’s box: the Panguna paradox" »


A 50-year old tape takes me back

Dial of a Hallicrafters SX-99
Dial of a Hallicrafters SX-99 shortwave radio receiver

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – It had dropped into my Twitter feed via @Laselki, the account of the Lebanon-based Arab Amateur Radio Network, and @Stret_Pasin, a valued supporter and one of my 8,700 Twitter followers.

It had originated in Ontario, Canada, from the historic village of Ancaster close by the US border and Niagara Falls.

It was a fleeting recording of a shortwave broadcast.

Continue reading "A 50-year old tape takes me back" »


Covenant shows way forward for Bville

Special JSB meeting endorses Era Kone Covenant
Ishmael Toroama and James Marape sit at the top table as the PNG and Bougainville governments move a step closer to determining Bougainville independence

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The Papua New Guinea and Bougainville governments endorsed the Era Kone Covenant at a special meeting of their joint supervisory body in Port Moresby on Friday.

And Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama has spoken of his “moral responsibility to the people of Bougainville to ensure political independence is granted to Bougainville”.

Continue reading "Covenant shows way forward for Bville" »


A Kiap’s Chronicle: 32 - A prime ministerial intervention

woman resists rorovana
Woman resists police during the confrontation at Rorovana, 1969 (Sydney Sun)

BILL BROWN MBE

THE CHRONICLE CONTINUES - On 28 July 1969, Australia’s minister for external territories Charles CE (Ceb) Barnes approved the issue of CRA’s three new Bougainville leases.

The terminology that defined the locations of the areas required was particular.

They were “leases for mining purposes” and the area was “approximately 400 acres of Rorovana land for laydown areas, construction camp and general accommodation …. 194 acres south of Willys Knob for aggregate, and the first section—approximately eight miles—of the east coast road.”

Continue reading "A Kiap’s Chronicle: 32 - A prime ministerial intervention" »


Bougainville: PNG’s very wicked policy problem

CHRIS OVERLAND

A independence demoADELAIDE – In his thoughtful exposition, ‘What should we do with Bougainville’, Joe Ketan neatly outlines what is described as a 'wicked' policy problem, meaning one for which there is no good solution.

It is abundantly clear that, if Bougainville's demand for independence is not acceded to by the Papua New Guinean parliament, it is likely a unilateral declaration of independence will be declared by an angry and frustrated Autonomous Bougainville Government.

Continue reading "Bougainville: PNG’s very wicked policy problem" »


What should we do with Bougainville?

Ketan - ANU Observers in Bougainville
The ANU-UPNG Bougainville referendum observer team in Central Bougainville, November 2019

JOE KETAN

PORT MORESBY - In November 2019, the voters of Bougainville turned out and voted overwhelmingly for independence at a referendum expressly giving them the opportunity to have a say on their political future of their island.

I was in Bougainville for the referendum as a member of the Australian National University’s accredited international and domestic observer team.

Continue reading "What should we do with Bougainville?" »


Bougainville's bold step to defend integrity

Ishmael-Toroama (ABG)
Ishmael Toroama - Proposal to give politicians greater control over public servants failed (ABG)

JOSEPH NOBETAU
| DevPolicy Blog | Edited

BUKA - I have previously written about my concerns with proposals by the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) to remove provisions in the Bougainville constitution which protect the independence of the public service.

In this article of March 2021 (‘Good governance in Bougainville is being undermined), I wrote of proposed amendments to give politicians control over the appointment, assessment and discipline of senior public servants, matters independent of political control.

Continue reading "Bougainville's bold step to defend integrity" »


Put rights before resources: Toroama

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

NEWS DESK
| 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.

Continue reading "Put rights before resources: Toroama" »


Landowners & ABG agree to reopen Panguna

Bougainville Toroama
President Toroama - Decision of the five clans the "beginning of a new chapter to realise Bougainville’s independence"

KEITH JACKSON

BUKA –In a major development, landowners from the Panguna mine area and the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) have agreed to re-open the Panguna mine, abandoned after a civil war broke out in 1989.

The mine is one of the world’s largest copper and gold deposits with an estimated remaining resource of copper, gold and silver valued at more than K200 billion.

Continue reading "Landowners & ABG agree to reopen Panguna" »


A Kiap’s Chronicle: 31 - Propaganda & confrontation

Brown MapBILL BROWN MBE

THE CHRONICLE CONTINUES - The Bougainville operations of Conzinc Rio Tinto Australia (CRA) had dominated Australian government and Territory Administration thinking from 1964, but that all changed in September 1968.

The trigger was a report by the Australian Broadcasting Commission that broadcast details of a meeting hosted in Port Moresby by two Bougainville members of the House of Assembly, Paul Lapun and Donatus Mola.

Continue reading "A Kiap’s Chronicle: 31 - Propaganda & confrontation" »


Death of Sam Akoitai: MP for all occasions

Sam Akoitai
Sam Akoitai - "A peacemaker serving all parties, political persuasions and interests"

SIMON PENTANU

KIETA – Sam Akoitai was a man true to his convictions as a national leader representing the interests of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville as a national parliamentarian.

He was a national, regional and community leader of unwavering courage and a peacemaker serving all parties, political persuasions and interests.

Continue reading "Death of Sam Akoitai: MP for all occasions" »


Joseph Watawi, Bougainville leader, dies at 61

Joseph-Watawi
Joseph Watawi - ‘Bruk lus, bruk gut, bruk steret na bruk olgeta’ 

ANDREW KILVERT
| Sydney Morning Herald

SYDNEY - The autonomous region of Bougainville has lost a champion of independence and the father of the 2018 independence referendum.

Joseph Watawi, 61, who died in November, away last month, was born in January 1960 in Gohi village in north Bougainville.

Continue reading "Joseph Watawi, Bougainville leader, dies at 61" »


'Let our people go,' Toroama tells Marape

Marape Toroama
Ishmael Toroama (right) has told James Marape that PNG has not honoured commitments under the 20-year old Bougainville Peace Agreement

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Bougainville’s president Ishmael Toroama has told Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape “in no uncertain terms” that it is the resolve of the Bougainville people for an independent Bougainville.”

In a statement to the Bougainville parliament on Tuesday, Toroama said he had “made it clear that it was time to let our people go to be free as an independent sovereign nation.

Continue reading "'Let our people go,' Toroama tells Marape" »


Death of Bougainville patriot Reuben Siara

Reuben Siara
Reuben Siara - "We remember him for his patriotism and his will to progress the ideals of our revolutionary cause"

ISHMAEL TOROAMA
| President, Autonomous Region of Bougainville

Source: New Dawn FM News

BUKA - Bougainville has truly lost one of its great sons in the passing of Reuben Siara.

Reuben was a man who believed in Bougainville’s aspirations for independence and contributed immensely to our revolutionary cause.

Continue reading "Death of Bougainville patriot Reuben Siara" »


Theonila recognised for holding Rio to account

Theonila
Theonila Matbob - "Our work will continue until Rio Tinto has fully dealt with the disaster it left behind”

NEWS DESK
| Human Rights Law Centre

SYDNEY – Bougainville’s education minister Theonila Roka Matbob MP has won an important award for her outstanding work to hold Rio Tinto to account for the devastating effects of its mining in the island’s Panguna region.

Theonila, a traditional landowner and community leader from Makosi, downstream from the mine, received the Gwynne Skinner Human Rights Award.

Continue reading "Theonila recognised for holding Rio to account" »


‘Ophir’: B’ville’s epic struggle for freedom

Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet
Filmmakers Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet - "Ophir is an evocative re-telling of the Bougainville conflict and its legacy over the past two decades"

CATHERINE WILSON
| Pacific Journalism Review

Ophir: Decolonize. Revolutionize, directed by Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet. Arsam International/Fourth World Films/Ulster University. 2020. 97 minutes. Link here to read and see more about 'Ophir'

CANBERRA - In Ophir, a feature length documentary film about the Bougainville civil war of 1989-1998, French filmmakers Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet analyse the devastating conflict and under-reported repercussions which continue to reverberate in the region today.

Ophir in the Old Testament (Genesis 10; 1 Kings 10:22) is a land of great mineral wealth exploited by King Solomon.

In eastern Papua New Guinea, the people of Bougainville also claim Ophir to be the original name of their remote islands.

Continue reading "‘Ophir’: B’ville’s epic struggle for freedom" »


Journalism Review roars back to life

Bougainvillean woman in a still from Ophir
Bougainvillean woman in a still from 'Ophir',  a controversial documentary about the island's struggle against mining and for independence

KEITH JACKSON

AUCKLAND – ‘Pacific Journalism Review: Te Koakoa, a peer-reviewed journal examining media issues and communication in the South Pacific, Asia-Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, has made a welcome return to publication after an enforced absence.

Founded by academic and journalist Dr David Robie in 1994 at the University of Papua New Guinea, it was later published at the University of the South Pacific and from 2007-2020 by the Pacific Media Centre at Auckland University of Technology.

Continue reading "Journalism Review roars back to life" »


Tetchy Bougainville leaders told ‘don’t panic’

Marape toroama
James Marape and Ishmael Toroama - bold statements from Bougainville on independence seem to have given way to a more nuanced approach

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Discussions about Bougainville inside Papua New Guinea’s parliament have had a significant and disgruntled repercussion in the autonomous province itself, NBC Bougainville has reported.

Prime minister James Marape presented a statement on the Bougainville peace process to the national parliament and opened the topic for debate amongst MPs.

Continue reading "Tetchy Bougainville leaders told ‘don’t panic’" »


What it is we truly value

Site of the Porgera gold mine in Enga Province (Porgera Joint Venture)
Site of the Porgera gold mine in Enga Province (Porgera Joint Venture)

SIMON PENTANU

KIETA - I visited Enga Province for the first time in early July this year for a meeting between the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the Papua New Guinea National Government.

The meeting was one of a number to consult on the outcome of the Bougainville referendum on independence that showed a huge majority of Bougainvilleans favouring the creation of their own nation.

Continue reading "What it is we truly value" »


Marape: Bougainville independence ‘biggest issue’

James Marape
James Marape - The question of Bougainville independence is more challenging than Covid-19, the economy or any other issue

NEWS DESK
| Radio New Zealand

AUCKLAND – Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape says the possible independence of Bougainville is the greatest challenge Papua New Guinea faces.

The sanctity of the union of PNG as one country is very important, Mr Marape said, and the Bougainville issue was bigger than Covid-19, the economy or other challenges.

Continue reading "Marape: Bougainville independence ‘biggest issue’" »


Let’s put our feet where our mouth is

Retreat on Pokpok Island near Kieta
Pokpok Island near Kieta. Tourism at community level has great potential for small business and, in the long term, to promote Bougainville as a peaceful and beautiful Pacific destination

SIMON PENTANU*

KIETA - We can talk about and hold up and dangle tourism as a potential driver and earner of Bougainville’s internal revenue - talking is easy.

We are creatures of habit and instinct and we keep talking and talking if it sounds good without realising things are much more involved and will take a lot more focused human effort than we think.

Continue reading "Let’s put our feet where our mouth is" »


Some friendly advice to Sir Bob Dadae

Lady Hannah and Sir Bob Dadae
Lady Hannah and Sir Bob Dadae. Sir Bob might be well-advised to stick to the praising, predictabilities and platitudes that are stock-in-trade for vice regal figures around the world

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – Sir Bob Dadae (Dadae fears PNG disintegration may be ‘inevitable’) is pointing to what, elsewhere in PNG Attitude, I have described as a “truly wicked” policy problem.

The wickedness arises because there is not an obvious solution to pro-autonomy tendencies which can appease both determined separatists and those people equally determined to maintain Papua New Guinea’s current constitutional arrangements.

Continue reading "Some friendly advice to Sir Bob Dadae" »


Dadae fears PNG disintegration may be ‘inevitable’

Sir Bob Dadae
Sir Bob Dadae

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - Papua New Guinea’s governor-general Sir Bob Dadae says the country’s disintegration is ‘inevitable’ if Bougainville continues to press for secession and other provinces seek autonomy.

Dadae called on the Marape government not to entertain requests from provinces to break away and seek independence.

Continue reading "Dadae fears PNG disintegration may be ‘inevitable’" »


Rio ready to deal with unfinished business

Theonila Matbob
Influential Bougainville politician, Theonila Matbob - Prominent in advocating that Rio Tinto should accept responsibility for cleaning up Panguna's devastating legacy

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – After several months of discussions Rio Tinto and 156 Bougainville community members, represented by the Human Rights Law Centre, last week reached an agreement to assess legacy impacts of the former Panguna copper and gold mine on Bougainville.

The mine was operated by Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL), then majority owned by Rio Tinto, from 1972 until 1989 when operations were suspended following guerrilla against the mine and a subsequent civil war.

Continue reading "Rio ready to deal with unfinished business" »


Rio agrees to review of Panguna impacts

Bougainville tailings waste flowing into Konawiru-Jaba River delta
Tailings waste flowing into Konawiru-Jaba River delta on the Bougainville west coast

STEFAN ARMBRUSTER
| SBS News

BRISBANE - Multinational mining giant Rio Tinto has agreed to fund an independent assessment of the human rights and environmental impacts of its former Panguna copper and gold mine in Papua New Guinea’s autonomous region of Bougainville.

Rio Tinto abandoned the mine in 1989 during a brutal civil conflict on Bougainville and now no longer holds a stake after controversially divesting its shareholding to the PNG and Bougainville governments in 2016, rejecting corporate responsibility for environmental damage.

Continue reading "Rio agrees to review of Panguna impacts" »


Back our independence mission: Toroama

Toroama addresses people at Buka's Bel Park after the Wabag leaders' meeting
President Toroama addresses people at Buka's Bel Park after the Wabag leaders' meeting

KEITH JACKSON

BUKA – Discussions were “tough”, Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama has revealed after last week’s top level talks in Wabag with Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape.

Describing the leaders’ meeting in Wabag as “tough”, Toroama told a public meeting in Buka that Bougainville’s independence must be settled so the autonomous province can move forward.

Continue reading "Back our independence mission: Toroama" »


Bougainville was not meant to be easy

Malcolm-fraser-3
Malcolm Fraser, prime minister of Australia, 1975-83, popularised the maxim, 'Life wasn't meant to be easy'. The issue of Bougainville independence is a vexing one for all PNG politicians

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – Martyn Namarong is quite correct in his commentary, Bougainville highlights need for a new PNG’, both in his analysis of the Bougainville dilemma and his discussion of the implications for Papua New Guinea.

Denying Bougainville independence would be a catastrophe for PNG; while granting it independence will inevitably open up fissures in the wider PNG polity.

Continue reading "Bougainville was not meant to be easy" »


Bougainville puts press in political crossfire

PC headline top
The headline that James Marape condemned as 'misleading'

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape has been forced to state publicly that at no point has his government agreed to Bougainville independence.

Marape has attacked the PNG Post-Courier’s reporting of his Wabag meeting with Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama, stating that “in no part [of our joint statement] is Independence mentioned."

Continue reading "Bougainville puts press in political crossfire" »


Bougainville highlights need for a new PNG

Martyn Namorong -
Martyn Namorong - "PNG needs a new Constitution that recognises the different tribal nations and empowers them with their full rights to self-determination within a political union"

MARTYN NAMORONG
| PNG Signal

PORT MORESBY - Will Papua New Guinea break up if Bougainville is granted full independence?

For some PNG leaders the threat of balkanization has shaped their attitudes towards Bougainville leaving the union of 850 tribes.

One of them is prime minister James Marape, who recently pleaded with Bougainville's leaders to take into consideration PNG’s fate when deliberating on the matter.

Continue reading "Bougainville highlights need for a new PNG" »


Toroama to Marape: Get real on independence

Ipatas welcomes Marape
Enga governor Peter Ipatas welcomes prime minister James Marape to Enga Province for the Bougainville summit

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The second summit between prime minister James Marape and president Ishmael Toroama this week agreed that Bougainville’s quest for independence should be determined no earlier than 2025 and no later than 2027.

The top level Wabag talks also agreed there will be consultations throughout Papua New Guinea on the outcome of the 2019 Bougainville referendum, in which 98% of voters opted for independence for the autonomous province.

Continue reading "Toroama to Marape: Get real on independence" »


Let's respect & protect what we have

Coastal hamlet on Teop  respecting and living alongside mangroves
Coastal hamlet on Teop, Bougainville. "Panguna was an environmental protest. We must take heed of the many lessons"

SIMON PENTANU MP

KIETA - I like mangroves. As coastal kids we spent a lot of time playing in the open and grew up around mangroves.

It was fun playing hide and seek and swimming and fishing in the groves, and jumping into the water from he tall trees.

Mangroves are prolific growers and don’t need tending. But they can be uprooted and cleared in a matter of only hours and days.

Continue reading "Let's respect & protect what we have" »


Lessons from a kiap in old Bougainville

Signing-the-Arawa-land-lease-docs-in-1970
District Commissioner Bill Brown signs the Arawa land lease documents in 1970 accompanied by Tavora of Arawa, Director of Agriculture Bill Conroy, Conzinc Rio Tinto's Colin Bishop, Narug of Arawa (Department of Information and Extension Services)

ANTHONY REGAN
| DevPolicy Blog

CANBERRA - Much has been written about the patrol officers, or kiaps, in colonial Papua New Guinea.

That material includes many books by kiaps recording their time in PNG, and by historians and others trying to understand the colonial experience and its impacts on contemporary PNG.

Continue reading "Lessons from a kiap in old Bougainville" »


Pressure for Bougainville independence grows

BougainvilleANTHONY REGAN
| The Lowy Interpreter | Edited extracts

CANBERRA - The second constitutionally-mandated post-referendum consultation between Papua New Guinea and Bougainville leaders to discuss independence for Bougainville is planned for later this month.

At the first consultation meeting in May, Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama had stated a goal of independence and full United Nations membership by the end of 2025.

Continue reading "Pressure for Bougainville independence grows" »


Toroama on warpath against high crime

Ishmael Toroama
Ishmael Toroama - "Outrageous acts of violence threaten to shake the foundations of our shared commitment to peace and unity"

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama has issues a dramatic statement saying a spate of violent acts and the deterioration of law and order in the autonomous province can no longer be ignored.

Toroama condemned recent senseless acts of murder and arson related to sorcery and payback killings throughout Bougainville.

Continue reading "Toroama on warpath against high crime" »


A very pleasant Monday’s drive indeed

Isaac from Kongara-Kerei  Patrick  my island clansman and Bariona from Darutue
Isaac from Kongara-Kerei;  Patrick my island clansman; and Bariona from Darutue who prepared a dozen old fern tree posts (kusinai) with his volleyball team boys

SIMON PENTANU MP

KIETA - After spending most of Sunday at sea, the drive to South Nasioi on Monday was a welcome change, travelling past Marai as far as Darutue on the road to Kongara in the foothills of Mt Takuang, the second highest mountain on Bougainville.

The dirt road was rough, in parts atrociously so but still trafficable. Never mind, however, the scenery at slow pace more than made up for the bumpy ride.

Continue reading "A very pleasant Monday’s drive indeed" »


Toroama on strategy, independence & challenge

Ishmael toroama portrait
Ishmael Toroama - “Corruption or perceptions of corruption continue to be a major stumbling block to the government"

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama this week briefed the autonomous province’s House of Representatives on the “important work of independence readiness” on which his administration has embarked.

He said the program is based on the 97.7% referendum vote for Bougainville independence and comprises three key strategies.

Continue reading "Toroama on strategy, independence & challenge" »


Marape to Toroama: ‘My job is to preserve the union’

Toroama  Marape
Ishmael Toroama has a quiet word with James Marape at the Kokopo summit. Talks conclude with two firm positions espoused. Are they reconcilable?

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama’s declaration that the autonomous province will gain political independence from Papua New Guinea in June 2025 has left PNG prime minister James Marape with a delicate issue to negotiate.

The complexity of the challenge Marape faces became clear in two statements he made following the conclusion of the Kokopo consultations, during which Toroama had made his shock announcement that he had a firm date for Bougainville independence.

Continue reading "Marape to Toroama: ‘My job is to preserve the union’" »


Bougainville independence by 2025, declares Toroama

Ishmael Toroama
Ishmael Toroama - “Our position on the future political status of Bougainville is clear, and that is independence”

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – In a statement that will send shock waves through Papua New Guinea, Australia and beyond, Bougainville’s president Ishmael Toroama yesterday declared the autonomous province must achieve independence by June 2025.

Toroama revealed the position of the Autonomous Bougainville Government on its political future at a summit with PNG prime minister James Marape that began in Kokopo yesterday.

Continue reading "Bougainville independence by 2025, declares Toroama" »


The candidate: The Toroama story

Toroama and supporters
Ishmael Toroama and supporters. Fourth times a candidate and fourth time lucky - persistence can sometime seem like destiny

ANTHONY REGAN
| Australian National University | Edited

CANBERRA – The new President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG), Ishmael Toroama, first stood for election in 2010 following the unexpected mid-2008 death of the first president, Joseph Kabui, who had been elected in mid-2005.

It was apparent that Toroama was attempting the move from his now-ended ‘military’ role into a political role, where he could support the pursuit of independence through political activities.

Continue reading "The candidate: The Toroama story" »


The businessman: The Toroama story

Scrap
After the civil war, Panguna mine became a lucrative source of scrap metal. Ishmael Toroama organised a role for himself in the industry that ensued

ANTHONY REGAN
| Australian National University | Edited

CANBERRA - The foundations of Ishmael Toroama’s success in a range of business activities almost certainly flowed from his lucrative involvement in an ‘industry’ that developed after the Bougainville crisis.

From about 2007–08 there was an intensive extraction of scrap metal from the ruins of the derelict Panguna copper mine that had closed in 1989.

Continue reading "The businessman: The Toroama story" »


The peacemaker: The Toroama story

Ishmael toroama portrait
Ishmael Toroama. A brave and effective fighter in the Bougainville Revolutionary Army who became recognised as a peacemaker

ANTHONY REGAN
| Australian National University | Edited

CANBERRA – Ishmael Toroama, who was elected president of Bougainville in September 2020, is little known outside Papua New Guinea’s only autonomous province.

He was born in 1969 in Roreinang village in the rugged and remote Kongara area of central Bougainville, southeast and not far from the Panguna copper and gold mine and part of the Nasioi language and culture area.

Continue reading "The peacemaker: The Toroama story" »


After the gold rush, the funerals

Rio clipBERNARD CORDEN

‘Well I dreamed I saw the knights in armour coming sayin’ something about a Queen / Look at mother nature on the run in the 1970s’ - Neil Young, from After the Gold Rush

BRISBANE - Rio Tinto’s recent destruction of the Juukan Gorge indigenous rock shelters in the Pilbara region of Western Australia attracted extensive media attention and resulted in a federal senate inquiry.

It also led to several resignations of senior executives, humiliated but richly rewarded with golden handshakes.

Continue reading "After the gold rush, the funerals" »


A Kiap’s Chronicle: 30 - Tightening the screw

Looking to Loloho and Rorovana from the ridge on Kieta peninsula (Darryl Robbins)
Looking to Loloho and Rorovana from the ridge on Kieta Peninsula (Darryl Robbins)

BILL BROWN MBE

THE CHRONICLE CONTINUES - Despite continuous protests from the community, mining giant Conzinc Rio Tinto of Australia (CRA) remained intent on securing Pakia village and the surrounding land for its town.

The Pakia area had most of the things CRA wanted: gently sloping land, a pleasant aspect, cool nights and, most importantly, a short drive to what would be the mine.

Continue reading "A Kiap’s Chronicle: 30 - Tightening the screw" »


What needs to be done on Bougainville

What needs to be done on BougainvilleANNA DZIEDZIC & CHERYL SAUNDERS

Abridged and edited from a research report, Institution Building in Post-Referendum Bougainville, by Professor Cheryl Saunders and Dr Anna Dziedzic for the National Research Institute. You can link here to the full report

PORT MORESBY - There will be four key questions facing decision-makers in Bougainville’s post-referendum consultations.

While the primary focus of the consultations will be the future relationship between Bougainville and Papua New Guinea, there are other questions necessarily linked to this relationship.

Continue reading "What needs to be done on Bougainville" »


The hair-trigger path to independence

Besena
Papua Besena membership card - the Papuan separatist group under the strong leadership of Josephine Abaijah was a destabilising influence leading to independence

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - In the end, Papua New Guinea’s peaceful transition to independence turned out to be a case of the right people coming together at the right time.

On the Australian side was the Liberal Party’s external territories minister Andrew Peacock, who remained committed to independence even after his party was defeated at a general election in 1972.

Continue reading "The hair-trigger path to independence" »


Bougainville: Was the regional election fair?

Michael_Kabuni top
Michael Kabuni - asks how Bougainville electoral processes, so capable in the referendum of 2019, could be so questionable in last month’s regional election

MICHAEL KABUNI

| Academia Nomad | Edited

WAIGANI - Let’s begin with a quick summary of what this article is about.

Llane Munau last month was the lone female candidate contesting Bougainville’s regional election for a seat in Papua New Guinea’s national parliament.

Continue reading "Bougainville: Was the regional election fair?" »


Bougainville women ask ‘where is our vote?’

Munau - Llane Manu
Llane Munau - Sought to become the first Bougainville woman to sit in PNG's national parliament

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad | Edited

WAIGANI - The Bougainville Regional seat represents the people of Bougainville in the Papua New Guinea parliament.

It was left vacant when the incumbent resigned to contest the Bougainville presidential election in 2019, making a by-election necessary.

Continue reading "Bougainville women ask ‘where is our vote?’" »