‘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" »
Looking to Loloho and Rorovana from the ridge on Kieta Peninsula (Darryl Robbins)
BILL BROWN MBE
THE CHRONICLE CONTINUES - Despite continuing 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" »
ANNA 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" »
Papua Besena membership card - the Papuan separatist group under the strong leadership of Josephine Abaijah was a destabilising influence leading to independence
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" »
Michael Kabuni - asks how Bougainville electoral processes, so capable in the referendum of 2019, could be so questionable in last month’s regional election
| 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?" »
Llane Munau - Sought to become the first Bougainville woman to sit in PNG's national parliament
| 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?’" »
Ishmael Toroama - has already begun to show his strength as the leader of Bougainville
NOOSA – Bougainville’s new president, Ishmail Toroama, who has impressed people during his first three months in office, has given the strongest indication yet that he’s unwilling to bow to pressure from foreign mining companies or their go-betweens in the province.
In a sternly worded media statement he has hit out at Perth-based Caballus Mining which earlier this month apparently organised international media distributor, Cision PR Newswire, to issue a press release on behalf of the ‘Panguna Tanku'urang Chiefs’ stating Caballus would be the “perfect mining partner” for Bougainville.
Continue reading "Toroama whacks mining companies & compradors" »
Chris Warrillow on the radio transceiver at Mainoki in Bougainville, 1967
WANTIRNA, VIC - I am grateful to Bill Brown (A Kiap’s Chronicle, Chapter 29) for attempting to set straight the record in relation to field officers’ involvement in the lead-up to the establishment of CRA’s copper mine on Bougainville in the 1960s.
However, it still disappoints me that the records of academics will probably be the ones most relied on by researchers in the future and whose accounts will remain permanently impressed in the minds of most of their readers.
Continue reading "As it really was: Straightening the record" »
The historic first meeting between U-Vistract's Noah Musingku and Bougainville's President Toroama (Anthony Kaybing)
NOOSA – The Bougainville government continues to make headway in unifying his people as it prepares for consultations with the Papua New Government on independence for the autonomous province.
And on Friday it was with unity in mind that Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama met with U-Vistract leader Noah Musingku.
Continue reading "Toroama reaches out to ‘King’ Noah" »
President Toroama speaking at the first Bougainville cabinet meeting held in a rural area
| Office of the ABG President
TONSU – In a first-time initiative yesterday, the Bougainville Executive Council convened for the first time outside the capital, Buka.
The full cabinet met in the Tonsu constituency on Petatz Island as part of president Ishmael Toroama’s policy of bringing governance structures to the people.
Continue reading "Toroama takes government to the people" »
1997 was a dangerous year in PNG, but it ended more positively with Sir Mekere Morauta at the helm
| My Land, My Country
LAE - In the first quarter of 1997, word came out that the government of Sir Julius Chan was in talks with a British security contractor, Tim Spicer, to bring in South African mercenaries to end the Bougainville civil war that had been running for eight years.
The protracted conflict had seen the PNG Defence Force (PNGDF) withdraw from Bougainville, depleted, demoralised and badly in need of rebuilding.
Continue reading "1997 – That turbulent and defining year" »
James Marape and Ishmael Toroama exchange the agreement that will guide the joint consultation on Bougainville's political future
NOOSA – The Papua New Guinea and Bougainville leaders have announced the immediate start of joint consultations on the outcome of Bougainville’s 2019 referendum in which 98% of voters opted for the autonomous province to become independent.
PNG prime minister James Marape and Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama reaffirmed that their governments are committed to the process of consultations on the referendum result.
Continue reading "Crucial Bougainville independence talks begin" »
Youths at Roreinang Catholic mission listen to President Toroama discuss the challenges ahead
| Office of the ABG President
BUKA - President Ishmael Toroama has urged Bougainvilleans to stand firm in the region’s aspirations for political independence as Bougainville begins the new year.
Speaking to youths from different Christian denominations throughout Bougainville gathered at Roreinang United Church Mission, the president asked: “Are we one of those patriotic Bougainvilleans willing to go the distance to achieve Bougainville’s aspirations for independence?
Continue reading "Toroama outlines challenges for 2021" »
Ishmael Toroama - "“We must maintain the spirit of independence that we have always known in our lives"
| Office of the President
BUKA - In his first Christmas message, Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama has urged Bougainvilleans to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and also to think about being ‘Independence Ready’ by taking responsibility.
“Whether it is at individual, family, clan, church, community, council of elders or other level, we all have a responsibility to be independence ready,” President Toroama said.
Continue reading "President Toroama’s Christmas message" »
MV Craestar alongside the small ships’ wharf at Kieta circa 1965 (Peter Steele)
BILL BROWN MBE
THE CHRONICLE CONTINUES - On 24 July 1968, Craestar (1), Conzinc Rio Tinto's (CRA) research vessel, motored into Kieta harbour.
None of the onlookers were excited, even though Craestar had a helicopter sitting on a landing pad over the stern.
The townsfolk had seen it all before. CRA had been using the vessel's helicopter to move drilling gear around Panguna in 1965.
Continue reading "A Kiap’s Chronicle: 29 - 'CRA, you're unwelcome'" »
Ishmael Toroama - "Put party politics aside and vote for who will best deliver independence for Bougainville”
Office of the Bougainville President
BUKA - Bougainvilleans are being urged to vote responsibly during the by-election for the regional seat currently underway.
“The Bougainville regional seat is equivalent to a governor’s seat in other provinces so this is not a time to vote for beginners,” says President Ishmael Toroama.
Continue reading "Toroama urges vote for independence candidates" »
Bougainville's former - and future - capital Arawa. Before the civil war, a large and well established town
NOOSA – In its first 80 days, the Autonomous Bougainville Government under president Ishmael Toroama has secured a number of benchmarks.
Since September’s swearing-in of Ishmael Toroama as the fourth president of Bougainville, he has been focused on realigning the government’s priorities for developing the region and making it ready for independence.
Continue reading "Toroama’s first 80 days: return to Arawa begins" »
President Ishmael Toroama receives a report on the new economic zone project from Robert Hamal Sawa. Minister for Lands and Physical Planning
| Office of the President
BUKA – Bougainville’s president Ishmael Toroama has vowed to continue to protect landowner rights as the region embarks on an energetic program of economic development.
President Toroama was announcing the Bana Special Economic Zone at Mamarego Primary School in the Bana District of South Bougainville.
The Bana people have taken the first step to establishing the economic zone along Augusta Bay.
Continue reading "Toroama announces creation of economic zone" »
Headline, byline and deck of the article in the Lowy Interpreter that angered the Bougainville president
NOOSA – Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama has expressed “alarm” at an article by former Bougainville government advisor Gordon Peake alleging he had “call[ed] into question the integrity of the Autonomous Bougainville Government and our commitment to the peace process”.
The article appeared last week in The Interpreter, a website published by the Sydney-based Lowy Institute.
Continue reading "Toroama 'alarmed' by former adviser's claims" »
PNG prime minister James Marape and Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama
NOOSA – Despite Papua New Guinea’s failure to convene a Joint Supervisory Body (JSB) meeting last week Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama has accepted reassurances from prime minister James Marape of his continuing support for the Bougainville peace process and post-referendum consultations.
JSB is the superior assembly established to facilitate effective policy-making and communications between the autonomous region of Bougainville and Papua New Guinea, its importance heightened by last year’s overwhelming pro-independence referendum vote in Bougainville.
Continue reading "Political strife stalls Bougainville talks" »
PORT MORESBY - In his judgement on Monday, Justice Nicholas Miviri of the national court held that my termination as chief secretary of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) failed to adhere to the process prescribed in the Bougainville Constitution.
In doing so, His Honour provided a damning assessment of the actions of the defendant, in this case the Bougainville Executive Council, in failing to abide by the very laws they were elected to uphold.
Continue reading "Why I took the ABG to court" »
Hon Simon Pentanu is speaker of the Bougainville parliament and a former chief ombudsman of PNG
| Bougainville News
BUKA - Panguna and its landowners had a mix of these feelings during the time of mining but have not felt this way since the mine was forcibly shut at the end of 1989. That is 31 years ago now.
The ordinary folk up there still wake up to an altered landscape with their women – mothers of the land –still asking what they did to deserve this as they eke out their livelihood from their usable plots of land, mostly on hillsides.
Continue reading "Panguna - we have not learnt enough" »
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 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" »