visitors since April 2008

News 02.2012.1






Source: PNGexposed

Gunshots fired as factions dispute detention of Peter Sharp boats

via Facebook

Reports are emerging from Buka that gunshots have been fired between two factions, one from mailand Bougainville and the other from small Buka.

The commotion is taking place on Buka wharf where the faction from the mainland are still holding on 2 or 3 Peter Sharp’s vessels. There is disagreement from the faction from small Buka about the demands being made of Peter Sharp by the other faction.

One small group want Peter Sharp’s ships in Buka to be released while the majority want the ships to remain in Buka until those that lost their lives in the recent tragedy are compensated and the results of the official investigations are made known to the public.





Source: ESBC

The "Bougainville Kina"

Find out more by clicking on one of the three headlines:







Source: ESBC Research

Turn-around ?

BOC shares soared 8 percent on Friday. This is rather unusual as the turn-over in Bougainville Copper shares used to be rather lame on Fridays in general!


as at 2:14:41 PM Friday, February 24, 2012


BOUGAINVILLE COPPER Trade Summary - Status
Last Change % Volume Trades Open High Low
0.810 0.060 8.00 20,608 4 0.7700.810 0.770
Last Traded 4,496 @ 0.81 - 12:24:04


BOC Buyers
Quantity Price
18,327 0.810
7,773 0.800
10,000 0.750
9,962 0.745
6,944 0.720
8,580 0.710
12,000 0.690
6,000 0.675
10,000 0.650
5,000 0.630
1,666 0.600
3,000 0.590
10,000 0.525
BOC Sellers
Price Quantity Sell Level
0.875 13,269
0.880 20,606
0.900 270
0.925 6,700
0.995 100,000
12.000 5,000
16.390 15,000
18.000 5,000
18.650 35,000
20.000 68,026
24.000 5,000
29.900 400,000
30.000 268,000






Source: Post-Courier

Rare diamond found in Australia

Mining giant Rio Tinto said it has unearthed a “remarkable” 12.76 carat pink diamond in Australia, the largest of the rare and precious stones ever found in the resources-rich nation.

Named the Argyle Pink Jubilee, the huge rough stone was found at Rio’s pink diamond operations in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and would take 10 days to cut and polish, the miner said on Wednesday.

“This rare diamond is generating incredible excitement. A diamond of this calibre is unprecedented - it has taken 26 years of Argyle production to unearth this stone and we may never see one like this again,” said Josephine Johnson from Rio’s Argyle Pink Diamonds division.

“The individual who gets to wear this remarkable pink diamond will be incredibly lucky indeed.”

The light pink Argyle Jubilee is a similar colour to the 24-carat Williamson Pink given to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as a wedding gift which was later set into a Cartier brooch for her coronation.

The Williamson was discovered in Tanzania in 1947 and is ranked among the finest pink diamonds in existence.

Rio produces more than 90 percent of the world’s pink diamonds from the Argyle mine, and said large stones like the Jubilee typically went to museums, were gifted to royalty or end up at prestigious auction houses like Christie’s.

Christie’s had only auctioned 18 polished pink diamonds larger than 10 carats in its 244-year history, Rio said.

When the Jubilee diamond has been cut and polished it will be graded by international experts and showcased globally before being sold by invitation-only tender later this year.


Source: Post-Courier

K100 billion for you!


The Government anticipates that a staggering K100 billion will be initially deposited into the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF).

“We are talking in excess of some US$30 billion, at current exchange rate, that works out to about K100 billion. That is a lot of money,” Prime Minister Peter O’Neill explained in an exclusive interview with the Post-Courier yesterday.

Mr O’Neill said that the money was from just one LNG project but when the revenue from the second LNG project as well as the other resource projects were channelled into that fund, the amount would be astronomical.

“This is 10 times the size of our economy. This is going to be a very important fund and we have to manage it properly. It can only get bigger if we manage it properly.

“Off course, there are other Sovereign Wealth Funds around that world that have got trillions of dollars but ours is just starting. As we progress, this will increase and we will draw down on the fund to stabilise our economy when it slows down,” Mr O’Neill said.

Mr O’Neill said the decision by the Government to establish the SWF was to ensure that revenue from the resource developments were not squandered but used properly to improve the standard of lives of the people.

He said PNG did not want to go down the track that was taken by many African countries. “We have the symptoms already. PNG has a high population, a high unemployed population, a high illiterate population and high youth population with very little opportunities. “These are recipes for disaster if we do not manage them properly, we can destroy the stability of the country. We can deal with these issues by educating our people and managing our SWF well,” Mr O’Neill said.

Mr O’Neill explained the role of the SWF a day after Parliament passed the Bill to establish the SWF for Papua New Guinea unopposed.

The first vote on the bill presented by Mr O’Neill was 80-nil while the second result was 78-nil, surpassing the absolute majority vote of 73 votes.

Mr O’Neill thanked Members of Parliament for passing the bill to establish the sovereign wealth fund.

“The establishment of the fund is very important for our nation’s development. The fund gives us the opportunity to protect and grow surplus wealth from the export of our mineral resources, and our oil and gas,” Mr O’Neill said.

“So much revenue has flowed to the government from Bougainville Copper mine, Ok Tedi, Misima Mine, and Porgera in the past. But if you look around you, what is there in the country to show for this massive wealth generated from these projects? Virtually nothing.’’


Source: Post-Courier

Mining Act to be reviewed

The Mining Act will be reviewed with the view to increase landowner participation in mining projects in the country, Deputy Prime Minister Belden Namah has promised.

Speaking at a meeting in Parliament on Wednesday in which Department of Mining officials made presentations to highlight impediments the industry would face if the Boka Konda Bill became a law, Mr Namah led a chorus of calls from MPs and other participants at the meeting for increased landowner participation.

Mr Namah said he would support the bill and called on proponents and critics of the bill to work together so the final form that goes to Parliament is acceptable to all the players.

“A review of the Mining Act is long overdue. 

“Landowners should not be mere rent and royalty takers. They should be a major partner in the extraction of resources from their land. This can be achieved through the production sharing arrangement that is working well in many countries,” Mr Namah said.

Mr Namah said the notion that the Bill would scare away investors was nonsense.

He gave Trinidad as an example, where oil giant BP protested the introduction of production sharing arrangement and left, warning no investors would go to invest there under that regime.

The Chinese and French moved in, and the country is now enjoying the benefits of the production sharing arrangement.

“People say the bill would scare away investors. Those who want to leave can leave. There will be others lining up at the door to replace them,” Mr Namah said.

He urged MP Boka Konda to look at 49/51 production sharing arrangement, with landowners taking up 49 per cent with the support of the Government.

He said the issue of exploration and sunk costs should not be considered impediments, as that would be shared by all partners.

Mr Namah, who is Minister for Forest and Climate Change, said similar change to increase landowner participation would be brought to the forest industry.

Mr Kondra has three bills on the Notice Paper. They are the Mining (amendment bill) Act, the Land (amendment) Bill 2012, and the Oil and Gas Amendment Bill 2012.





Source: The National

Namah wants laws on mining reviewed 

THE Mining Act will be reviewed to increase landowner participation in mining projects, Deputy Prime Minister Belden Namah said.

He was speaking at a meeting in parliament on Wednesday where Mining Department officials highlighted impediments the industry would face if the Boka Kondra Bill became law.

Namah and MPs called for increased landowner participation.

He said he would support the bill and called on proponents and cri­tics of the bill to work together so that the final form was acceptable to all.

“A review of the Mining Act is long

overdue. Landowners should not be mere rent and royalty takers.

“They should be a major partner in the extraction of resources from their land.

“This can be achieved through the production sharing arrangement that is working well in many countries.”

Namah urged Kondra to look at a 49/51 production sharing arrangement, with landowners taking up 49% with the support of the government.

He said the issue of exploration and sunk costs should not be considered impediments, as that would be shared by all partners.

Namah, who is minister for forest and climate change, said similar change to increase landowner participation would be brought to the forest industry.




Source: The National

Bougainville MP suspended 


BOUGAINVILLE Regional MP Fidelis Semoso has been suspended to allow a leadership tribunal to hear misconduct allegations against him.

Semoso’s suspension became automatic under the Organic Law after state prosecutors presented the references containing 14 allegations and a statement of reason to the tribunal.

The state prosecutor on Tuesday read the allegations contained in the references to the tribunal bench headed by national court judge Justice Salatial Lenalia, and consisting of senior magistrates Ignatious Ku­rie and Nerrie Eliakim.

The 14 allegations are in relation to the misappropriation of K2.7 million for the South Bougainville feeder road project funds which were allegedly used without proper tender process.

He is also alleged to have misappropriated a K470,000, plus another K1 million from the feeder road project.

He is also alleged to have failed in carrying out his obligations under the constitution and the Organic Law.

Semoso’s lawyer Charles Mende told the tribunal that his client would need time to look through the allegations. He asked the tribunal for a three week adjournment to prepare his responses.

By then, he said the tribunal could conduct a trial on those allegations that his client denied.

The tribunal members adjourned the matter to March 1.


Source: Post-Courier

Parliament passes Sovereign Wealth Fund Bill

PARLIAMENT yesterday passed the Bill to establish the Sovereign Wealth Fund for Papua New Guinea unopposed.

The first vote on the Bill presented by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was 80-0 while the second result was 78-0, surpassing the absolute majority vote of 73.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill thanked Members of Parliament for passing the bill to establish the sovereign wealth fund.

“The establishment of the fund is very important for our nation’s development. The fund gives us the opportunity to protect and grow surplus wealth from the export of our mineral resources, and our oil and gas,” Mr O’Neill said.

“So much revenue has flowed to the government from Bougainville Copper mine, Ok Tedi, Misima Mine, and Porgera in the past. But if you look around you, what is there in the country to show for this massive wealth generated from these projects? Virtually nothing.

“We have squandered our wealth. Most of our infrastructure is in poor shape because we have failed to invest in areas that will grow the economy. We have to change those bad ways, and the sovereign wealth fund will help shape our development path to a better future for our children,” Mr O’Neill said.

The Prime Minister commended members in the house for passing the bill yesterday.


Source: Post-Courier

ABG MP grieves over victims


Member for Central Bougainville in the Autonomous Bougainville Government Joan Jerome has conveyed her sincere heartfelt condolences on behalf of Bougainvillean mothers, to all those who have perished and lost their loved ones in the ill-fated ferry MV Rabaul Queen.

“I as a mother has grieved with you for the last three weeks since the 2nd February incident for the ones who lost their lives, and for those who have survived, our students professionals and their families.” “This is a great loss to our human resource on Bougainville and Papua New Guinea as a whole.” Mrs Jerome said.

Mrs Jerome said Bougainville did not expect to lose so many lives in the MV Rabaul Queen disaster. “I strongly condemn that man-made disaster being encountered because of disobeying the rule of law for natural disasters,’’ she said.

“As the President John Momis has quoted, “This is a wake-up call for us leaders on Bougainville both the four National members of the National Parliament and those of the ABG. Let’s put aside our differences and let us use DSIP funds and other sources of funding to bring development and impact infrastructure funds to be used wisely.” Mrs Jerome said.

“For so many years we have lost many Bougainvilleans attending colleges and universities outside of Bougainville.” “I call upon all Bougainville MPs to put your funds into one basket in the provincial treasury to rebuild Bougainville with colleges and universities,’’ she said. “Respect and unity must prevail in Bougainville in order for goods and services to be used wisely for our future Bougainville leaders.” Mrs Jerome said.

She added that Bougainville would only survive when its people stand together to uproot the evils preventing its progress, including the systems that divide the people and corruption.


Source: Post-Courier

Academic challenges students


A renowned Papua New Guinean academic from the University of Technology in Lae, has boldly challenged the Bougainville student population and the leadership regarding education for the future of Bougainville.

DrWilson Tovirika Director of DODL, speaking at the launching of the DODL branch in Arawa last week Wednesday challenged leaders to talk and help students. 

According to Dr Tovirika a Bougainvillean said the Arawa set up funded by AusAID, which was a four in one classroom for the Arawa secondary school is one of the best in the country.

“One thing for sure and is happening right now, if students don’t get places in tertiary institutions we will have intelligent and professional criminals on the streets,” Dr Tovirika said.

“Distance mode is the way to go study at your own pace but you must be disciplined, if you want to enrol with DODL,”he said. 

“Don’t enrol until you know where you want to go, you mustn’t be undecided, and it will be frustrating and very costly,” Dr Tovirika said.

“Knowledge is an asset that will never be taken away from you, you can have a house a car or anything, a house can get burnt and you may not have a house again, but your knowledge will be in you with until you die you will be buried with it,” 

“It will never be removed or taken away from you, and to acquire knowledge work hard for it,”Dr Tovirika said.

Dr Tovirika further stated that knowledge is power and a government and a country can only be powerful is knowledgeable people run it.

“So the government now has to really invest heavily in knowledge and education in order to have a powerful government to look after our affairs and run and govern Bougainville,” he said.


Source: Post-Courier

Student caught with drugs


A 19 -year-old grade seven student has been arrested and charged by Buka police for having in his possession eight mega bundles of Marijuana weighting up to 1540 kg.

He is now locked up in the Buka police station cells.

The youth identified was arrested at 2pm on Tuesday after police received a tip off from some locals.

Gordon Magoga, from the Buka police station, said the youth was a well-known drug trafficker, but he was never arrested and had always escaped and had always pretended in the presence of police in and around Buka town.

The youth actually had already boarded a PMV truck and was heading home to Tegese village, but police quickly chased after the truck and arrested the youth at Hangan village just outside Buka town.

“He bought the eight bundles for K300 which is usually the bulk price, and he says he would then put them into small rolls and sell them for K5 and would make K5000 to K6000 in one week if he sold all eight bundles out,’’ Constable Magoga said.

Mr Magoga stated that despite a lot of awareness campaigns against drug abuse in the Haku area and in Buka Island marijuana is flowing in abundance on the island.

Police in Buka have confirmed that all these drugs were being harvested and cultivated in Aita Central Bougainville, and it is now suspected buyers from both PNG and abroad are interested, and also businessmen are involved. 

“On Bougainville both male and female youths are smoking marijuana and that is a big threat to the society and the future of Bougainville,” Mr Magoga said.





Source: Post-Courier

Somare, Semoso case adjourned


THE Leadership Tribunal hearing allegations of misconduct on two leaders, Arthur Somare and Fidelis Semoso have both been adjourned for two and three weeks respectively.

For Somare’s matter it was mentioned yesterday before the three members Justice Salatiel Lenalia and senior Magistrates Orim Karapo and Rosie Johnson after being thrown back by the Supreme Court on Monday, when it dismissed a stay application and summarily dismissed his substantive appeal.

Yesterday his lawyer Goiye Gileng asked for an adjournment arguing that his client needs time to consider the decision of the Supreme Court in summarily dismissing his matter because the issue was not before the court and no submissions were made on that particular issue.

“My client feels substantially prejudiced and if I may request the Tribunal to adjourn for two weeks in which my client can consider whether to reopen the supreme Court appeal or proceed on with the Tribunal”

State Prosecutor Kathwa Umpake in response urged the Tribunal to proceed because there is no longer a lawful order preventing it from carrying out its function.

After a short adjournment the Tribunal granted the adjournment for the matter to return on March 6

Meanwhile Bougainville Regional member Fidelis Semoso has been suspended from office pending the outcome of the Leadership Tribunal hearing.


Source: Post-Courier

Aussie Army choppers for PNG National Elections

By Gorethy Kenneth

THE Australian Defence Force is assisting the 2012 National Election operations with two commercially-leased helicopters.

This is because the Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen has admitted that PNGEC was late in securing helicopters to meet its air transport requirements as the police have already secured available choppers for its election security operations from Helifix.

This was revealed by the Assistant Secretary for Pacific Region with the Australian Defence Department Tyson Sara in a short visit to PNG last week.

During their visit, Mr Sara and his team met with the Royal PNG Constabulary, PNG Defence Force, Correctional Services, National Intelligence Organization and PNG Electoral Commission. 

He said the two choppers that would be in operation for two years will be fully funded by the Australian Government and are expected to be in service here in May to support PNGDF’s air transport wing.

Mr Sara said the two choppers will be based in Mt. Hagen in the whole duration of the election operations in the seven Highlands provinces.

Helifix is the only chopper company in PNG that is not contracted to any of the resource companies in the country.

The PNGDF Arava and CASA aircrafts may not be operational, according to ADF, and the Commission has been advised to secure aircrafts from a third-level airline company (possibly Airlines PNG) to compliment the choppers in order to meet its air transport requirements in airlifting ballot papers, ballot boxes, other election materials as well as election security personnel.

The four PNGDF navy patrol boats, however, are operational and will be available for use by the PNGEC in the Maritime Provinces.

For elections in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Electoral Commissioner Trawen revealed that PNGEC has asked New Zealand to assist with sea transport there as Bougainville is “no go zone” for the PNGDF under the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

He said the initial response from New Zealand is positive but final confirmation will come from Wellington.

Commissioner Trawen thanked Mr Sara and his delegation saying that their visit was timely as PNGEC was preparing and finalizing its transportation, election security and polling schedules as well as election logistics for the 2012 elections.

Meanwhile, Australian High Commissioner in Port Moresby Ian Kemish has confirmed this support package which would include two choppers and 30 computers already purchased for elector data 





Source: Eureka Street


Feminism in Bougainville



  Read here !  





Source: ABC Radio Australia - 24H dans le Pacifique

L'équipe du radio Francophone de l'ABC  fait le point...

Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée: le patron de la Rabaul Shipping affirme ne pas être responsable

Deux semaines après le naufrage du Rabaul Queen, les rescapés commencent à rentrer chez eux.

Parti de Buka, la capitale de l’île de Bougainville, le ferry a coulé le 2 février au large de Lae sur la côte est du pays. Au moins 183 passagers sont portés disparus, même si ce chiffre est controversé, car on ne sait pas exactement combien de passagers transportait le Rabaul Queen.

Quant aux 246 rescapés, ils ont été habillés, nourris, logés grâce aux donations des habitants et des commerçants de Lae, le tout orchestré par la Chambre de Commerce de la ville. On écoute son président, Alan McClay, au micro de Campbell Cooney sur Radio Australie:

«Les centres d’accueil d’urgence sont opérationnels, les centres de soin toujours ouverts et les gouvernements des provinces de la Nouvelle-Bretagne Est et Ouest ainsi que celui de Bougainville ont envoyé des fonds et des représentants pour prêter main forte aux équipes de Lae et aider les victimes. Jeudi des charters ont été affrétés pour ramener chez eux les rescapés originaires de la Nouvelle-Bretagne Est. Donc les choses commencent à s’organiser, oui. Le gouverneur de la Nouvelle-Bretagne Est m’a annoncé qu’il avait mis sur pied une cellule de soutien psychologique sur place, et c’est mieux ainsi, comme ça les rescapés seront aussi entourés de leurs parents et amis, et avec l’aide des professionnels, ils devraient se remettre plus facilement de cette tragédie.» 

Il y a une semaine, le Premier ministre papou a chargé Bureau Australien de la Sécurité des Transports, de mener l’enquête sur les circonstances du naufrage. C’est un ancien juge australien, Warwick Andrews, qui préside la commission d’enquête. Il est entre autres chargé de vérifier l’état de navigabilité du ferry et de déterminer s’il était surchargé.

Du côté des familles des victimes, l’affaire est entendue, le naufrage n’est pas du à des causes naturelles, mais bien à l’irresponsabilité de la compagnie maritime, la Rabaul Shipping.

Peu après le naufrage, 50 anciens combattants indépendantistes de Bougainville, ont pris position, armes à la main, sur les trois autres ferries de la Rabaul Shipping, stationnés dans le port de Buka, la capitale de l’île.

Ils affirment qu’ils se retireront lorsque la compagnie aura dûment dédommagé les familles des victimes. Au début de la semaine dernière, leur discours a évolué. Ces gardiens improvisés veulent être payés par la Rabaul Shiping pour avoir protégé ces trois navires de la colères des parents des passagers.

Vendredi, les trois ferries étaient toujours dans le port de Buka, surveillés par ces anciens combattants indépendantistes. Le Président de la province autonome de Bougainville, John Momis, essaie de résoudre l’impasse. On écoute le récit de John Agamata, l’un de ces anciens combattants:

«Le Président a fait le déplacement suite à la publication d’un communiqué de presse dans lequel Peter Sharp, le patron de Rabaul Shipping, affirmait ne pas être responsable du sort des portés disparus du Rabaul Queen. Ça a beaucoup fâché les familles des victimes, elles s’apprêtaient à aller couler les trois autres bateaux de la compagnie, quand nous sommes intervenus, nous avons réussi à les raisonner jusqu’à ce que le Président arrive.»

Les avocats du Bureau Australien de la Sécurité des Transports interrogent les témoins et les rescapés du naufrage depuis la semaine dernière. Ils se rendront prochainement en Nouvelle-Bretagne Est et Ouest ainsi qu’à Bougainville, pour y rencontrer les parents des victimes.

Bougainville: un groupe armé occupe toujours les trois ferries de la Rabaul Shipping

C’est dans le port de Buka, la capitale de cette province autonome de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, que se trouvent les trois navires de la compagnie propriétaire du Rabaul Queen, qui a fait naufrage le 2 février dernier.

Bilan: 183 disparus. Ayant pris possession des trois ferries au lendemain de la tragédie, ces hommes, des anciens combattants pour l’indépendance de Bougainville, assuraient qu’ils ne quitteraient les trois ferries que lorsque le PDG de la Rabaul Shipping, Peter Sharp, aurait dédommagé les familles des victimes.

Depuis, leurs demandes ont évolué. Ils réclament désormais des compensations pour eux-mêmes et leur travail de gardiennage: 150 000 dollars pour avoir assure la protection des navires, que des parents des victimes voulaient saborder il y a trois semaines.

Le gouvernement de la province autonome de Bougainville tente une médiation entre les deux parties, sans succès pour l’instant. Sur Radio Australie, Campbell Cooney a joint Lawrence Disin, l’administrateur en chef de ce gouvernement:

«J’ai parlé à Peter Sharp et aux hommes qui ont pris possession des ferries, mais ni les uns ni les autres ne veulent céder. Notre message à la Rabaul Shipping est clair: dès que vous aurez payé, vos ferries vous seront rendus. Les hommes sont prêts à quitter les navires depuis lundi de la semaine dernière.» 

Lawrence Disin, administrateur en chef du gouvernement autonome de Bougainville. Les premiers rescapés originaires de Bougainville devraient arriver ce jeudi sur leur île natale après trois semaines passes en centre d’hébergement d’urgence à Lae.




Source: Post-Courier

Rio Tinto’s automated trains set for WA

RIO Tinto, the majority shareholder of the now defunct Panguna Copper Mine in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville will invests $US518 million (over K1 billion) in autonomous trains for Pilbara iron ore rail network in Western Australia

According to a statement yesterday, Rio Tinto will run the world’s first automated long-distance heavy-haul rail network, with a $US518 million (over K1 billion) investment in driverless trains.

The first driverless train will be launched in 2014, with the AutoHaul   automated train programme scheduled for completion a year later. 

AutoHaul is being pioneered as part of the automation component of Rio Tinto’s Mine of the Future initiative that also includes driverless trucks and autonomous drills.

On its 1500-km rail network, Rio Tinto currently runs 41 trains from mines to ports, comprising 148 locomotives and 9,400 iron ore cars.   

Automating train operations allows Rio Tinto to expand Pilbara in (Western Australia) production capacity without needing to make a substantial investment in additional trains.

Rio Tinto said it will also drive productivity improvements, with greater flexibility in train scheduling and the removal of driver changeover times creating extra capacity in the rail network.  

Other benefits include more efficient fuel use, resulting in lower energy costs and a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions for each tonne of iron ore produced. 

Rio Tinto chief executive Australia and Iron Ore Sam Walsh said “Rio Tinto is leading the way in large-scale use of automation, with plans to deploy 150 driverless trucks and our plans for AutoHaul. 

“Expanding Pilbara iron ore production is a high-return and low-risk investment for Rio Tinto that will enhance shareholder value.

“Automation will help us meet our expansion targets in a safe, more efficient and cost-effective way. “Automation also helps us address the significant skills shortage facing the industry, providing a valuable opportunity to improve productivity. 

“However, as we expand our business we will see an overall increase in job numbers and this will provide new opportunities in the rail division and elsewhere.  

As always, we will engage directly with those affected as we gradually make the transition to automation over the next three years,” he added. 

AutoHaul and the overall expansion of rail operations are subject to a number of State Government and other approvals, the company indicated.


Source: Post-Courier

Arawa High School status raised


ARAWA high school which has existed for 30 years is now recognised as a secondary school and will be a branch for the University of Technology’s DODL (Department of Distance Learning) .

Last Wednesday, two events took place, the official opening of the four-in-one AusAID funded classroom and the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the University of Technology (Unitech), and Arawa secondary school authorities.

Present at the ceremony were CEO for Education Bruno Babato DODL director Dr.Wilson Tovirika, Arawa secondary school, Principal Paul Lapun, George Mantaku, Arawa secondary school Board chairman, Central region education director Anita Salas, chiefs and other dignitaries, the member for central Bougainville and minister for communications Jimmy Miringtoro could not attend due to other commitments.

Board chairman George Mantaku in his speech said they have always been asking, begging and crying and now Arawa is a secondary school.

“A lot of developments in terms of infrastructure will still be taking place and this school will be growing, with Unitech’s input now we will be a big school now.” Mr Mantaku said. He appealed to landowners especially in the Arawa town vicinity to make available land so developments, especially school buildings can be built on the land. Education CEO on Bougainville Bruno Babato thanked the donor AusAID for funding the four in one classroom, and he also thanked the contractor Earth Works limited for completing the building on time and for using the contract money wisely. “We can really thank AusAID now for what they have done for us here in Arawa, funding a much needed asset for us, a school classroom.” Mr Babato said.

“The most important thing is that we have a really trusted contractor now I would like to thank Michael Tukaku and his company Earth works limited for a job well done, a lot of projects on Bougainville are incomplete luckily for Arawa high school it is a job well done.” Mr Babato said.

DODL director Dr Wilson Tovirika said the set up in Arawa is one of the best in the country and parents and students should take ownership off it.


Source: Post-Courier

ABG misses out on rentals 

By Joseph Morokana

The Bougainville administration and the Housing Allocation Committee (HAC) in Buka should urgently come up with proper housing procedures to effectively tackle the existing problems regarding public servants housing tenure, terms and conditions.

This has been highlighted in a recent Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Inquiry report which concluded with other issues – that officers have not been following the ABAs, policy on Government housing, retired and retrenched officers still occupying houses, officers double dipping in Government housing, officers occupying two houses and renting out Government housing to individuals, officers not meeting any portion of the rentals in private and Government housing, public servants complaining at the unfair salary disparity between National Government officers and the officers of ABG, poor housing conditions, shortage of Government housing and abuse of the contract and tendering process.

“My committee is especially alarmed that no rentals are paid by public servants since 2005 for Government and private accommodation in Buka town.” Chairman of PAC Mr Cosmas Sohia said in his report.

He said that ABG was missing out on hundreds of thousands of kina each year due to officers not contributing their rentals.

‘This money could have been used on building news houses so that more Public Servants can be duly accommodated.” Mr Sohia stated in the report.

These Government housings are in Hutjena, Kubu, Katsinkuri and the Sohano Island.

At present, there are a total of 171 Government houses. 

The HAC has no control over few institutional houses located at the Buka Hospital Area and some on Sohano Island.

The report also said that it was unfair to those Public Servants who commute to work every day and had to meet their own transport costs while public servants in town have been enjoying the rental freedom.

The current rate of housing rental is K7 for officers on salary grade 10, K6 for officers on salary grade 7 - 9, K1.30 for officers on salary frade 7.

Comments in the PAC Report made by the former chairman of the PAC, Mr Patrick Koles imply that some specific issues like rentals were still undertaken by the National Governments’ Finance Department in Port Moresby and not with the HAC in Buka.




Source: ABC Radio Australia - Pacific Beat

Standoff continues in Bougainville over seized ships


In Bougainville, a group of men is maintaining control of three ships belonging to the owner of the sunken ferry, MV Rabaul Queen.


The ships were seized soon after the ferry sank three weeks ago claiming at least one hundred and 50 lives.


Most of the victims were students travelling to Lae to begin the school year.


The men say they're are holding the boats to ensure Rabaul Shipping and its boss Peter Sharp provide compensation to families who had lost loved ones.


Now the men say they will release them, but only after they are paid around 350 thousand Kina for providing security.


The Autonomous Bougainville Government has been trying to negotiate with both sides, but with little success.


Presenter: Pacific Correspondent, Campbell Cooney

Speaker: Lawrence Disin, Chief Administrator of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville


  Listen here !   




Source: The National

Bougainville plans to buy new ferry 

THE Autonomous Region of Bougainville is in the process of getting a modern inter-island passenger ferry.

Two weeks ago, the mv Rabaul Queen sank off Morobe, with dozens of Bougainvilleans, many of them students, among the estimated 183 who died.

The shipping company involved had been criticised for overloading.

A major inquiry is to be conducted but Bougainville President John Momis said the provincial and national governments needed to take some responsibility.

“It is time that we took measures to listen to the people and do something in accordance with the priorities of the people,” he said.

“In fact, before the ship sank, when I became president I already made moves to get a new boat – a good, modern passenger boat – and we are now in the process of getting one.”


Source: The National

Somare: I will contest  


GRAND Chief Sir Michael Somare plans to return to parliament to prove to his political rivals that he still enjoys the support of his East Sepik electorate.

While he has reached retirement age as prime minister, he would consider coming back to parliament to prove to the government of Peter O’Neill that the people of East Sepik still respected him.

He said he did not want to return but the manner in which parliament, particularly the O’Neill-led government, had been treating him forced him to reconsider his decision to retire.

“I have reached my retirement (age) but I have a second thought when the parliament decided to remove me as the member of East Sepik,’’ he said.

“I want to retire but I want to prove them wrong.”

He said he was retained by the people of East Sepik in the past nine elections and won by big margins.

He is confident of coming back in the same manner.

Somare admitted that he was ousted from parliament and was waiting for the Supreme Court ruling.

Meanwhile, Ambunti-Dreikikir MP Tony Aimo has called on the government to move a motion to rescind their decision to oust Sir Michael.

“We hope they rescind the decision of parliament,” he said.




Source: Radio New Zealand International

PNG’s Somare camp hit out at action of corruption squad

One of the two men claiming to be prime minister of Papua New Guinea, Sir Michael Somare, says his rival is blatantly using public servants to execute his political agenda.

Sir Michael says he is angry and disappointed at the way the O’Neill administration’s Political Sweep Team acted in his native East Sepik Province on Wednesday.

The team has been set up to combat corruption.

Sir Michael says a heavily armed police squad swept unannounced into the East Sepik government’s offices to carry out an investigation.

Sir Michael says if there are concerns about the actions of the provincial government the normal process would be to first suspend it or send in officials to provide assistance.

He says it is inappropriate for Mr O’Neill to send in police and a vigilante squad to arrest and confiscate documents to make a case against the East Sepik government.

ESBC comments: Who else if not the PNG government is able to carry out investigations and to combat corruption? The ESBC are very satisfied that Peter O'Neill's government continues and intensifies its fight against corruption. Finally this may bring light into allegations that Sir Michael Somare, his son Arthur and other persons of the Somare entourage might be heavily involved in misappropriating public funds over many years. The ESBC wonder of the outcome of Arthur Somare's court case for misconduct in office. Until August 2011 he served as Minister for Public Enterprises. 




Source: Post-Courier

Telikom instals tower in Kieta

THE People of Bakawari Island and neighbouring areas of Kieta District now have access to mobile phone and other communication networks. 

Jimmy Miringtoro

This is thanks to Telikom PNG who have installed a communications tower to beam the network to villages in the area. On Friday the Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Jimmy Miringtoro (picture) officially launch the Citifon service at Bakawari Island.

Present at the launching also were Peter Loko Telikom CEO and the Minister for Bougainville Affairs, Steven Pirika. 

Both Minister Pirika and the Telikom CEO appealed strongly to the people to look after communications tower and associated equipment because they cost money. “If you have a problem talk about it and find ways to deal with the problem and don’t go around destroying equipment that provides services to the people in the community,” Mr Loko said. 

The launching program ended with entertainment from the pokpok island women who swayed to the rhythm of the bamboo band.


Source: Post-Courier

Information vital for progress


Radio programs are to focus on the development work of the ABG, informing people of what is happening with the government. 


INFORMATION communication is a vital tool towards Bougainville’s development, a visiting expert from the Philippines, Paul Fernandez has said.

In an interview with Post-Courier, Mr Fernandez spoke of how radio broadcast is important and said that the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) should establish more radio transmitters, throughout the autonomous region.

“Radio is free, cheap and accessible in remote place. I strongly appeal to the ABG to extend radio signals to allow the listeners to tune in.” he said.

He said: “For Bougainville being in this referendum period, it is important people have to be aware of the work, progress and changes that are happening in the government regime.”

“Radio programs are to focus on the development work of the ABG, informing people of what is happening with the government. It will also give the people feedback, how they could co-orporate with the government.” said Mr Fernandez.

He said, if such programs are designed, it will keep people informed and that they would like to switch on their radio’s daily.

To date, there is no exclusive radio signal coverage in Bougainville, as the radio signals only facilitate some areas.

Meanwhile, Mr Fernandez said that for Bougainville to achieve independence, leaders have to work together and make collective decisions for the best interests of Bougainville.

He said that referendum is the decider for independence which helps determine the work of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) and improve on work of good governance.

“Referendum is important because it will recommend to leaders how to make collective decisions that are of significance to the future of Bougainville.” he said.


Source: The National

PM: Election on as scheduled 

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill, who has repeatedly assured the nation that the general election will be held as scheduled, is under pressure from his own caucus to delay the polls for up to six months.

However, he told parliament yesterday he had advised his caucus that the government had no plans to delay the election.

“We have no desire to delay the election. I told the government caucus that I would prefer an election today rather than delay to resolve some of the political impasse we have today,” O’Neill said.

“Election will be held on time to let the people make the choice of who represents them in parliament.”

O’Neill admitted that the common roll was not ready, saying there were some wards and areas of the country where the population had increased by up to 400%.

“Some Papua New Guineans have not been sleeping but making population,” O’Neill joked.

“As I have stated already, there is no desire for this government to delay the election.

“We can only be guided by the Electoral Commission and the electoral commissioner who have been advised to prepare a report for cabinet.”

O’Neill said the report would determine the 2012 election.

Concerns raised from within the government ranks were mainly over the common roll updates that were not ready and some early campaigning by candidates in breach of the laws.


Source: The National

Dame Carol is new opposition leader 


RETIRING woman politician Dame Carol Kidu (picture) was yesterday announced as the new opposition leader.

She will occupy the position – which has been vacant for six months – until the general election in June. She is not seeking re-election for her Moresby South seat.


Speaker Jeffery Nape yesterday formally recognised Dame Carol, the only female who had been championing the proposed law to boost women representation in parliament.


She told parliament she was prepared to lead an opposition but appealed to other MPs in the middle bench to join her, adding that an effective opposition was too big a task for just one person.

MPs from both sides of parliament congratulated her.

Later, Dame Carol told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat that her first task was to restore credibility and confidence in the Office of the Leader of Opposition and bring back parliamentary debate on the floor of parliament.

“I am retiring from politics, I’m not going to be out campaigning,” she said.

“I have four months until August when I will still be on payroll for Papua New Guinea, I can really focus on looking at how we can strengthen the functioning of the opposition in PNG,” Dame Carol said.

“Because we know that to have a vibrant democracy, it’s not just about having elections.

“We’ve got to have those back checks and balances on the floor, and I think the opposition needs to be strengthened.”

Dame Carol, who entered politics in 2002, leads the Melanesian Alliance party, one of the oldest political parties moulded together by leaders such as Bernard Narokobi and Bougainville President John Momis.

She was a minister for the past nine years under the National Alliance-led coalition until Sir Michael Somare was voted out of office last Aug 2.

With no effective opposition as a result of the ongoing political impasse, Dame Carol decided late last month to seek the speaker’s approval to become opposition leader.

When parliament met on Tuesday, she took the opposition leader’s seat but Nape asked her to vacate it until he sought further clarification.

Nape ruled yesterday that after seeking advice, he was satisfied that Dame Carol could become leader of the opposition.

However, sources said the idea of Dame Carol taking the opposition leader’s chair was put to her last year during the budget session.


Source: The National

Three of four defactors join T.H.E Party 

FOUR parliamentarians in the Sir Michael Somare faction have joined the government side.

Speaker Jeffery Nape yesterday declared that Laiagam-Porgera MP Philip Kikala and Miki Kaeok of the National Alliance party had joined Treasurer Don Polye’s Triumph Heritage Empowerment (T.H.E) Party.

Nape said Kikala had sent a notice that he was joining the government after consultation with his electorate.

Nape had instructed parliamentary staff to allocate a seat for Kikala in the government bench.

Middle Ramu MP Ben Sembri had also joined the government coalition ranks.

Sembri, a member of the People’s Action Party, will join his party leader and Maprik MP Gabriel Kapris in the government benches.

It leaves Tony Aimo as the only MP from the Somare camp sitting in the middle bench.

People’s Party man and Wewak MP Dr Moses Manwau had also jumped ship to Polye’s T.H.E Party.

It is slowly building up the strength of the government side to pass some of the important laws before parliament.


Source: Post-Courier

Governors to retain seats

By Gorethy Kenneth and Caldron Laepa

PARLIAMENT yesterday voted 77-0 for the Provincial Seats to remain. This means that all provincial governors of Papua New Guinea can contest the June elections which starts in 10 weeks time when writs will be officially issued. 

In 2006, Parliament passed an amendment that would have removed provincial electorates, however, yesterday, Parliament voted and resolved to retain the provincial seats through the passage of the Membership (Amendment of Section 101) and the Constitutional Amendment No. 30 (Provincial Electorates) Law. 

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill presented the Law before 79 MPs present in Parliament. The Somare regime MPs were also present to help vote for the Bill to keep the Provincial Seats and they included Nipa Kutubu MP Philemon Embel, Middle Ramu MP Ben Semri, Kairuku Hiri MP Paru Aihi, Nawa MP Timothy Bonga, Pomio MP Paul Tiensten, Ambunti/Drekirkir MP Tony Aimo, Tari/Pori MP James Marape, Laiagap MP Philip Kikala (who has joined Government as of 2pm yesterday) Madang Provincial MP Sir Arnold Amet, Enga Governor Peter Ipatas.

Speaker Jeffery Nape read out that the repeal of the amendment would not affect any right, privilege or obligation or liability acquired and accrued or incurred by the person this section applied to and any legal proceeding brought forthwith.

After Parliament made alterations to the amendment that would have removed provincial electorates in Parliament yesterday, all provincial governors present gave a sigh of relief. 

The Provincial Governors that were present in Parliament yesterday included Luther Wenge (Morobe), Peter Ipatas (Enga), Havila Kavo (Gulf), Alphonse Moroi (Central), Michael Sapau (Manus), Mal Kela Smith (EHP), Sir Julius Chan (New Ireland), Peter Humpreys (WNB), Simon Solo (WSP), Governor Powes Parkop (NCD), Leo Dion (ENB), Anderson Agiru (Southern Highlands) and Simbu governor Fr Robert Garia.

Those not present included Bougainville Regional MP Fidelis Semoso, (ESP)Peter Wararu Waranaka, WHP Tom Olga, Bob Danaya (Western Province), Milne bay –John Luke Critin, Oro Pastor Suckling Tamanabae), Madang Governor –John Gau.

Prime Minister O’Neill was the first to congratulate the MPs that voted for the Bill to be repealed and amended. He said his presentation was done in the best interest of the people of PNG because provincial governments play an important role; they provide the majority of services to the village people.

The Election 2012 Program is as follows:

* 27th April — Issue of Writs (4pm)

* MaY 4 — Close of Nominations (4pm)

* Polling Starts — June 23

* Polling Ends — July 6

* Return of Writs on or before July 27. 

On the retention of Provincial Electorates — the Commission has planned for the 22 provinces and election will be carried out as planned.




Source: The National

Semoso fails to attend tribunal 


BOUGAINVILLE regional MP Fidelis Semoso (picture) has failed, for the second time, to turn at a tribunal looking into allegations of misconduct against him.


Tribunal chairman Justice Salatiel Lenalia expressed disappointment over Semoso’s failure to attend the tribunal.


Lenalia told Semoso’s lawyer, Charles Mende, to advise his client to attend the tribunal tomorrow “or other consequences pertaining to his absence may be applied”.

He said the court would not make anymore allowances by adjourning the hearing. Semoso did not also turn up on Monday.

State prosecuting lawyer Anthony Kupmein maintained that the hearing should not be further delayed.

Lenalia said the tribunal would not approve another adjournment and that Semoso should be present for the hearing on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Mende told the court that he was aware of the consequential circumstances involved but it was unfortunate that his client was not available.

The matter is before Lenalia and senior magistrates Ignatious Kurie and Nerrie Eliakim.

Semoso was referred on allegations of the misappropriation of K2.7 million for the South Bougainville feeder road project.

He was also alleged to have misappropriated K470,000 awarded to the Millennium Waters Company from the K2.7 million.

Another K1 million from the project was also allegedly misused.

The tribunal would hear the matter tomorrow, including that of Kikori MP Mark Maipakai.


Source: Post-Courier

MV Solomon Queen crew at locals’ mercy

By Fabian Gatana

CREW members of the MV Solomon Queen, currently grounded at Buka Wharf, are frustrated over the inhumane treatment being given to them by their management and the boss of Rabaul Shipping.

In an interview with the Post-Courier yesterday, they said that since their vessel was grounded last Thursday by ex-combatants they had been left to fend for themselves and had been totally neglected.

The crew which includes two foreigners said that they were now relying on donations being given to them by business houses in Bougainville. A crew member, who wished to remain anonymous in case his comments have repercussions on his job, said that since last Thursday they have had no word from the Rabaul Shipping management inquiring about their situation or informing them of their next course of action.

MV Solomon Queen grounded at Buka wharf


He said that even the management of the Rabaul Shipping branch in Buka had not gone and visited them and enquired about their situation or listened to their concerns. He said that they felt that the company had disowned them as it did not “want anything to do with them’’.

Another crew member said that the vessels owner, Peter Sharp, was more concerned with making money for himself then looking at the well-being of the crew of all three ships grounded at Buka Wharf.

He said that the treatment being given to them by the ex-combatants was far better than what they were getting from their employer and company owner Mr Sharp.

The crew, however, assured Mr Sharp that all three vessels were being taken care of, in accordance with the guarantee given by the ex-combatants.


Source: Post-Courier

Telikom — always there for Pok pok islanders


IT’S not village fon, it’s Citifon and they are “Always there”.

Telikom PNG’s Citifon service keeps going places and reaching out to connect remote communities in the country to the rest of the world.

Take a walk down the sandy beach, swaying tropical palms and shady fruit trees, extending their reassuring cool gestures to that protect the friendly community of Bakawari in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

It seems so far by description but Telikom PNG’s Citifon services for voice and data access made sure that the community is just a 2 toea call away from the rest of the country.


Pokpok Island (picture) woke up to the breezy touches of the Solomon Sea as beating bamboos welcome the arrival of modern technology communication to the remote island home.


Visitors to the occasion of the launch of Citifon’s services included Information and Communications Minister Jimmy Miringtoro, Bougainville Affairs Minister Steven Pirika, PNG Power chief executive office Tony Koiri and Telikom PNG chief executive officer Peter Loko and his officers.

At the launch Mr Miringtoro urged the people to respect and protect the facilities.

“This infrastructure is here to benefit every one of us while it plays a vital role in various developments with its core function to link us to the rest of the country and the world,” he said.

He encouraged the people to keep up with the changes in technology, being enjoyed by others in the country in the urban centres.

He also praised Telikom PNG for ensuring that the service was affordable for locals to have access.

Residents in Bakawari can now enjoy the most affordable rates of 2 toea call rate from Citifon to Citifon and 39 toea to call other networks all day and all night.

And while restoring infrastructure is progressing in and around the region, the village council of chiefs Bava Pirung spoke highly of the affordable rates on offer saying such occasion truly marked an achievement in terms of infrastructure development. 

Telikom PNG CEO Peter Loko said the Citifon and internet service is not new in the region as coverage has been available in Buka and Arawa since 2010 while the recent installation on Pokpok Island will increase coverage for communities in and around Arawa. 


Source: Post-Courier

Rio Tinto approves $US1.4 bill investment

Rio Tinto, the 53.83% owner of defunct Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL) has approved a $US1.4 billion investment in Escondida copper projects in Chili in the South America.



Rio Tinto in a statement said the funds are for two projects to support higher production at the Escondida copper mine in Chile which Rio Tinto holds a 30 per cent interest in Escondida.

The news has come about just few days after the UK based diversified natural resources company expressed its interest to return to Papua New Guinea to develop some of its vast natural resources.

The company also announced a recorded an underlying earnings of $15.5 billion - net earnings reduced by impairment charge last week.

In a statement yesterday, Rio Tinto said the the Organic Growth 1 Project (OGP 1) replaces the Los Colorados concentrator with a new 152,000 tonnes per day plant which then also allows access to the high grade ore located underneath the existing facilities. 

“Construction of the new plant will be complete within three years. The project will cost US$3.8 billion (Rio Tinto share US$1.2 billion),” the statement said.

Rio Tinto said the Escondida Oxide Leach Area Project (OLAP) involves the construction of a new dynamic leaching pad and a mineral handling system. 

The project will maintain processing capacity at current levels following the completion of the current heap leach in 2014. 

The company said the OLAP will cost $US721 million (Rio Tinto share $US216 million) with construction expected to complete in July 2014.

Rio Tinto’s investment is expected to be funded through the company’s share of Escondida’s cash flows.


Source: Post-Courier

Big juicy Siwai pineapples













This huge pineapples were harvested at Siwai in South Bougainville. The pineapple weighed about 10kg and was brought by Danny Sovirei and Philip Kiha. The pineapple when it was prepared for dinner was sour less and very juicy.


Words and Picture: FABIAN HAKALITS





Source: Radio New Zealand International

Bougainville to get modern ferry after PNG shipping disaster

The autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville is in the process of getting a modern inter-island passenger ferry.

Two weeks ago, the Rabaul Queen sank off Morobe, with dozens of Bougainvilleans, many of them students, among the estimated that 183 died.

The shipping company involved has been criticised for overloading a vessel that was inappropriate for the use being made of it.

A major inquiry is to be conducted but the president, John Momis, says the provincial and national governments also need to take some responsibility.

Mr Momis says the disaster is a wake-up call.

“It’s time that we took measures to listen to the people and do something in accordance with the priorities of the people. I say this in all honesty we have to start listening to the people to build co-educational institutions, to improve our shipping. In fact before the ship sank, when I became President I already made moves to get a new boat - a good, modern passenger boat - and we are now in the process of getting one.”: Bougainville President John Momis. 




Source: SunLive

New lease of life found in PNG

By Letitia Atkinson

The head of road policing in the Western Bay of Plenty is glad to be back on home soil after spending six months in Papua New Guinea.

Senior Sergeant Ian Campion embarked on his second deployment to the country in June and returned to New Zealand on December 23, just in time to spend Christmas with his family.


Ian Campion is pleased to be back working at Greerton Police Station.


“I have been fortunate enough to have two deployments in Bougainville,” says Ian.

“So the first of those was between August and December in 2010, and then last year I was in Bougainville.

“My role on my second visit was as an advisor to the Northern Regional Commander of the Bougainville Police Service.”

Ian says part of his work was around capacity building and training, but also coaching, mentoring, advising and general police work, in addition to administrative processes and policies.

“I enjoyed both deployments; the work that I did (on my first deployment) was very different to the position I held the second time in that I was advising the Northern Regional Commander, as opposed to my first posting there, which was capacity building and training with the traffic units in the three main centres.

“It was quite different, but I really enjoyed every minute of the deployment.

“Some of my highlights were visits to schools way up in the rural sectors.

“There was one particular school that from the end of the road we walked another two hours up into the mountains – that was probably one of the most memorable occasions.


Ian Campion in Bougainville.


“The kids are just like sponges, they’re so keen to learn.

“They want to hear about other parts of the world and they are very interested in what we’re doing there.”

He says the reason for visiting schools was to deliver messages about keeping safe, not only near roads, but also in the village environment.

“Building confidence and that the police are there to help.”

Despite enjoying his time in Papua New Guinea, Ian says he is glad to be home.

“To be fair, I am really enjoying civilisation.

“I’m enjoying getting back into the company of friends and family and I’m enjoying the work here.

“Having deployments like that makes you appreciate being in New Zealand and appreciate the resources that the New Zealand Police have, as well as the infrastructure and IT systems we enjoy.” 




Source: Inter Press Service (IPS)

Papua New Guinea’s New Dawn With Community Radio 

By Catherine Wilson*

It was the decade-long civil war in the autonomous Bougainville region that inspired the founding of New Dawn FM, a community radio station recognised for contributing to the rebirth of civil society and development. 



In 2001, a peace agreement ended a devastating conflict triggered by the destructive legacy of the foreign-operated Panguna copper mine. All radio broadcasting infrastructure on the island was destroyed during the war, which claimed 20,000 lives. 

After Bougainville was granted autonomy in 2005, former broadcasting journalists overcame logistical hurdles to launch PNG’s first community radio station. 



"Our biggest challenge starting New Dawn FM was actually finance, as we were just coming out of the crisis and we had no money," recounted Aloysius Laukai (picture), manager of the station. "But we received some assistance through UNESCO and the German government and we started the radio." 

The international funding paid for studio equipment and a transmitter. 

According to the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, AMARC, ‘community radio is not about doing something for the community, but about the community doing something for itself.’ For many provincial communities separated by mountains and dense rainforest in Papua New Guinea (PNG), self-sufficiency is a necessity. 

This is reflected in PNG’s strong community radio sector which dominates commercial radio services across the country. The National Information and Communications Technology Authority confirms that nationwide there are 62 licensed commercial radio stations and 133 community radio stations. 

Today Bougainville has a population of approximately 300,000. New Dawn broadcasts in English and ‘Tok Pisin’, the lingua franca, to nearly 50,000 listeners across northern Bougainville and has plans to expand coverage to the central town of Arawa. 

PNG’s National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) operates in the autonomous region as well.

"New Dawn broadcasts during the day 18 hours, while NBC broadcasts just about 12 hours per day," Laukai said, explaining the differences. 


Radio New Dawn Building in Buka


New Dawn also has a news blog accessible where there is mobile network coverage in Central and South Bougainville. This is a significant communication service to rural areas lacking basic public services. 

The station prioritises community empowerment, local current affairs and supports reconciliation. It uses live broadcasts of reconciliation ceremonies and landmark events taking place in different parts of the province to build inter-community trust where once there was bitter division. 

"We cover a lot of activities the government is doing for peace and reconciliation," Laukai explained. "If there is a happening, like an inauguration in Arawa, we broadcast from there to our listeners on Buka Island. Because our aim is to make sure they are in tune; North Bougainville is in tune with what is happening in South Bougainville." 

Another challenge is addressing the generation that missed out on education during the conflict and many ex-combatants who feel excluded from mainstream society. 

‘We are working with World Vision (an evangelical relief and development umbrella organisation) now on an education project of adult learning programmes," Laukai said. The station will begin broadcasting to adult learners throughout Central Bougainville this year. 

Following ten years of peace, development is the next priority, especially for 97 percent of Bougainville’s population that lives in rural areas. New Dawn encourages farmers to seek and share knowledge via the airwaves. 

"We have had problems with cocoa pod borer in the last year," recounted Laukai, "Many (farmers) cut off their trees and planted new ones. But one farmer did his own experiment in removing shade trees, chasing the insects away with sunlight." The story helped recover production. 

In other areas of social development, the community broadcaster has been drawing on the power of international collaboration. 


<  Aloysius Laukai with former Minister of Bougainville Affairs Fidelis Semoso



In 2010, it initiated a programme design workshop with the Commonwealth of Learning - an intergovernmental organisation tasked with increasing access to education in developing Commonwealth countries - Bougainville’s ministry of community affairs and non-government organisations (NGOs). 

An important outcome of the workshop was ‘Bougainville Women Today’, a community-based learning programme addressing women’s health issues such as teenage pregnancies as well as malaria. 

To actively involve the community, "we have established listeners’ clubs, like women’s groups," Laukai elaborated. "They come and we design the programmes. Every time we broadcast a programme, we put it on a CD and we send it out to these listeners’ clubs. Then they listen to them at their own location and at their own timing." 

The pioneering broadcaster has faced challenges, although lack of media freedom is not one. 

"Since we started, we haven’t encountered any problems, even from the government or from the members," Laukai stated. "We feel like we are free to do what we are doing, but we must be responsible reporters." 

The media in PNG operate in a self-regulatory environment. The 1989 censorship act sets general standards of broadcasting, but media laws are enabling and follows national policy that states: "All people have the right to be dynamically involved in the processes of their own development and should have the opportunity to participate in communication processes at all levels." 

The main challenge was financial. "Since we started, we were really struggling to run the station," Laukai admitted. "In 2008, we got some funding after we covered the funeral service of the late president and the local government gave us Kina 50,000 (24,125 dollars). Last year, they gave us a grant of another 24,125 dollars. But we are building our own capacity." 

Some revenue is generated by broadcasting parliament sessions and giving members time on air for questions. 

According to Helen, a listener who works with a local development NGO, "the government programme is very helpful. We learn what the President and his government are doing. Many people we work with want to know what the government is doing on the island, so we can tell them." 

Word of New Dawn’s achievements spread and, in 2009, it received the Communication and Social Change Award from the University of Queensland, Australia. 

This year the station is set to make a significant contribution in the national election. At a recent meeting between the electoral commission and national media, the station put forward a proposal to use frontline short messaging service or SMS technology, which it has used in operations since 2011, as a tool in preventing election fraud. 

"We really introduced a good network which the whole of PNG can use to monitor the election," Laukai proudly claimed. 


*This story was produced with the support of UNESCO. 





Source: Radio New Zealand International

PNG ferry disaster prompts Aropa runway opening

There is agreement on the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville to re-open the Aropa runway to receive the bodies of locals who died in the ferry sinking off Morobe.

The Post Courier reports this was decided by dissident armed groups and those that own and who man the runway.

It says this will make it easier for the relatives to come and receive the bodies of their children and relatives who died when the MV Rabaul Queen sank.

There have been suggestions that had the airport at Aropa had been open and in operation, lives of innocent Bougainvilleans would have been saved because they would not have had to take the ferry.

Before the civil war, Aropa was the island’s main airport.





Source: ESBC Research

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to resume heathcare projects

in South-Bougainville!



Please make a donation to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) !


Find out more:





Aropa airport re-opens to help Bougainvilleans

AROPA airport (picture), once Bougainville’s gateway to the world, will be open to the outside world soon. 

The Me’ekamui soldiers, former hardliners and landowners of the Aropa airport have agreed to open up the runway to receive the dead bodies of central and south Bougainvilleans who died on the ill-fated MV Rabaul Queen voyage who will be flown direct to the mainland. 

This is to make it easier for the relatives to come and receive the bodies of their children and relatives who died when the ship sank near the Lae waters.

Communications Minister and Central Bougainville MP Jimmy Miringtoro said in Port Moresby yesterday that this is an agreement reached with the once rebel hardliners of the region and those that own and who man the runway.

Mr Miringtoro said that the Me’ekamui soldiers in Central Bougainville including the landowners of Aropa have agreed that they are partly responsible for what had happened, specifically the death of Bougainvilleans from the tragic sinking.

“You see, the Me’ekamui have said they are partly to be blamed for the loss of lives of specifically mainland Bougainvilleans who use the Sharp ferries more often to travel abroad in search of further education. 

These are the parents whose children have suffered and mostly affected by the 10-year Bougainville Crisis and most of them come from Kieta, Siwai and Buin,” Mr Miringtoro said. 

“They have agreed to open up Aropa airport. The bodies of those in Central and South Bougainville will be flown by air and the plane will land at the Aropa airport to make it easier for the relatives of those that have lost their loved ones,” Mr Miringtoro said. 

The bodies will come directly to Aropa airport once the Government or the authorities on the ground complete and are ready to release the bodies of those found dead in the sinking ship.”

He said that those in authority of the Aropa Airport had said that if it was open and in operation lives of the innocent Bougainvilleans would have been saved. 

“By sending them via the ship was basically the easier means of travelling out of Buka, given the limited flights and seats with the only airline that services the air route to Bougainville through Buka Island. 

“This will now change,” Mr Miringtoro said.



Rio Tinto, BHP make way to return to PNG


Two prominent global diversified natural resource companies are heading back to Papua New Guinea.

They are the London based Rio Tinto Group and Melbourne based BHP Billiton. The two global multinational exploration, development, production and processing corporations are making their bid to hunt for riches in PNG’s natural resources and the approvals for their entry is only a formality.

 Peter O'Neill

 William Duma

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and his Minister for Petroleum and Energy William Duma confirmed yesterday that the big diversified natural resource corporations have lodged applications for exploration licenses in the country.

“I do not see any problems in the companies getting their approvals. Papua New Guinea needs them and their interest in PNG reflects the trust and confidence they have in the country and Government,” Mr O’Neill said.

Mr Duma added: “The re-entry of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto is a demonstration of the trust and confidence multi-nationals around the globe have for PNG and the Government and the leaders in the mining, petroleum and hydrocarbon sectors. 

“We, as a country, stand to gain more and we can’t go wrong.”

Rio Tinto Group is based in London, United Kingdom. The company was founded in 1873, and has since grown through a long series of mergers and acquisitions to place itself among the world leaders in the production of many commodities, including aluminium, iron ore, copper, uranium, coal, and diamonds. As of March 2009, Rio Tinto is the fourth largest publicly listed mining company in the world and was listed in Fortune magazine's 2008 Global 500 ranking of largest worldwide companies by revenue at number 263. In 2007, the company was valued at $US147 billion.

Rio Tinto owns 53.83 percent share in the now defunct Panguna Copper mine, which commenced operation in 1972 and ended in 1989 due to the crisis.

BHP Billiton is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, and with a major management office in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's largest mining company measured by revenue and as of February 2011 was the world's third-largest company measured by market capitalisation. 

BHP Billiton was created in 2001 through the merger of the Australian Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited (BHP) and the Anglo-Dutch Billiton plc. It had a market capitalisation of about £39.6 billion as of December 23 2011, making it the 9th largest company on the London Stock Exchange.

BHP Billiton owned 52 percent shares in the Ok Tedi copper mine and after 20 years of operating the mine, the company pulled out in 2002 due to heightened concerns on the destruction to the environment from the mine. 

Mr O’Neill said the interest by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto showed that PNG remained an attraction for many global players. Few days ago, Royal Dutch Shell, the world’s number one energy company reopened its office in PNG.

“Our tax regimes are conducive. This is why we are getting this renewed interest from these global players. This government does not only see the value of inviting internationally recognised exploration and development companies into PNG but also recognises the importance of proactive measures in ensuring that our petroleum, gas and mineral regimes are conducive to facilitating and strengthening the commercial interests of the players in the industries,” Mr Duma said.




Source: ESBC Research


Self-appointed Bougainville fashion columnist Antony Loewenstein hits back!

Find out here:


Source: Antony Loewenstein's Blog

Disaster capitalists in Bougainville just want another shot at ruining the place.

A foreign company destroys Bougainville in Papua New Guinea and leaves a trail of ecological destruction. Years after, the same company wants to re-open the same mine by whis­per­ing sweet nothings about its intentions. Dont believe a word.

Following my Crikey investigation last week, today sees an unintentionally funny response. Yes, vulture capitalists are crying poor and demanding a fair go. Having seen with my own eyes what they did last time in Bougainville, they quite simply can’t be trusted now:

Axel G. Sturm, Bougainville Copper, writes: Re. “How the ‘resource curse’ eats at the heart of Bougainville” (Friday, item 8).

Unfortunately Antony Loewenstein missed a good chance to unmask the situation in Bougainville’s central region.

Unfortunately he seems to be more interested in describing people’s clothing than analysing their real problems: No word about the money paid in the past by BCL  that vanished in the pockets of dubious PNG businessmen and greedy politicians. No word about multiple criminal groups that — until today — try to enrich themselves and kill even children for that.

Only a few days ago PNG attitude published an article on that.

Our company, Bougainville Copper Limited, has been more or less a victim of local greed and brutality. But Loewenstein pretends to be an “independent journalist”. But in reality his work is superficial and ex­tremely poor — unfortunately! His allegations that China could be a better adviser in independence than Australia is absolute non­sense.

I know very well that it is not easy to get a good overview on the complex situation on the ground. Therefore the European shareholders of Bougainville Copper provide the world’s biggest source for research on Bougainville  www.​bougainville-copper.​eu .


Source: ABC Radio Australia - Pacific Beat

Bougainville combatants demand payment before releasing ships

The armed group who have taken control of three ships owned by the company which also owned the sunken passenger ferry MV Rabaul Queen, say they will release the ships once they receive payment for providing security for them.

The ships were seized almost immediately after the sinking of the Rabaul Queen 11 days ago, while enroute from Kimbe in West New Britain Province to the city of Lae on the mainland.

Most passengers were students from the island provinces of PNG, including the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

The disaster has left families shocked and grieving, with many still trying to find out if their loved ones were survivors or not, and demanding an answer to just what happened.

Over the weekend it was announced there will be a probe into what happened.

Presenter:Campbell Cooney

Speaker: John Angamata, spokesman for the former Bougainville combatants who seized three ships in Buka 


  Listen here !  





Leaders urged to respect PNG laws


BOUGAINVILLE Regional MP Fidelis Semoso has strongly called on all government leaders to respect the rule of law and the Constitution.

Speaking yesterday during the opening of the Legal Year in Bougainville, Mr Semoso said: “Leaders have been breaching the Constitution and not maintaining democracy.”

He said the Constitution had the underlying laws that hold the very fabric of democracy and democratic institutions of both PNG and Bougainville.

“Leaders please comply, by the rule of law and stand firm to support the Constitution.” he said.

Mr Semoso said that the political impasse was not about Somare, Peter O’Neill, John Momis, or himself but about the laws, that have to be followed. 

He added that leaders had trampled over the laws of the country and this showed that there was no respect for the judiciary.

“There is a dangerous trend of breaches, if we do not respect the judiciary. 

“If we continue to trample on our laws, what law we will turn into to argue our rights?” he questioned.

Furthermore, Mr Semoso called on all members of the law enforcing agencies to uphold and enforce the laws and maintain good law and order.

He said that there was a need for a vibrant and strong judiciary to maintain the integrity of the rule of law and the Constitution.

“We have to work together to develop and maintain our judiciary system. 

“It is about time, we leaders do the right thing for the best interest of the people of this great nation and follow the rule of law and the Constitution.”

In the meantime, Mr Semoso said a country without law and order had no development taking place and never achieved its dreams.



MP urged to honour promise to police

POLICE in Central Bougainville are calling on the Member for Central Bougainville Jimmy Miringtoro to “immediately act upon the long-awaited” promise he made to them in 2007.

According to the Arawa police station commander senior sergeant Herman Birengka, Mr Miringtoro had promised after his election victory that he would be funding three new police vehicles.

Mr Birengka said police were already fed up with waiting for Mr Miringtoro to fulfil his promise and had challenged him to immediately honour his commitment.

“I am now calling on Mr Miringtoro to honour his promise. It is now over four years since he made the promise and we are still waiting,” Mr Birengka said. 

He said logistical problems had greatly affected police from effectively carrying out their duties. 

“At the moment police cannot attend to all the cases reported to us because of logistical problem. There are many outstanding rape, attempted murder and murder cases which police have yet to act upon. If our member had honoured his promise we would have been able to attend to these cases,” Mr Birengka said. 

He added that since it was nearly election time lack of vehicles would greatly affect his men from carrying out their election duties. 

He said if other Bougainville MPs can help police in their electorates why can’t Mr Miringtoro do the same.



Bougainville told to build house for own judge


Bougainville leaders were challenged to ensure they have their own judge on the ground at the official opening of the Legal Year yesterday.

Lawyers’ representative Thomas Tamusio issued the challenge, asking the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the Judiciary System to facilitate for this to become a reality.

In response, visiting judge Justice John Kawi said a judge can be permanent in Bougainville if the regional government builds a house for the justice.

Yesterday’s ceremony was held at the Bougainville Diocese Headquarters at Hahela in Buka after the celebration of the Holy Eucharist which was led by the Shepherd of the Diocese, Bishop Bernard Unabali.

After the church service, the guests were taken to the stage, by the traditional singsing group from Pokpok Island of Kieta, Central Bougainville. 

They included visiting Judge Justice John Kawi and Acting Judge David Maliku, ABG President John Momis, Bougainville Regional MP Fidelis Semoso, Members of the Bougainville House of Representatives and Bougainville Administrations, lawyers, magistrates and heads of law agents including the Bougainville Police Service, and Correctional Service Institute.

A six-men delegation from the Philippines that were in the region to hold business talks with ABG also had the privilege to attend the opening.

Mr Semoso said in his address that every citizen including the government of the day should respect judiciary, the rule of law and the Constitution.

Mr Semoso says judiciary should continue to exist to strengthen the law and order in the country.

Lawyer’s representative Thomas Tamusio said judges, lawyers, magistrates, lawyers, police officers and correctional officers were agents of laws and should work to protect judiciary.

He said as the custodian of the laws, they had a noble profession to carry out their work with diligence and care. 

“You have to work to protect the judiciary. The work you do confines to the State, family and community.” Mr Tamusio said.

He also challenged the ABG, and the PNG judiciary system to facilitate for Bougainville to have a resident judge to attend to outstanding cases.

“A judge could be sent to Bougainville tomorrow, only if there is a house for the judge. 

“I am strongly appealing to the ABG if you are seriously thinking about this, what are you waiting for?”Justice Kawi questioned.




Radio New Zealand International

Bougainville to get PNG tertiary institutions

The president of Bougainville, John Momis, says a number of key tertiary institutions are to set up in the autonomous Papua New Guinea province.

Bougainville has no tertiary facilities, forcing students to travel to the mainland.

Mr Momis says agreements have been reached to set up local campuses of three key PNG universities in the province.

“We have taken steps now to bring the Divine Word University campus, to set up a campus in Bougainville, the University of Technology to set a campus in Bougainville and the University of Papua New Guinea. So that we can alleviate the problem that parents and students have of finding money for themselves to travel right across Papua New Guinea because of the lack of educational opportunities in Bougainville.” :  Bougainville President John Momis.

Dozens of young Bougainvilleans, many of them students, were on the Rabaul Queen which sank off Morobe 11 days ago - about 44 are believed to have drowned.




Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville

Legal year opened

By Aloysius Laukai

Bougainville region joined the rest of the country in launching the 2012 legal year at Hahela catholic parish on Bukai island.

The ceremony started with the legal fratenity marching from the ABG offices in Kubu to the HAHELA CHURCH where the Bishop of Bougainville,Bishop Benard Unabali.

Two national court judges,Justice John Kawi and acting judge David Maliku witnessed the ceremony.

Speakers included the Bishop who talked on the church's Justice and peace initiative on Bougainville.

Bougainville regional member whos choir sang at the mass,ABG LLG minister,Joe Nopei, lawyer's representative,Thomas Tamusio, ABG President,JOHN MOMIS And Justice John Kawi.


Pictured are the members of the legal fraternity marching to church this morning.

Picture by Aloysius Laukai


Justice John Kawi and acting judge David Maliku marching with police anc CIS officers this morning.



Pictures of warders from the new Bekut jail at the parade this morning





Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville

Sample desert

Test Desert

By Aloysius Laukai

Philippinos currently visiting Bougainville managed to show some recepies to some Bougainvilleans in Buka today :

Pictured is chief Joe Pais being served the menu.





Source: Radio New Zealand International

PNG ferry disaster survivors reeling, says Momis

The President of the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville says the survivors of the sinking of the Rabaul Queen are reeling from the injustice of the disaster.

About 44 Bougainvilleans, many of them students, are thought to be among the about 100 who lost their lives.

This week President John Momis spent time in Lae in Morobe with the several dozen Bougainvilleans who survived the ordeal.

He says they feel they don’t know what hit them and this coupled with the deaths of mates and the notoriety of a shipping company which ignored advice not to sail has added to the sense of distress and loss.

Mr Momis gave the survivors some financial support from his government to cover school fees and pocket money for immediate needs.

“And also helping to repatriate any one of them who may wish to withdraw from their studies due to trauma, and also repatriating the relatives who came, not too many, but we do have some family members who went to Lae when they heard their loved ones were lost at sea.”





Source: Radio New Zealand International

PNG ferry disaster survivors reeling, says Momis

The President of the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville says the survivors of the sinking of the Rabaul Queen are reeling from the injustice of the disaster.

About 44 Bougainvilleans, many of them students, are thought to be among the about 100 who lost their lives.

This week President John Momis spent time in Lae in Morobe with the several dozen Bougainvilleans who survived the ordeal.

He says they feel they don’t know what hit them and this coupled with the deaths of mates and the notoriety of a shipping company which ignored advice not to sail has added to the sense of distress and loss.

Mr Momis gave the survivors some financial support from his government to cover school fees and pocket money for immediate needs.

“And also helping to repatriate any one of them who may wish to withdraw from their studies due to trauma, and also repatriating the relatives who came, not too many, but we do have some family members who went to Lae when they heard their loved ones were lost at sea.”


Source: Radio New Zealand International

Bougainville presidents says PNG ferry disaster caused anger

The President of the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville says there is so much public anger over the Rabaul Queen sinking that he’s confident the government will act to improve the country’s shipping services.

The vessel sank just over a week ago off Morobe with current official estimates of about 100 people losing their lives, but other reports suggest much higher figures.

The Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, met survivors in Lae this week and promised a comprehensive inquiry into the disaster.

Dozens of the victims were from Bougainville and its President, John Momis, says the inquiry will not only focus on the shipping company but also look at apparent corruption within the relevant government agencies.

He says he believes Mr O’Neill will act on the findings.

Source: Radio New Zealand International

More than 300 people now feared to have died in PNG ferry sinking

It’s now feared that more than 300 people lost their lives in last week’s ferry sinking in Papua New Guinea.
The MV Rabaul Queen sank in rough seas near the end of a 20-hour journey from Kimbe to PNG’s second largest city, Lae.
Charlie Masange of the Morobe Provincial Disaster Management Office says the number of people rescued has been recalculated as 237.
He says new information from relatives of those onboard puts the number of people missing at 321.
“And we found that about 179 could be unaccounted for meaning they did not purchase those tickets properly or in a right way, they might have just given the money to the ticket person, they just got on board the ship at Kimbe.”
Charlie Masange says it was up to the ship’s captain to restrict the number of passengers to the 310 it was licenced to carry.




Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville

Team Arrive

By Aloysius Laukai

The philiphine team arrived on Buka this morning but were unable to travel to Arawa due to bad weather.

It has been raining for a week and the rivers are flooded between Buka and Arawa.


Pictured is team leader RAYMUND B.PUYAT talking to Protocol officer Philiph Kiha at the Buka airport.




Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville

Philippines investors visit Bougainville

AN investment delegation from Philippines will arrive in Buka on Friday to explore direct investment, trade and commercial ties with Bougainville.

Bougainville president John Momis said the group’s interest covers potential investment in agriculture, banking, shipping, tourism, fisheries and mining.

He said the group comprising eight business executives and leading politicians will have the opportunity to develop direct trade links with the Bougainville government and business community.

Momis said their visit is another positive indicator that Bougainville is well on the road to political and broad based economic recovery.

He assured that Bougainville is open for creditable business and investment opportunities.

The delegation will start with a full day briefing by the president and ABG officials followed by a trip to Arawa, Aropa airport, Kieta Wharf and Loloho sites in Central Bougainville.

Momis said some of the investors will travel to Siwai, Kangu and Tonolei in South Bougainville to explore investment opportunities particularly in pineapple production.

He added that the private sector business groups in Bougainville will have the opportunity to have one on one dialogue with potential business partners.

Momis urged that it is now up to the people of Bougainville to demonstrate maturity and embrace the opportunities that will come their way.


Source: Crickey

ESBC comments: Unfortunately Antony Loewenstein missed a good chance to unmask the situation in Bougainville's central region. Unfortunately he seems to be more interested in describing people's clothing than analyzing their real problems: No word about the money paid in the past by BCL and that vanished in the pockets of dubious PNG businessmen and greedy politicians. No word about multiple criminal groups that - until today -  try to enrich themselves and kill for that. 

Please read Mr. Loewenstein's article here:

How the ‘resource curse’ eats at the heart of Bougainville

by Antony Loewenstein

The rusted air vent is deafening and a whoosh echoes around the pit. Copper-polluted water sits in a pool nearby and trees are starting to take over the graded hillside. Rocky, uneven ground is where locals pan for gold, hoping to find a few grams to make some money for families living in nearby villages. Seven kilometres wide at its broadest point, the Rio Tinto-controlled Bougainville copper mine in Papua New Guinea hasn’t been in operation for nearly 25 years, yet still dominates the local landscape.

Dozens of massive trucks lie inoperable. Oil drips from their engines and runs downstream. A loud, machine-like sound is heard in the pit. The vent is sucking air directly into a pipe that takes water outside the mine itself. It is this device that allows the mine not to fill up completely with water when it rains constantly during the rainy season. It has been making this booming sound 24 hours a day for the past two decades.

The island’s brutal war from 1989 to 1997 caused the death of many thousands, maimed countless others and involved Australia arming, training and funding Port Moresby to oppose the rebellion. Former PNG leader Michael Somare accuses Rio Tinto of violently suppressing rebels opposed to the mine during the “crisis”.

Bougainvilleans may have won the war but the peace has left years of inertia, and a province desperately in need of rehabilitation.

The town closest to Panguna mine, Awara, feels stuck in time, old buildings are devoured by lush jungle, Shell and Mobil service stations decay on the side of the road. The locals are used to the poor infrastructure and housing and there are few active services for the dwindling population.

“The mine was never really closed,” says Josephine, manager of the Arawa Women’s Training Centre. “Workers and the company just fled.”

Rio Tinto refuses to properly clean up its mess. Kilometres of tailings — waste dumped by mine operators — have caused a once clear river and land to be turned into desert.

“I remember when this used to be all green back in the 1960s,” says Willy, in faded polo shirt, grey shorts and bare feet, a former leader in the Bougainville Revolutionary Army who accompanies me to the area. “We used to tell the mine owners for years that they were polluting everything but they ignored us. We had no choice but to fight for our rights over the land.”

The local community is divided over whether to try and reopen the mine as a healthy source of income before a planned independence referendum in the next year or develop adventure tourism and sustainable farming.

The owner of the mine, Bougainville Copper Limited, has a website that claims its future is bright. Peter Taylor, chairman and managing director of Bougainville Copper, told Radio Australia in 2011 that he was ready to reopen the mine but he made no comment about cleaning up the ecological disaster his company created last time. He blamed some “small but strong [local] pockets of opposition” to his firm’s re-entry.

The only person I meet who adamantly opposes any kind of mining is the man who protects a checkpoint that every Westerner has to pass to enter the mining area. I visit “Commander Alex” the day before my visit to explain the purpose of my trip and obtain permission. A $100 fee is paid, and an invoice issued, to prove I am there for the right reasons. He says he will stay at the checkpoint until compensation is fully paid to all those deserve it. He lives at the checkpoint 24 hours a day.

Willy’s fears reflect many people’s that I hear. He worries about further ecological catastrophe if Panguna re-establishes itself but is torn between dual desires; supporting a young population who are currently experiencing a baby boom while also providing adequate compensation for the former fighters and families who suffered during the “crisis” (the only word I hear used to describe the bloodshed).

Nobody has faith in politicians in either Bougainville or Port Moresby and Willy knows Canberra talks about avoiding “failed states” on its doorstep. For this reason, he worries Australia will not support independence for the province. But perhaps China will, he suggests, and exert influence as they are currently doing in East Timor, Mongolia and beyond.

A man in his early 60s who lives in a decaying weatherboard house on the outskirts of Awara, Willy told me he hasn’t seen his young grandchildren for five years because they live in an inaccessible area near town and he can’t afford to hire a truck to get there.

Individuals in Bougainville acknowledge the economic weakness of their position if they want independence. They need investment, trust and foreign capital. One of the former leaders of the Bougainville revolution, Samuel Kauona, is upbeat, however.

He tells me about his vision for the island, namely independence and sustainable mining. He talks about the 500-year history of foreign powers, including Australia, not allowing Bougainville to exercise autonomy. For him, keeping the massive mineral wealth in local hands is essential: “This is why we fought the war.”

Samuel is shortly to present to the Bougainville Autonomous Government the first mining exploration since the end of the “crisis”, a desire to examine land that he believes contains gold and silver (conservative estimates I hear claim that billions of dollars worth of gold, copper and silver remain undiscovered in the province). Only then will overseas companies be allowed to assist locals in exploiting the resources but Bougainville landowners will be the primary driver of the projects.

He explains how his insurgency beat the PNG army, its patron, the Australian government and Rio Tinto in the “crisis”. His men knew the terrain and opponents were no match for their guerilla tactics. Kauona says that the Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan faced the same adversary but arrogantly believed they could win with counter-insurgency tactics.

Perhaps Samuel’s most provocative suggestion is to cut Australia’s aid budget to PNG (Canberra currently gives close to $500 million annually). “I would stop all the aid tomorrow,” he says. “It’s not making people self-sufficient.” He has little time for the influx of old men in parliament in Moresby and Bougainville. “We need young people to lead [a not too subtle dig at Michael Somare, a man for whom I find no support on the island].”

Samuel would not be pleased with a view I heard in Port Moresby from some local NGO employees who say they hope and pray Australia reclaims control over PNG and teaches them to properly manage the nation. I respond by saying I can’t think of any other example globally where the formerly colonised request the coloniser to control them again. “Things are desperate here,” one responds tartly.

These sentiments are not universal. Bougainville hotel manager Josephine, a strong figure in her ’50s with fuzzy black and blonde hair and blue-and-red dress, explains that her vision is for Western tourists to come and hike around Bougainville and a robust agricultural sector flourishing in the fertile ground. The record of Panguna mine is so bad, she says, that it is almost unimaginable for it to return.


*Antony Loewenstein is an independent journalist currently writing a book about vulture capitalism




Source: The National

Filipino trade delegation in Bougainville 


A TRADE delegation from the Philippines arrives in Buka Island, Bougainville, today to explore direct investment, trade and commercial ties with locals.

Bougainville president John Momis said the group’s interest covered potential investment in agriculture, banking, shipping, tourism, fishing and mining.

He said the group comprising 31 business executives and politicians would have the opportunity to direct trade links with the Bougainville government and business community.

“This visit is yet another positive indicator that Bougainville is well on the road to political and broad based economic recovery,” Momis said.

“Bougainville is open for creditable business and investment opportunities.”

The delegation will be briefed by Momis and ABG officials before going on a trip to Arawa, Aropa airport, Kieta wharf and Loloho sites in Central Bougainville.

“Stressing the potential investment in the agriculture sector, particularly in pineapple production, some members of the group will travel to Siwai, Kangu and Tonolei in South Bougainville,’’ Momis said.

“Private sector business groups in Bougainville will have the opportunity to have one-on-one dialogue with potential business partners.”

Momis said it was now up to the people of Bougainville to show maturity and embrace the opportunities coming their way.


Source: The National

Royals send condolences 




QUEEN Elizabeth II and Prince Charles have conveyed their condolences and sympathy to the relatives and families of those lost their lives in the mv Rabaul Queen tragedy.

She also conveyed her gratitude to the emergency services and the rescue people who worked hard to rescue survivors and retrieve dead bodies.

The Queen’s message, sent through her representative the Governor-General Sir Michael Ogio read: “I was shocked to learn of the sinking of the ferry mv Rabaul Queen off PNG yesterday.

“Please convey my deepest sympathy to all those who have been affected, especially those who are awaiting news of missing family and friends.

“Please, also extend my sincere thanks and admiration to the emergency services and everyone on the rescue in difficult conditions.

“My thought and prayers are with you all at this distressing time.”

Prince Charles, who is to visit PNG to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s reign this year, said: “I just wanted you to know how deeply distressed my wife and I were by news of the sinking of mv Rabaul Queen. I have heard of the remarkable work of the emergency services and have been so relieved that this has led to the safe recovery of so many passengers.

“Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those unaccounted for, as you wait anxiously for further news. You are all in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.”


Source: The National

Aussies fast to help in sinking ship 

AUSTRALIA responded within minutes of the sinking of the mv Rabaul Queen, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd told federal parliament on its first day of sitting Tuesday.

While offering condolence and sympathy for those dead or missing, Rudd said Australia played a key role in coordinating search and rescue facilities. While he did not express it explicitly, it is believed Australia’s role and quick response was largely responsible for the rescue of the majority of passengers.

Within minutes of the incident, Australian maritime safety authority passed on the distress signal to transiting ships which resulted in five foreign vessels responding and moving into the area.

Within a few hours, two AMSA rescue aircraft were deployed – one from Cairns and the other from Darwin, Rudd said.


“The aircraft from Cairns was able to drop life rafts into the sea to assist survivors while they waited to be rescued by merchant vessels,” Rudd said.


“They were joined in the search on the first day by a Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orion aircraft.  An Australian Border Command Dash 8 also contributed to the search and rescue operation. AMSA also engaged three helicopters and two civilian aircraft in the search, including a Queensland Careflight jet.

 “Australians were shocked to learn of the terrible loss of lives that occurred on Feb 2 with the sinking of the ship. As might be expected of a close friend and neighbour, Australia has been heavily involved in support for the PNG-led response to this disaster.

“Australians can justifiably be proud of our rapid and effective response.”

AMSA also deployed several Australian rescue and recovery personnel to Lae to assist.

The Australian high commission in Port Moresby deployed a naval officer to the PNG Maritime Safety Authority. Another Defence member of the High Commission staff, based in Lae coordinated with local agencies there, and arranged refuelling of the search and rescue aircraft.





Source: Business Insider

Business analysis of PNG's political situation

ALTHOUGH IT ENDED PEACEFULLY, the attempted coup marked a dangerous escalation in the long-running battle for power between Somare and O'Neill, and a worrying sign of political instability for investors, resulting in Standard and Poor's downgrading PNG's credit rating from B+ to B-.

However, it is unlikely to have any short-term adverse effects on any of the major extractive projects currently underway, and the regulatory environment for foreign investment will stay stable in the run-up to the 2012 elections.

As Somare's supporters have boycotted parliament, the current government has struggled to push forward its planned reform program ahead of the June 2012 elections.

The government had hoped to consolidate its rule through a populist program, which included a new supplementary budget worth US$353 million, which will fund free education for all children up to Grade 10, as well as improving health services and infrastructure.

In addition, an independent anti-corruption body has been established. However, the political crisis has diverted attention away from the reforms and hampered O'Neill's ability to concentrate on effective governance.

The competition for power is expected to intensify with PNG's patronage politics set to be transformed by the huge financial rewards of the major resource projects underway, such as the US$15 billion ExxonMobil PNG LNG project.

As such, the investment climate will stay positive for foreign firms, as such investments provide significant leverage for PNG politicians. O'Neill leads a coalition government, and as no single party has won enough seats to govern alone since independence it is likely that a coalition government will rule after the 2012 elections.

The current government represents a shift in power from the northern supporters of Somare, who are generally from the political generation which saw PNG's independence, to O'Neill's highland and southern support base, who tend to be from a second generation of post-independence politicians.

Furthermore, even at the best of times, PNG remains prone to political tensions during electoral campaigns and it is likely that localised violence, possibly between O'Neill and Somare supporters, will impact upon 2012 parliamentary elections. Widespread chaos and violence arose between supporters of rival candidates during the 2002 and 2007 elections.

The proliferation of guns, particularly in the central Highlands area that witnessed most of the electoral violence in 2007, is likely to pose a serious challenge to the conduct of free and fair elections in 2012.

Although there has so far been no violence between supporters of the rival O'Neill and Somare camps, the attempted coup raises the possibility of splits within the security forces and further heightens tensions.


There is no question of the crisis jeopardizing current investments, and any future PNG government is likely to maintain a regulatory environment which is exceptionally welcoming to foreign investment.

In addition, there has been no decline in security conditions at any of the major extractive project sites, and no labour disputes or strikes. However, as a result of the coup, Standard and Poor's downgraded PNG's credit rating from B+ to B-, noting that the incident was likely to lead to a loss of donor support and to deter investment.

However, although PNG is known for its volatile politics, the main danger of the crisis could be the damage done to the legitimacy of the constitution and the courts, which are now being used as tools for political advantage.

The constitution and courts had long been the mainstay of PNG's democratic system, and the fear that their standing is being eroded by the conflict between Somare and O'Neill calls into question PNG as a country under the rule of law.

In addition, the current crisis may set an unfortunate precedent, as politicians may be more likely to turn to the military, or ignore court or parliamentary decisions, in future.

Spotter: Peter Kranz 





Source: Radio New Zealand International

PNG police in talks with militants blocking ships in Buka

Police in the autonomous Papua New Guinea region of Bougainville say they’re trying to ensure that a protest over the Rabaul Queen ferry disaster doesn’t get out of hand.

More than 50 armed ex-militants are occupying three vessels in Buka harbour that belong to the Rabaul Shipping Company which operated the ship that sank last week off Morobe.

About 100 people are believed to have drowned - many of them students from Bougainville returning to their university studies on the mainland.

Police spokesperson Graham Binin says they are limited in what they can do but they’ve asked the ex-militants not to damage the vessels during what he says is a protest action.

“I think it is a natural expression of anger about so many lives lost during the shipping mishap, so I think they just want to make their claims to the company and that sort of thing, but as I said before police are keeping an eye on things so that they don’t get out of hand.”


Source: Radio New Zealand International

No doubt that sunken PNG ferry was overloaded

Papua New Guinea’s National Maritime Safety Authority says regardless of debate over the number of people aboard the sunken MV Rabaul Queen, it was hugely overloaded.

Two-hundred and 46 people were rescued after the ferry sank in rough seas last Thursday near the end of a 20-hour journey between Kimbe and PNG’s second largest city, Lae.

About 100 people are believed to have lost their lives but only four bodies have been recovered.

The authority’s executive manager operations, Captain Nurur Rahman, says the ship’s owners have confirmed it was carrying three-hundred-and-50 passengers and 12 crew.

“Which makes it 362. Whereas the vessel was only licensed to carry 310. So in any case with the admission of the owners she was grossly overloaded.”

Captain Nurur Rahman says there are rumours the MV Rabaul Queen’s captain didn’t want to leave Kimbe but was ordered to by the shipping company.


Source: PNG Industry News Net

Payback at Buka

RELATIVES of victims in the MV Rabaul Queen disaster last week have reportedly seized three of Star Ships’ vessels at the wharf of Papua New Guinea’s Buka Island and are demanding compensation.

According to The National, the people behind the retaliation have promised not to harm the MV Solomon Queen, MV Kopra 2 and MV Kopra 4 vessels or their crew.

But they reportedly want Star Ship owner Peter Sharp to pay compensation for the Bougainvillean survivors of the MV Rabaul Queen disaster and to recover bodies back to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. 

Bougainville President John Momis reportedly called for calm and wants those involved to respect a PNG government inquiry.

The MV Rabaul Queen sank off the coast of Finschhafen in PNG’s Morobe province while travelling from Kimbe to Lae. 

Attorney General Dr Allan Marat wants an independent investigation team to determine the cause and his comments in Rabaul over the weekend revealed he did not trust the Department of Transport.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority estimated 246 passengers were rescued, while there were estimates the ferry had 350 people on board.

However, there are other claims the ferry in fact had far more people on board and those who boarded from Buka were not on the passenger list. 

Bad weather, an overcrowded vessel and mechanical issues have all been raised as possible factors behind the maritime tragedy. 

The ferry is believed to have capsized and there are claims it was licenced to carry 310 passengers. 

Star Ships did not respond to enquiries from last week.





Source: The National

Buka council swears in board 


THE Buka Urban Council has sworn in its new board members for the next five years.

The board, representing Buka Urban wards, business houses, youth and Buka town traditional landowner clans, was sworn in by Buka District Court senior magistrate Patrick Toli­ken this week.

The board members are Timothy Gaemate, who represents Hutjena ward, representative of Kubu-Hahela ward Silvester Niu, Willie Rema for Buka town ward, Raka Benson for Sohano, Hillary Tsunono for Kokopau, leta-Naboen clan representative Aloysius Sohaga and Leta Nakaripa clan representative Donatus Kokopau, leta-Naboen clan representative Donatus Ganiu.

Other members include employee representative Julius Longa, chairman and business representative John Angamata and youth representative Chris Wayen.

The board is yet to fill the vacant seats for women and church representative.

Re-elected chairman Angamata said they expected another challenging year as they settled into their role.

He said they had major plans to develop Buka town, which was the central business hub of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ABG).

He called on the ABG to help with funding to ensure the council implemented its plans.

Angamata said such plans included building of three public toilets, sealing of the Buka town road, building the town’s water and sewerage system and initiating the Buka town expansion programme.

He said the major issue facing the town council was the availability of vacant land as 97% of land in Buka town “is customary and owned by the leta clans in Buka”.

He hopes that with continuous dialogue and awareness, the landowners will agree to release a portion of land for the establishment of industrial and residential zones.

ABG minister for local level government, traditional authority and communications Joseph Nopei reminded the board of ABG’s 2012 budget allocation of K2 million to the council for the sealing of town roads.

Nopei urged the board members to use the money wisely for the benefit of the people of Bougainville.

Buka Urban Council town manageress Brenda Tohiana said the council would work in close consultation with its recently elected board members and ABG politicians.

She said the council needed leaders who would push development.

She urged the 10 elected board members to take their roles and responsibilities seriously.

Tohiana urged the board to take pride in their role and help keep Buka town safe, clean and hospitable for residents and visitors.




Source: The National

Bougainville relatives called on to submit names 


RELATIVES of Bougainville passengers who travelled on the ill-fated mv Rabaul Queen have been asked to submit the names of their family members they knew were on the ferry’s trip from Kimbe to Lae.

Bougainville disaster and emergency coordinator Franklyn Lacey requested for the names because of the inaccuracy of the manifest supplied by the shipping company.

“Please make this effort so that we have information on all our citizens,” Lacey said.

He said as of yesterday, his officers had confirmed 64 Bougainville survivors at the care centre in Lae.

He urged relatives to contact the Buka information centre at the local level government building on telephone 973 9953 or 727 73778 or visit the office to register the passengers.

Lacey appealed to survivors from the mv Rabaul Queen, who had left Lae for other provinces after being rescued, to contact his office to register.




Source: Post-Courier

‘No proper data base’


INACURRACY of the passengers manifest is the result of no proper data base system in place, a young Bougainvillean man has said.

Cyril Ratsi, an information systems graduand of Divine Word University, said many media reports on this unfolding event of the sinking MV Rabaul Queen, have stated that there is still uncertainty, on the exact number of passengers who were onboard from Buka, Rabaul and Kimbe.

With these reports, he said it is clear enough that Rabaul Shipping Limited might not have a proper data base system, which could provide accurate, consistent and reliable information. 

Moreover, in case of emergencies or disasters, the system would provide well managed information, relevant for the general public in a timely manner.

“Rabaul Shipping Company is a big company, and should have an established data bases system. The system should be set up to link up the ports which the company serves.

“With the data base system, it could keep records of passengers’ names and the exact figures, on board. So if any problem is encountered, it is easy to manage the information,” he said. 

He said the passengers’ manifest that was shown on Monday’s paper, was a hand written document, and can be damaged or go missing anytime.

He said PNG being in the computer era should use information communication technology database, as it helps to preserve information, fast and reliable.

“Hand written manifest is unreliable. With a database system, Rabaul Shipping would have easily managed to retrieve the accurate passengers’ manifest from the server.” he said.

Mr Ratsi called on Rabaul Shipping boss Peter Sharp, to set up a data 

base system to avoid the problem in future..

We want information ...


Some of the families prompted up at the Bougainville Disaster Information Centre to seek information and support speaking with Bougainville Disaster Coordinator Franklyn Lacey. Picture: FABIAN HAKALITS




Source: Post-Courier

O’Neill delivers K8 million


Prime Minister Peter O’Neill yesterday announced a massive K8 million for the victims and survivors of the ill-fated MV Rabaul Queen mishap that claimed hundreds of lives last week.

The Prime Minister presented K3 million to the Morobe provincial disaster and emergency services yesterday and vowed that the balance of K5 million will be delivered next Monday. 

The disaster committee will use the funds to facilitate immediate rehabilitation programs that will comfort families and relatives of the other missing passengers and consol the remaining survivors of the incident. Mr O’Neill presented the cheque to the chairman of the disaster committee Patalias Gamato in front of a packed crowed including relatives and family members of the missing passengers and survivors at the St Paul primary school in Lae yesterday. 

Other political leaders present were Governors Luther Wenge, Peter Humphries, Leo Dion and ABG President John Momis, Finance and Treasury Minister Don Polye and Police Minister John Boito. 

Mr O’Neill said the funds would be used to help console the survivors and the grieving family members of those who had lost their loved ones in the unfortunate sea disaster of the era. He took a moment to pass his condolence to the victims on behalf of the Government of Papua New Guinea and vowed that the government will stay behind the victims until everything returned to normalcy. 

“This government government is for the people of Papua New Guinea and is committed to serve the people in any way possible, especially at such times of disaster,” Mr O’neill said. He added that the mishap was the doing of the successive governments who had failed to set up proper regulations for sea transportation. 

Mr O’Neill said the accident was an ‘eye opener’ for the government and its agencies for the air, road and sea transportations to strictly regulate public safety. 

He also announced that he had already called an Independent Inquiry into the accident, adding the inquiring will pave way for the next cause of action by the government. 


Source: Post-Courier

ABG pledges financial support for survivors


THE Autonomous Bougainville Government has pledged financial assistance to the survivors of the MV Rabaul Queen disaster.

President John Momis arrived in Lae yesterday with the region’s Minister for Mining Michael Oni, medical doctor Dr Tommy Wotsia and met with the survivors and the Bougainville Community.

Mr Momis handed K82,000 in cash, giving K1500 to each student; K1000 to each adult and K500 to each child.

He gave a further K160,000 to pay for school fees of students who survived the disaster.

Mr Momis, when making the presentation, said his government would do its utmost best to assist survivors in terms of personal effects lost during the disaster and also for rehabilitation.

He said the shipping disaster was one of the worst ever traumatising experiences to be undergone by any human being.

He mentioned that the disaster has now sent a wake-up call to leaders in the province to consider opening and establishing more educational centres.

The president said all leaders in ABG should have the political will to prioritise their projects from the lesson that had been learnt through the disaster.

He said the ABG must see and recognise the felt need and aspirations of the people.

He assured the survivors who met at the Catholic Diocesan Hall in Lae, that he would speak to all Bougainvillean MPs to assist in whatever way they can with the situation.

He encouraged the survivors to make themselves available and seek counseling to help them through this traumatic time.

Mr Momis has also given his assurance that his government would assist the survivors who would like to return to the province.

“The loss of people’s lives in the disaster was great and my government shares the sorrow and grief of those who lost their loved ones,” Mr Momis said.

He said the government had learnt that most of the Bougainvilleans who survived were students and had sent a very clear message to them.

He affirmed that his government would do everything in its capacity to empower and educate the people so that the human resources remained in the province.

The President has also supported Prime Minister O’Neill’s call for a full investigation into the shipping disaster.


Source: Post-Courier

Bougainville mourn loved ones


VICE President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) Patrick Nisira has joined families, mourning their loved ones who perished on the ill-fated MV Rabaul Queen. 

Mr Nisira expressed his heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the mourning families, saying the incident had caused great distress to people.

“It is really heartbreaking, unimaginable and shocking to us. Therefore I take this opportunity to convey my most sincere condolences to families who have lost their loved ones in this tragedy. We share with you the great loss and all Bougainvilleans are with you in this period of grief,” he said.

Mr Nisira said that the disaster came at a time when Bougainville was struggling to recover from the effects of the Bougainville Crisis.

“We do not want to get through another period of suffering again,” he said.

The loss of Bougainvilleans’ lives is a great loss to Bougainville’s human resources who travelled in search in for educational opportunies.


Source: Post-Courier

Buin voters plan to boycott polls

By Joseph Morokana

More than 10,000 legible voters in the Makis constituency of Buin in South Bougainville are planning to boycott the national election this year due to failures by their MP to deliver vital services.

A concerned paramount chief from Kokopo village in Buin, Luke Kangkana, said former MPs, both provincial and national, have failed miserably to improve vital road networks in their constituency.

Makis constituency covers 18 villages, five vital road links and about 40,00 hectares of cocoa and coconut plantations that need access to roads.

The five kilometre feeder road that runs from Yamamoto Memorial Primary School to Morula Primary School was overgrown with tall grass and used as a garden track by villages.

“Former Members since the 1980s have turned a blind eye to our peoples’ pleadings for improve feeder roads in our areas,” said Mr Kangkana.

“Our people are frustrated that all our provincial members and national parliamentarians have done nothing to improve our feeder roads. The situation has gone from bad to worse resulting in vital road links not useable anymore.” 




Source: PNG Attitude  -  BACKGROUND 

Bougainville warlords seek to divide, rule & prosper


WARLORDS ON BOUGAINVILLE - former elements of the rebel armies that conducted a murderous and destructive campaign through the island in the 1990s - still control territory, arms and, increasingly, significant parts of the local economy.

PNG Attitude contributor Leonard Roka, who writes regularly on Bougainville affairs and whose father – a non-Bougainvillean - was murdered in the civil war, has exposed who the warlords are, how they operate and how they threaten the delicate revival of what is now the Autonomous Province of Bougainville.

With the peace process gaining momentum and economic activity increasing, Roka writes, these warlords have the Autonomous Government and the Police Service rattled.

“Though with legal authority to intervene into crime situations,” says Roka, “[the Police] absolutely avoid anything to do with the ‘ironmen’. So, if the law wants to apprehend an offender, it must befriend an ironman to bring the perpetrator to justice.”

The warlords seized their opportunity to add commerce to their military efforts after the peace process bedded down in 2000. “Economic activities rapidly increased in Central Bougainville,” writes Roka, “gold and cocoa taking the upper-hand followed by scrap metal.”

He says that people were surprised when Bougainville’s ironmen deserted politics to move “deep into the economic arena”. Not that the guns were laid to rest. “On the Christmas Eve of 2011, Toroama’s men and Uma’s men had a gunfight over security rights of a scrap stockpile at Loloho. Nobody was killed but Uma escaped in an outboard motor after burning a truck.”

“These little warlords are establishing a dangerous trend to the future of Bougainville,” Roka writes. “By protecting these tyrants, we make Bougainville a safe haven for global terrorist networks and financial scam operators.

“In Bougainville we died for civil liberty, not tyranny and this ‘ironman’ environment…. If these illicit actions continue, what is the future like for our ‘Republic of Bougainville’?

“The sacrifices we made during the bloody Bougainville conflict would be just a waste of effort and time.”

Read Leonard Roka’s full article below...


Source: PNG Attitude

We don’t want Bougainville as a land of warlords



WARLORDS ARE MILITARY PEOPLE with great political and economic power over a particular region. In Bougainville since 1990, the definition fits well.

When the founder of the Bougainville armed conflict, the late Francis Ona, lost control of the leadership in 1990, his men turned to form their own tiny spheres of influence that resulted to the loss of 20000-plus Bougainvilleans.

Even in the years after the dawn of active-peace in 1997, a few men have continued fighting for their prestige and power as ordinary Bougainvilleans watch in distaste.

Between 1988 and 1990, a certain number of the then Bougainville secessionist militants (later the Bougainville Revolutionary Army) stood out as the best fighters.

During the establishment period of the then Bougainville Interim Government in mid-1990, the Bozaar Brothers of Kongara, who were the first to attack and capture RPNGC (Police) weapons in Koromira, were popular for their tactics as were Ishmael Toroama, ex-MP of ABG Parliament (2005-2010 House), Glen Tovirika and Chris Uma. All collectively came out of North Nasioi and Kongara areas, whilst we in Panguna had none.

All these great military men of Bougainville - although at first fighting to get rid of Bougainville Copper Limited, Papua New Guinea and its Redskins - went off-track in mid-1990.

This divide was created by the late Francis Ona’s inability to administer and control his men and therefore to control Bougainville.

Fighters forgot our cause of freedom and went for war-gains. Think about Ishmael Toroama’s words in the video documentary Coconut Revolution: ‘When I fought everything got into hands…’

Did we fight for personal property or peoples’ freedom? Often, at gun point personal property was removed from owners or guardians; Bougainvillean women were raped, innocent persons were killed….

In this striving for property and power; the Bozaar Brothers were ruthlessly murdered at their base, the Pineapple House building at Camp 5 on the port-mine access road.

A family of nine hardcore Bougainville Revolutionary Army brothers perished not for the good of Bougainville but because of a certain BRA man’s self-interest for control over ex-BCL, government and other property.

As a result, the gap between the BRA’s greats widened. Ishmael Toroama settled at Aropa (today he is one of the impediments to reopening Aropa international airport), Glen Tovirika had his men stationed at Arawa’s Section 17 and Chris Uma was based at the former Bougainville Copper Limited’s camp and PNGDF post of Kobuan.

My innocent redskin father was killed by the BRA on March 1993 outside Arawa by Ishmael Toroama’s followers and, soon after this episode, Commander Glen Tovirika attempted peace talks with his former men turned pro-PNG resistance fighters of Pavaire village.

It was a success, and from the refugee camps and villages of Pooma, Kupe, Topinang and Pomaua, BRA soldiers and people visited the Pavaire PNGDF and resistance post at will in late 1993. However, Ishmael Toroama’s men threaten to kill Glen Tovirika’s followers and the peace process failed.

Glen Tovirika’s 1993 peace attempts did not go unnoticed.  In early 1994, Chris Uma gestured for a peace deal with Glen Tovirika’s former BRA men of Pavaire but at the initial peace meeting venue on the southern edge of this big Seventh Day Adventist village he and his men faced a gun battle and fled for their lives. The talks failed.

This drama shows clearly that we are slowly dividing Bougainville as was once attempted in Lebanon by Lebanese warlords in 1983. They gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland to divide the country amongst them.  Do we need a united island?

Seeing all this happening around us, my family walked for freedom into Arawa in late 1994 just a few weeks before the 1994 recapture of the Panguna mine by the resistance forces and the PNGDF.

After a short stay in Panguna, the PNGDF withdrew and the October 1994 Arawa Peace Conference followed with the coming of the South Pacific Peace Keeping Force. This time, Ishmael Toroama grabbed the opportunity. I watched him talk peace at the Arawa High School conference venue. Glen Tovirika and Chris Uma, however, were not present.

Seeing the success of the neutral Transitional Government led by late Premier Theodore Miriung as a result of the 1994 Arawa Peace Conference, and the sharp political rift in the BRA backed Bougainville Interim Government (BIG) between the President, Francis Ona (against peace), and vice president, Joseph Kabui (for peace), Chris Uma joined Francis Ona and they reignited the dormant Meekamui beliefs to resist peace whilst Glen Tovirika supported the peace process.

It was between 1994 and 1996, that Francis Ona scrapped the BIG and installed his Meekamui Government. He promoted the notorious Moses Pipiro as the General Commander of the Meekamui Defence Force (MDF). Chris Uma remained powerless but grabbed the General Commander position when an extra-marital affair was alleged between the First Lady and Moses Pipiro.

Chris Uma was at work. Firstly he moved the No-Go-Zone checkpoint to Morgan Junction. Then he publicised names of people were not permitted entry into Panguna—all pro-peace leaders.

This prohibition resulted in the death of two of his men who were killed by Ishmael Toroama’s men and friction with Moses Pipiro, who worked to create a good reputation for himself by keeping his Meekamui loyalty and opening his arms to pro-peace leaders although he had been formally kicked out by Meekamui.

Glen Tovirika withdrew from the stage and remained faithful to the peace process. But pro-peace Toroama and Uma kept up the rivalry, joined by an artless Moses Pipiro. The three ‘iron men’ were joined in by a formerly Toroama’s man, James Nabeung.

Nabeung was not very political but inclined to doing business with a gun at his side. In the late 1990s, his network was said to have been responsible for the robbery of Elutu Trading in Buka and the daytime murder of an Agmark employee on the Buka Passage while transporting cash between 2005 and 2007. Nabeung also did work as the price controller for cocoa buyers in Arawa.

With the peace process gaining momentum and economic activity increasing in Bougainville, Toroama, Uma, Nabeung and to a lesser extent Pipiro now possess the political and economic field of Central Bougainville as the civil authority of the Autonomous Government only keeps a ‘very careful’ gait.

The Bougainville Police Service, though with legal authority to intervene into crime situations, absolutely avoids anything to do with the ‘ironmen’ of Bougainville. So, if the law wants to apprehend an offender, it must befriend an ironman to bring the perpetrator to justice.

In the public service delivery mechanism, success is also often determined by the ‘ironmen’. In 2007, for the Bougainville Administration to rehabilitate the Morgan Junction-Panguna-Jaba road, K30,000 cash and foodstuff and pigs were offered to Chris Uma. The rehabilitation succeeded to the benefit of the South Bougainville and the Panguna District people. But the concern is that, by doing this, what precedent are we setting for the future?

After 2000 economic activities rapidly increased in Central Bougainville; gold and cocoa taking the upper-hand followed by scrap metal.

To the surprise of Kieta, Bougainville’s ironmen deserted the political front and are now submerged deep in the economic arena. On the Christmas Eve of 2011, Toroama’s men and Uma’s men had a gunfight over security rights of a scrap stockpile at Loloho.

Nobody was killed but Uma escaped in an outboard motor after burning a truck. Before this in 2010, Nabeung’s men killed Toroama’s cousin and the two exchanged gunshots throughout Arawa. Does Bougainville need these men?

Finally, these little warlords are establishing a dangerous trend to the future of Bougainville. By protecting these tyrants, we make Bougainville a safe haven for global terrorist networks and financial scam operators.

In Bougainville we died for civil liberty and not tyranny and this ‘ironman’ environment. It is a right and duty of the Autonomous Government to govern within the Bougainville Constitution. If these illicit actions continue, what is the future like for our ‘Republic of Bougainville’?

The future is that all these men will attempt to cut themselves a district or two to govern for their own benefit.

The sacrifices we made during the bloody Bougainville conflict would be just a waste of effort and time.

James Nabeung died in January 2012 after this article was written. 




Source: The National

BCL share price up 11% on ‘good news’ outlook 

BOUGAINVILLE Copper Ltd share prices spiked by 11% yesterday to A$0.80, its highest level in two months, following suggestions from European shareholders that a forthcoming cabinet visit to Arawa, near the Panguna mine site, could result in “good news”.

Bougainville Copper, listed as BOC on the Australian Stock Exchange, hit a high of A$1.20 in mid-September last year after speculation that positive decisions could be made on the mine, which was shut down in mid-1989 as a result of the Bougainville crisis.

As hopes for an early decision faded, the BOC share price took a steep plunge to A$0.80 by the end of last September.

 It remained in a range of A$0.75 to A$0.90 from last October to mid-December and fell to a low of A$0.62 early last month before making a sharp rebound.

The share price rose by 13.64% to A$0.75 on Feb 2 and eased slightly to A$0.72 by Feb 6 before yesterday’s sharp rebound to A$0.80.

Optimism in the stock was generated in the early part of last year when Bougainville Copper’s chairman, Peter Taylor, told shareholders of the parent company, mining giant Rio Tinto Ltd, which had applied for exploration leases within PNG for the first time since the 1990s.

However, progress on discussions between the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Panguna landowners and other interested parties had been slow and shareholder enthusiasm faded in the meantime.

There was also some uncertainty whether the mining powers held by the National Government will be transferred to the Autonomous Bougainville Government prior to any decision on a possible opening of the mine, leading to further likely delays in decision making.

Industry sources said a high level of assurance on sovereign risk issues, including support of landowners and factions of the former Bougainville Revolutionary Army, would be necessary prior to any green light for development in view of the huge development costs estimated at around US$4 billion.

These deals, they said, would need to be in place even before the start of a pre-feasibility study which in itself could cost hundred million dollars.

The key differences anticipated from any new agreement, in contrast to the one initially negotiated by the former colonial government prior to independence, would be the flow of all royalties to the Panguna landowners with additional revenues flows targeted for the provincial and local governments.


Source: The National

Momis visits, provides financial aid 


AUTONOMOUS Region of Bougainville President John Momis was in Lae on Monday to provide financial and moral support to Bougainvilleans who survived the mv Rabaul Queen disaster.

The survivors are camped at the Morobe Catholic diocese care centre.

Momis said the ABG was prepared to help its people who were involved in the maritime disaster last Thursday.

“We are in close consultation with our people in Lae. We will assist our people, many of whom were students, with their immediate financial needs, including money for their studies,” Momis said.

He said the Bougainville administration had been directed to have funds readily available to meet some of the expanses of repatriating the bodies of the deceased Bougainvilleans as soon as the rescue operations had ended and the passengers identified.

“Star Shipping will have to bear the cost based on the outcome of the investigation but ABG, as a government, has the responsibility to treat with respect our dead and bring them home,” Momis said.

He thanked all parties involved in the search and rescue operations, including the Australian Maritime Safety team and the international merchant ship from China that responded immediately to the distress call sent out by the mv Rabaul Queen.

“The people of Bougainville pray for those still lost at sea, we pray for the deceased and we hope and pray that more survivors will be rescued,” Momis said.

He cautioned all people to take care when travelling, saying the sinking of the mv Rabaul Queen was a lesson for everyone on maritime safety.

“Before travelling, make sure to check the weather, do safety checks on the transport you will be using and let us seriously take on the culture to not overload the vehicles, the ships or the banana boats we are travelling in,” Momis said.




Source: The National

O’Neill to visit survivors in Lae 

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill will visit survivors and families of people still missing of the MV Rabaul Queen ferry disaster today in Lae, Morobe province.

Rescuers have put the number of missing at about 180 with 243 survivors brought to Lae.

He will be accompanied by East and West New Britain governors Leo Dion and Peter Humphreys, whose people were mostly affected by the tragedy.

Rescue operations are continuing in and around Morobe waters and will continue for as long as funds are available.

Morobe’s acting provincial administrator and disaster chairman Patillas Gamato, when briefing leaders from Autonomous Region of Bougainville and East New Britain yesterday, suggested the bad weather and overloading could have contributed to the sinking of ill-fated passenger vessel.

He also did not rule out possible negligence on the part of the captain and crew. He said they should have anchored at one of the islands along the way to wait out the strong winds and high seas.

Gamato said doors at the bottom deck of the three-decked vessel were reportedly locked which could have resulted in many passengers being unable to exit as the ship tilted twice and sank.

Currently estimated to be sitting 1,600m below, specialist divers and equipment are required to safely reach it.

Morobe provincial disaster office is seeking assistance from naval officers from Australia and the United States to help salvage the sunken mv Rabaul Queen.

Detectives have obtained statements from the captain and crew and are continuing interviews with  243 survivors.

“I am deeply saddened by this shipping tragedy which claimed hundreds of lives last Thursday. I convey my sincere condolences to the families of those lost at sea,” O’Neill said.

“We hope and pray for the families affected and especially the ones still missing.

“I am grateful for the quick assistance from the six international ships following a distress call sent out by the sinking ship. “

He thanked the Australian government, the Morobe provincial government, the national disaster office and the Morobe disaster centre for ensuring that survivors were taken care of at the centre.

He also thanked volunteers and locals involved in the search and rescue mission.

O’Neill said the government would be conducting an investigation to ascertain the cause of the disaster near Finschhafen about nine nautical miles from Lae.




Source: Post-Courier

AIDS patients increase in Bougainville


THE number of HIV AIDS patients on anti-retroviral treatment (ART) in Bougainville has risen to 20 in the last 12 months.

This was revealed by the Bougainville Diocese Aids VCT centre and the Buka Hospital. 

“We are treating about 20 patients on ART. Most of the patients are mothers who are at child bearing age,” a VCT officer said. 

At the Hahela VCT centre on Buka, there were another 20 clients who were been treated with ART. However, the exact number of the PLWHAs in Bougainville was uncertain due to lack of co-ordination between the major stake holders.

“About two thirds of all recorded infections lack information about the modes of transmissions. The actual number PLWHA is not known because a lot of people have not been coming for testing,” Sr Stella Morokana and Sr Cecilia Naguo, two officers overseeing the Catholic VCT centre at Hahela.

The officers said that there was a need to improve better co-ordination of the PLWHA on ART in Bougainville so that their networking partners would know what the progress is in the other organisations.

The Health Officers at the Buka Hospital have also said that they cannot give the total figures of PLWHA clients on ART in ARB. 

They needed to crosscheck their figures with the other stakeholders before they come up with the total number of AIDS related ART clients in ARB. 

The Diocese of Bougainville as the key stakeholder in addressing the AIDS epidemic has set up VCT centres in the Region to boost up its services to their clients. 

Similar initiative has been taken by the Bougainville Aids Council (BACs) in planning to build its office complexes that would cater for counselling and testing clinic services. 

Coordinator Ray Himata said the buildings would also accommodate other Church agencies aids clinic services.

“A total of K300,000 has been secured and construction work would soon get started by a local building constructor,” said Mr Himata.

Currently the National Aids Council (NAC) has estimated that the trend of epidemic in PNG has seen a rapid increase in HIV infections in the rural areas.

More women, 56 percent are on ART while 44 percent are men. 

HIV AIDS statistics from NAC shows the worsening national prevalence of 1.6 percent in the country. 

The urban prevalence in PNG is about 1.38 percent while the rural prevalence is about 1.65 percent.

The infection rate of HIV since 2007 had been increased from 14,638 in 2007 to 20,000 in 2011. 

The AIDS related cases rose to 7,000 in the last couple of years.




Source: Post-Courier

Diarrhoea hits Mortlock Island 


ANOTHER case of diarrhoea outbreak has been detected on Mortlock Island, the provincial health office has revealed.

When Post-Courier contacted Bougainville’s health boss Doctor Anthony Pumpara yesterday afternoon, he confirmed that the diarrhoea outbreak has hit Mortlock Island.

“Diarrhoea has now spread to Mortlock islands and so far we have one recorded death,” Dr Pumpara has confirmed. 

He said that the Bougainville Provincial Health Office was on high alert after receiving information about the islander’s death.

Dr Pumpara said that four officers from the provincial health office will travel to Mortlock today to conduct inspection and monitoring over the outbreak.

“We will provide treatment and provide monitoring assistance to the islanders. 

“Our main aim is to track down the contaminated disease in two days,” Dr Pumpara said.

Meanwhile the diarrhoea outbreak in neighbouring Tasman is under control.

Dr Pumpara said the situation is under control because the islanders are responsive to advice that are provided by the health authorities.

He said practicing better hygienic standards is the only measure that can lower the risk of the disease spreading.

“By practicing good hygiene, we will live a healthy life in a healthy community,” said Bougainville’s health boss.





Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville

Solomon Queen

Three ship

Three sister ships of the now sunken MV RABAUL QUEEN are still berthed at Buka wharf whilst talks between Rabaul Shipping continues for the release of these vessels.

Yesterday,NEW DAWN FM managed to talk to spokesmen for the grieving relatives of those who perished and Excombatant leader, John Angamata assured us that they would releade the boats as soon as everything is sorted out between the shipping company.

He said they were on board the ships to provide security for the crews and the ships.

He said because of the tense situation the last thing they want to see is for some opportunists to use this situation to damage the ships.

Mr.Angamata said that they would meet again this morning to discuss the next course of action.





Source: Post-Courier

Panguna’s European shareholders upbeat

THE European shareholders of the Bougainville copper mine (ESBC) are predicting a high level share price this year despite “volatile markets”.

ESBC head Axel Sturm said yesterday in a statement this is because Bougainville and the PNG Government expect positive developments and good investment strategies all through the year.

“The real value of the Bougainville Copper share price can certainly be assessed in a more realistic way. This means that at the first sign of good news the stock will possibly hit the high levels from last year, or even surpass them,” Mr Sturm said. 

“Since January 2011 the share price of Bougainville copper has gone downhill. 

“Up until today the stock has lost about 75 percent of its worth and is currently quoted at a level not seen since the discontinuation of the ADR (American Deposit Receipt) programme. Australians were hit particularly hard. 

“Europeans, Americans and owners of Singapore Dollars were less affected because of the increasing strength of the Aussie dollar. The so-called euro crisis and the announcement of the huge debt burden of the United States have shaken the financial centers of the world to the bone. Contradictory messages about the future demand of copper in China and home-made political power plays in PNG have added to further volatile markets. 

“The 2012 has started with all imaginable negative factors already priced in; however, investors should not forget to include all positive developments of the recent months into their investment strategies.

He said the upcoming joint supervisory board meeting in Buka and the subsequent National Executive Council meeting in Arawa will also help to give additional attention to Bougainville. 

ABG President Momis has announced the impending visit to Panguna of a high-level delegation headed by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. 

This also suggests that additional steps towards the reopening of the Panguna mine will be discussed and decided, Mr Sturm said.

“Presumably, in this context, the first official visit of John Momis to Panguna will also take place,” Mr Sturm said. “It can further be assumed that this will also mark the beginning of the review of the Bougainville Copper Agreement, as was announced by ABG Vice President, Patrick Nisira a few weeks ago. After years of deliberations, the Panguna landowners have drafted a ‘new deal’, one that is likely to accelerate the reopening of the mine. 

“Thereafter, representatives of Bougainville Copper probably make first visits in order to take stock of Panguna. Consequently, the opening of a Bougainville Copper representative office at Arawa would be on top of the agenda. As a logical conclusion from the above hard facts, the following can be summarised, the real value of the Bougainville share price can certainly be assessed in a more realistic way. 

“This means that at the first sign of good news the stock will possibly hit the high levels from last year, or even surpass them. 

From today’s perspective (AUD 0.74 on 02.03.2012) it appears that a doubling of the current price is a sure shot and a scenario of tripling or even quadrupling is not unrealistic.”


Source: Post-Courier

Bougainville hardliners to stand by O’Neill on his trip to Aropa

FORMER BOUGAINVILLE hardliners want Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to be the first PNG leader to land at the Aropa Airport after its closure in 1989.

Mr O’Neill and his full Cabinet are expected in Arawa at the end of this month to convene the Joint Supervisory Body Meeting followed by the Cabinet (NEC) meeting. Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo is also expected to attend this first time ever high level meeting in Arawa with the PNG counterparts.

Sam Kauona, former renowned rebel commander and now businessman, has assured PNG Government, specifically Mr O’Neill and his deputy Belden Namah that security at the meeting would be 100 percent provided and that more than 100 former commanders of central and south stand ready to receive the Cabinet at the Aropa Airport later this month.

Prime Minister O’Neill yesterday welcomed the announcement by Mr Kauona and thanked the leaders of Bougainville for a possible way forward in the re-opening of the Aropa Airport. 

Mr O’Neill yesterday said that Prime Minister of Solomon Islands was also expected to attend the meeting.

He said that preparations for the meeting was already underway and the Government was ready to travel to Bougainville to further show his government’s commitment for the region. 

Mr O’Neill said that despite the country now going through disasters Bougainville still stands as one of the major agendas for his government.

ABG president John Momis could not be reached for comment as he is in Lae.





Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville

Power outage

By Aloysius Laukai

Load shedding by Png power has been very unfair in the last two days and is getting worse.

Yesterday power was switched off at 2pm and did not come on untill aftermidnight.

And again power went off after 12midday and is still off whilst power on other areas are on.

The continous power fluctations have in the past damaged many of our broadcast equipments and the continious outages are killing business.

We are in the process of seeking legal advice in suing PNG POWER for providing unrealiable power service.

Otherwise some good and reliable power supplier can be established in the region.

Its better to operate a reliable service then clinging on to an unreliable and fluactuating energy.

After all we are so called AUTONOMOUS.





Source: Post-Courier

Arawa lights up


AFTER 22 years of living in darkness without having a decent power supply, people in Arawa town in Central Bougainville will now have access to 24 hours of electricity supply.

This follows the official launching and hand over of the power plant to PNG Power Ltd last Friday, with all credits going to the Autonomous Bougainville Government and PNG Power Ltd for their tireless efforts in restoring power supply in the former provincial capital.

The last time there was constant power supply in the area was in December 1989 when the PNG Electricity Commission, as it was then known, decided to switch off the power due to the Bougainville Crisis. 

Leaders present during the launching include the Minister for Bougainville Affairs and South Bougainville MP Steven Pirika Kama, ABG Ministers Nicholas Daku (primary industry) and Carolus Ketsimur (works and transport), PNG Power CEO Tony Koiri and his officers, the Arawa district office and business representatives from the area. 

Mr Kama, who spoke on behalf of Deputy Prime Minister Belden Namah, challenged the people of Arawa to look after the property.

He said the restoring of power supply now means that more tangible developments would take place in the area.

“We should be happy with the achievement of the ABG and PNG Power in trying to provide 24 hours of power supply in Arawa. This is one of the big impact projects we have in Bougainville.

“Big challenge for us is look after the power station. 

“If we damage the power station we will not get another power station that is why we must respect the property given to us by the government.”

Mr Kama also acknowledged the tireless efforts of both the ABG and PNG Power Ltd for re-installing the power supply in Arawa.

He also took the opportunity to brief the people about the recent developments taking place between the National Government and the ABG.

“More developments will take place because of the good working relationship between the O’Neill Namah government and ABG. 

“The only way to bring developments is partnership and we must trust each other. 

“If we do not trust each other and work in partnership the people will suffer.” 

Meanwhile, business community representative Chris Damana said business houses in the area would greatly benefit from the restoration of power supply.

He however warned the management team to properly manage the power plant, adding that if there is poor management the business houses will suffer and eventually the local people will also suffer.


Source: Post-Courier

More students enrol at Hutjena


BOUGAINVILLE’S largest secondary learning institution, Hutjena Secondary School has recorded an increase in this year’s enrolment.

School Principal Martin Takali revealed this yesterday, however there is an urgent need for more classrooms and dormitories to be built to cater for the increase yearly enrolment.

He said that the total student’s intake for this academic year from grades nine to twelve is 802. To date there are 225 grade nines respectively.

“Compared to the previous years, this has been a big increase. We need more classrooms and dormitories because the current facilities cannot cater for the increased enrolment each year. 

“Yet we still have piles of letters from parents from and abroad Bougainville, asking of any space at Hutjena Secondary,” he said.

The school has 18 classrooms to house five classes of grades nine, 10 and 12, and four grade 11 classes that will be facilitated by 33 teachers.

The Post-Courier was given a tour around the campus to inspect the buildings.

Mr Takali said that because of the increased enrolment this year, one room used for practical skills lessons has been converted into a classroom for the grade nines to use.

“We need more classroom and dormitories to make learning conducive for students so that students can excel in their academic work and studies to attain better results.” he said.

Mr Takali said that there is an urgent need for immediate maintenance to be carried out on the current dormitories and classrooms being used by students.

“Immediate maintenance has to be done.” he said.

Meanwhile Mr Takali said that because of the decrease of school fees this year, parents should not have reasons for not paying the fees on time.

“Free education does not mean, parents should be relaxing but have to make sure to fulfil their responsibilities and obligations. “Afford your children’s necessities and encourage them to work hard in school,” he said.

Mr Takali has called on the Autonomous Bougainville Government, the Bougainville Administration and the Bougainville Education Division, to look into the matter and come up with better solutions to address this issue.

Hutjena Secondary School is the longest serving school in Bougainville, which has produced some of the regions prominent leaders and intellectuals.


Source: Post-Courier

Rabaul Shipping vessels grounded


BOUGAINVILLEANS are very frustrated and at the same time saddened by the loss of their loved ones on the ill fated sea ferry, MV Rabaul Queen, last Thursday.

As a result, three of Rabaul Shipping vessels, Solomon Queen, Kopra and Kopra Four, have been grounded by grieving relatives. 

The three vessels will be used as negotiation tool against Rabaul Shipping, to meet demands to be presented to shipping boss Peter Sharp.

It is still unclear how many passenegrs were on board when the ship went down in rough weather off the Morobe coastal port of Finschhafen.

Angry relatives yesterday told the Post-Courier, that Rabaul Shipping and its Managing Director, Peter Sharp has to answer to the incident.

“Firstly, if the captain had recommended that the ship had to overnight in Kimbe, then why was he forced to move the ship out? And why was the ship overloaded?” the frustrated relatives questioned.

Mainly excombatants are now manning the ships at the Buka wharf, and when asked they said, “We will use the three ships as a negotiation tool, mainly to protect the vessels from opportunists.”

Meanwhile, Bougainville President John Momis, yesterday also flew out of the region to meet with the survivors in Lae. 

In a press conference held this morning, Bougainville Regional Disaster Coordinator Franklyn Lacey said that 41 survivors from Bougainville are being housed at the Catholic Diocesan Office Centre, Seventh Street in Lae.

However when the Catholic Diocesan Office Centre when contacted yesterday afternoon at 330pm, the number has increased. 


Source: Post-Courier

Safety for Rabaul Shipping vessels


GAURANTEE has been given to Rabaul Shipping that three of their vessels docked at Buka Wharf will not be tampered with and no harm will come to their crew.

Aggrieved parents and relatives of those who were on board the MV Rabaul Queen have assured the management of Rabaul Shipping that they will be keeping the vessels under close observation until such time their demands have been met and also to stop opportunist who might like to take matters into their own hands. They also said the vessels are being held pending the investigation into the shipping mishap.

The parents and relatives are seeking for Rabaul Shipping to provide for food, clothing and other necessities to those that have survived also they are fly seven of the parents to Lae and help pay for the students school fees.

For compensation, the parents and relatives have agreed to follow the legal channel and let the courts decide on compensation matters. 

Their grievances were presented to the Bougainville Chief Administrator and ABG President John Momis last week. 

Meanwhile, the Disaster office in Bougainville has announced that it is the official information centre for matters relating to the shipping incident. They are calling on parents and relatives to visit them at the LLG office in Buka for information on the survivors or submit names of those still missing so the Disaster office can assist in locating them.

Disaster Coordinator Franklyn Lacey said that they were working closely with the National Disaster office in Lae to gather information of Bougainvilleans who either survived or are still unaccounted for. 

Mr Lacey also said that the MV Bougainville Atolls will be doing a charter run for students who are stranded because of the MV Solomon Queen being grounded at Buka Wharf.

The vessel will depart Buka today and travel to Rabaul and then onto Lae. 


Source: Post-Courier

Stop family violence


FAMILY violence is an escalating issue that needs to be addressed, says Bougainville’s Senior Presiding Magistrate Peter Toliken.

Speaking at the closing ceremony for the weeklong family violence workshop last Friday in Buka, Mr Toliken told the 27 participants to reach out to the communities and establish safe homes for the victims.

The workshop enabled all participants to learn to competently assist victims of family violence, including the drafting of the relevant forms for an interim protection order.

“Family violence is everyone’s responsibility and not only the victims who suffer from family violence. 

“We have to work together to eradicate the problem,” Magistrate Toliken told the participants.

He said family violence attacks the very foundation of our societies and families and as trained officers; they will work towards implementing a peace family in affected homes.

“Therefore as humans we may not eradicate, but help share the knowledge gained to help each other to minimise the problem,” he said.

Mr Toliken said family violence is not tolerated by the law and such behaviour may also result in criminal charges being laid. 

“Furthermore those who chose to disobey the conditions of either an interim protection order are liable to be imprisoned or a period of six months,” he said. 

Also speaking at the closing ceremony was Bougainville Police Service (BPS) prosecutions officer Errol Gibson. 

He said family and sexual violence was a priority for the BPS and with the partnership of AusAID, more training will be conducted to help minimise the problem.

He further added that female police officers will also attend an investigators course, after Easter in Buka.

The workshop was attended by BPS female police officers NGO’s, Catholic Church and Nazareth Centre for Rehabilitation.




Source: The National

Bougainville to have 14 departments 


THE Autonomous Bougainville Government is in the process of establishing the foundation of the Bougainville public service, with K2 million appropriated from this year’s ABG budget for it.

ABG human resource division chief executive officer Shem Satoriri said the process would involve the Bougainville administration being broken into 14 departments.

He said that was to align the Bougainville administrative structure with the region’s unique political arrangements under autonomy.

Satoriri said the restructure would enhance effective collaboration between ABG departments and national government departments on the draw-down of powers from the state to ABG.

“It will enhance the capacity of the Bougainville public service to implement autonomy by attracting experienced and qualified personnel from outside Bougainville to work in the autonomous region,” Satoriri said.

He said the restructuring exercise would be implemented in phases this year.

“Phase one starts with the advertisement of 15 senior executive positions in the new departmentalisation structure.

“Following the completion of phase one, phase two will be to draw up departmental structures and advertise priority departments and senior position.”

He said a formal request on the transfer of public service powers and functions from the national government to ABG would be made at the joint supervisory board meeting planned for this month.

“Bougainville wants a public service that is effective.

“There has to be a change in order to develop this region,” Satoriri said.

“The Public Service Management Act clearly outlines from the beginning to the end what powers are available for us to request for transfer,” he said.

Public service powers and functions that have been delegated to all provincial administrations and the ABG include creation and abolition of offices, creation so temporary offices, selection and recruitment, temporary employment, contract management, training disciplinary matters, minor disciplinary matters, serious disciplinary matters, resignation to contest the national election, age retirement and retirement on medical grounds.

Satoriri said other important functions to be transferred included public service commission and appointments of departmental heads.

“It is up to us to decide and prioritise what powers should be transferred, while being mindful of the capacity issues that confront us,” Satoriri said.


Source: The National

Not all Buka passengers on manifest 


THE passenger list handed out by the owners of the ill-fated mv Rabaul Queen does not contain the names of the majority of passengers who boarded it from Buka.

There were only six passengers listed as travelling from Buka, in North Solomons, although survivors confirmed that there were a lot more Bougainvilleans who boarded the vessel there because it was first port of call.

The ship sank last Thursday in heavy seas off Finschhafen, Morobe province. So far, 246 survivors had been brought to Lae by rescue teams.

Attempts to get the exact number of people from the shipping company who might have been on board have not been successful.

The company had closed its offices in Buka, Kokopo, Kimbe and Lae. It has refused to answer queries from distraught relatives, friends, survivors and journalists.

The manifest was released by the company last Saturday but did not have listing of people who got on the ship at Buka, the first port of call.

Only those who were travelling from the other two ports of call in Rabaul and Kimbe were on the list. The listing had 230 people travelling from Rabaul which was the second port of call, while 145 boarded the vessel at  Kimbe. All these passengers totalling 375 were listed as bound for Lae.

The vessel was licensed to carry only 310 passengers.

Seasoned travellers who frequently use the inter-island shipping services said many passengers got on the boats at the last minute without purchasing tickets at the port of departure. But they pay at the port of disembarkation.  Many who were on the boat could not have had their names on the shipping company’s official manifest.

This meant that many who are still missing would not have had their names on the shipping company’s official documentation and might not be accounted for unless they had alerted relatives, friends or guardians to expect them in Lae.

Adult passengers travelling from Buka to Lae pay K440. Those from Rabaul pay K350 while travellers from Kimbe pay K210 for the trip to Lae.

The provincial disaster office in Lae confirmed that the mv Rabaul Queen began its trip from Buka. The six people on the manifest included four adults and two children. It would have brought the “official” total number of passengers travelling last Thursday to 381.

Search in the provincial waters of Morobe is still continuing with teams stretching their area to the southernmost parts of Oro (Northern) and Milne Bay.

Four bodies retrieved so far – three adult females and a five-year-old boy – were found towards Milne Bay waters.

This has prompted search and rescue operations to also move into the area with two boats and a plane involved in the search.


Source: The National

Buka sets up info centre 

THE Bougainville Local Level Government headquarters on Buka Island has been identified as the autonomous region’s information centre to help families and relatives of Bougainvilleans involved in the mv Rabaul Queen disaster, LLG chief executive officer Herbert Kimai said yesterday.

He said relatives needing information on their loved ones can visit the centre, which also houses the Bougainville Disaster and Emergency Services.

Kimai said they had sent an officer to Lae to collate details of Bougainville people rescued and those missing.

He said they had identified 41 Bougainville survivors recovering at the Morobe Catholic diocese and Angau Memorial Hospital.


Source: The National

Three vessels seized in Buka  


THREE of Star Shipping Ltd vessels and their crew have been prevented from leaving their berths at Buka wharf in the wake of last week’s ferry tragedy when

the mv Rabaul Queen sank.

The mv Solomon Queen, mv Kopra 2 and mv Kopra 4 have been instructed to remain anchored until Star Shipping had compensated all Bougainvillean passengers who travelled from Kimbe to Lae on the ill-fated vessel last Thursday.

Relatives of the passengers had assured the company they would not damage the ships or harm the crew.

But they wanted Star Shipping owner Peter Sharp to meet all expenses for displaced survivors and the repatriation of the deceased to Bougainville.

Local level government chief executive officer Herbert Kimai confirmed that a meeting with relatives was held last Sunday where they assured the local authorities, including the Bougainville police service, of the safety of the vessels.

“The relatives have agreed that they will not damage the ships,” Kimai said.

“They recognise that Bougainville is moving forward in terms of peace and will not go back to the days of fighting and destruction of property.”

Bougainville President John Momis had called for calm and appealed to those involved to respect the inquiry taking place.




Source: ESBC Research


Positive Outlook !


Bougainville Copper Limited

New super-hype ahead?

Since January 2011 the share price of Bougainville Copper has gone downhill. Up until today the stock has lost almost 75 percent of its worth and is currently quoted at a level not seen since the discontinuation of the ADR (American Deposit Receipt) programme. Australians were hit particularly hard. Europeans, Americans and owners of Singapore Dollars were less affected because of the increasing strength of the Aussie Dollar.


The so-called Euro-crisis and the announcement of the huge debt burden of the United States have shaken the financial centers of the world to the bone. Contradictory messages about the future demand of copper in China and home-made political power plays in Papua New Guinea have added to further volatile markets.


2012 has started with all imaginable negative factors already priced in. However, investors should not forget to include all positive developments of the recent months into their investment strategies.


Here is a preview of what to expect in the coming weeks:


1. Once the hysteria over the situation of the Euro-crisis countries will have slowly subsided because initial sensational reports are no longer of any interest to the population.  The stock markets once again will reflect more of a scenario shaped by reality rather than horror stories.


2. The price of copper as well as the gold price will continue to rise slowly.


3. The Australian Dollar will also continue to rise, since it is the safe haven for holders of U.S. Dollars, UK Pounds and Euros.


4. The political situation in Papua New Guinea will surely settle down after the upcoming emotional parliamentary elections in the summer. The current Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has a good chance to be elected prime minister after approaching popular topics such as combating corruption, eliminating school fees and a comprehensive free health care programme. In addition, the population seems to have tired of the selfish policy of his predecessor, Sir Michael Somare and his clan. While Somare was considered a friend of China, it is said that O'Neill stands closer to Australia.


5. The soon to be held joint supervisory board meeting (JSB) in Buka and the subsequent National Executive Council meeting in Arawa will also help to give additional attention to Bougainville. Furthermore, ABG President Momis has announced the impending visit to Panguna of a high-level delegation headed by Prime Minister Peter O'Neill. This also suggests that additional steps towards the reopening of the Panguna mine will be discussed and decided. Presumably, in this context, the first official visit of John Momis to Panguna will also take place. It can further be assumed that this will also mark the beginning of the review of the Bougainville Copper Agreement, as was announced by ABG Vice President, Patrick Nisira a few weeks ago.


6. After years of deliberations, the Panguna Landowner have drafted  a "New Deal", one that is likely to accelerate the reopening of the mine.

7. Thereafter, representatives of Bougainville Copper probably make first visits in order to take stock of Panguna.

8. Consequently, the opening of a Bougainville Copper representative office at Arawa would be on top of the agenda.

As a logical conclusion from the above hard facts, the following can be summarised: The real value of the Bougainville share price can certainly be assessed in a more realistic way. This means that at the first sign of good news the stock will possibly hit the high levels from last year, or even surpass them. From today's perspective (AUD 0.74 on 02.03.2012) it appears that a doubling of the current price is a sure shot and a scenario of tripling or even quadrupling is not unrealistic!

Bougainville Copper Limited

Neuer Super-Hype ante portas?

Seit Januar 2011 ging’s mit den Börsenkursen von Bougainville Copper bergab. Knapp 75 Prozent verloren die Papiere seither und notieren heute fast auf einem Niveau, das seit der Einstellung des ADR (American Deposit Receipt) Programms nicht gesehen wurde. Betroffen waren insbesondere Australier. Europäer, Amerikaner und Besitzer von Singapur Dollar waren weniger betroffen, da der Austral Dollar zunehmend fester tendierte.

Nachdem die   sogenannte Eurokrise und die gigantische Verschuldung der U.S.A. die Finanzplätze der Welt erschütterte, verunsicherten widersprüchliche Nachrichten über den zukünftigen Kupferbedarf Chinas sowie hausgemachte Machtspiele in Papua Neuguinea zusätzlich die Märkte.

Zu Jahresbeginn 2012 scheinen nun alle erdenklich negativen Faktoren eingepreist und Investoren sollten daran denken, alle positiven Entwicklungen der letzten Monate in ihr Kalkül einzubeziehen.

Hier nun eine Vorschau auf das, was in den kommenden Wochen zu erwarten ist:

1. Nachdem die Hysterie über die Situation der Schuldenstaaten langsam abklingen wird, da reißerische Berichte nicht mehr das Interesse der Bevölkerung finden, werden die Aktienmärkte wieder mehr von Realitäten als von Horrorszenarien geprägt sein.

2. Die Kupferpreise sowie auch die Goldpreise werden weiter langsam ansteigen.

3. Der Austral-Dollar wird ebenfalls weiter steigen, da er sich als stabile Fluchtwährung aus US-Dollar, Pfund und Euro empfiehlt.

4. Die politische Lage in Papua Neuguinea wird sich spätestens nach emotionsreichen Parlamentswahlen im Sommer beruhigen. Der derzeitige Premierminister Peter O’Neill hat gute Chancen wieder Premierminister zu werden, da er populäre Themen wie die Bekämpfung der Korruption, den Wegfall von Schulgeldern und eine flächendeckende kostenlose Gesundheitsversorgung auf seine Fahnen geschrieben hat. Zudem scheint die Bevölkerung genug zu haben von der egoistischen Sippenpolitik seines Vorgängers Sir Michael Somare und dessen Clan. Während Somare als Freund Chinas galt, sagt man O’Neill nach, Australien näher zu stehen.

5. Das Joint Supervisory Board Meeting (JSB) in Buka und die daran anschließende National Executive Council Sitzung in Arawa werden zudem in  Kürze den Fokus auf Bougainville lenken. Der von ABG Präsident Momis angekündigte Besuch einer hochrangigen Delegation unter Leitung von PNG Premierminister Peter O‘Neill in Panguna lässt darüber hinaus vermuten, dass weitere Schritte zur Wiedereröffnung der Panguna Mine erörtert und beschlossen werden. Vermutlich wird in diesem Zusammenhang auch der erste offizielle Besuch von John Momis in Panguna stattfinden. Es ist ferner davon auszugehen, dass dabei auch der Beginn der Überarbeitung des Bougainville Copper Agreements vereinbart wird so, wie vor einigen Wochen von ABG Vizepräsident Patrick Nisira angekündigt. 


6. Nach jahrelangen Beratungen haben die Panguna Landeigner einen  Entwurf für einen „New Deal“ entwickelt, der geeignet ist, die Wiedereröffnung der Mine zu beschleunigen.

7. Danach werden vermutlich Vertreter von Bougainville Copper erste Besuche in Panguna zwecks einer Bestandsaufnahme machen.

8. Folglich stünde dann auch die Eröffnung einer Bougainville Copper Repräsentanz, eines Kontaktbüros in Arawa ganz oben auf der Agenda.

Als logische Schlussfolgerung  aus den oben genannten harten Fakten ergibt sich folgendes Bild: Der Wert der Bougainville-Aktie  wird mit Sicherheit zunehmend realistischer eingeschätzt werden. D.h.: Die Aktie wird vermutlich schon bei Veröffentlichung erster „guter“ Nachrichten wieder versuchen, Ihr Hoch aus dem vergangenen Jahr zu testen bzw. sogar zu übertreffen. Aus heutiger Sicht (AUD 0,74 am 3.2.2012) erscheint eine Verdoppelung des derzeitigen Preises sicher, eine Verdreifachung wahrscheinlich und sogar eine Vervierfachung nicht utopisch!




Source: Post-Courier

Germany helps schools


FORTY schools in Bougainville are the first proud recipients of new portable solar equipment invented by Denver Electronics, in Germany.

The solar equipment consisting of a lamp, radio and panel were donated by the German Embassy in Canberra, Australia, through the Bougainville Diocese Development Office of the Catholic Education at a cost of K30,000. 

According to Andi Siedersleben, who is the Diocesan Development Officer, the equipment will be of great use to schools in remote places where there is no rural electrification power supply available.

“We carried out the first test at Caterets Island and found out that the solar equipment are very powerful and useful to rural places. The solar produced lights from three to four hours while the TWR-803 radio, is a world receiver, receiving signals globally,’’ he said.

He said teachers would use the lights to do their work and the radio to listen to school broadcasts, news and community announcements from local radio stations.

“It will not make big differences but small differences, ” he said.

Last Friday, the solar equipment were officially launched and handed over to the Minister for Education in the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG), John Tabinaman by Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Bougainville, Bernard Unabali.

Bishop Unabali, while officiating in the hand-over take-over, blessed the equipment, and said they would help with the formation of teachers to facilitate lessons and make learning conducive for students.

Bishop Unabali added it would also enhance teachers in their professions.

Meanwhile, Mr Tabinaman applauded the German Government for its donation towards the future leaders of Bougainville.

“I thank the German Government for their investment in the education development for the future leaders of Bougainville. Though a small gesture, but it will always be remembered by recipients,’’ he said.

Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Bougainville Bernard Unabali launches the solar panel, light and radio equipment for the 40 schools in Bougainville. 



Source: Post-Courier

Not all is right with hardship allowances for Bougainville: PEA Officer


THERE is a lot of wrong information on the hardship allowances payment to be made in Bougainville, Secretary of the Public Employees Association (PEA) branch in Bougainville, Herbert Kimai, has said.

And he blames the public servants themselves, who are eligible for the funds, for disseminating the wrong information.

“I have heard a lot of false statements being made, regarding the hardship allowance payout, and not happy at all. I do not blame anyone but the public servants themselves, ” the frustrated Mr Kimai said.

He said the public servants should have patience and wait for the appropriate time when the payments were to be made.

“It would be more convenient, if correct information is received from relevant authorities, rather than misinforming the public. These are not entitlements that you public servants should be making a lot of noise about, these are allowances and please, have patience.” he said. 

Meanwhile, Mr Kimai said the hardship allowances would only cater for public servants who worked in the Bougainville restoration program, from 1992 to 1994.

He said PEA was closely working with the Bougainville Public Service Union (BPSU), the Bougainville Administration and the Department of Personnel Management (DPM) to sort out the issue.

Mr Kimai assured that the funds are ready, however, he said DPM needed to finalise all the documents before the payouts were made.

The hardship allowance of K17 million, he said, would be paid to public servants, starting the payments off with the first K10 million.

The Post-Courier understands that the payouts should have been done last year but was delayed because Bougainville Administration, as facilitator of the payments, was unable to bring the officers into the autonomous region, because the Government’s accounts were closed at that time.

Mr Kimai said these were arrangements made between the Bougainville Administration (BA) and DPM.

“The Bougainville administration is responsible to meet the travel and accommodation costs.” he said.

Mr Kimai said this was now a matter before the BA and PEA with BPSU not in a position to say anything but was only awaiting response from the two organisations.

He added that the payout of the hardship allowance was a decision made by the National Executive Council, and it was an honour for them to facilitate the payout.

Post-Courier made numerous attempts to the Chief Bougainville Administrator’s office, but no one from this office wanted to comment.

When DPM was contacted, one of the officers speaking from Port Moresby, said: “Funds were still with the Treasury Department, waiting to be transferred to DPM’s accounts.”

The office of the Acting Industrial Relations manager was also contacted to clear the air on the issue, however, the officer refused to comment.


Source: Post-Courier

Philippine delegation to visit

By Fabian Gatana

BOUGAINVILLE will play host to a high level business and investment delegation from the Philippines this week.

The ABG, led by President John Momis, members of the Bougainville Executive Council and the business sector will host the delegation upon their arrival on Wednesday. The delegation comprises of 31 business executives and entrepreneurs from various business interests in the Philippines and government representatives. Their interests in Bougainville covers potential investments in agriculture, banking, shipping, tourism, fisheries and mining, among other areas. They will also explore opportunities in direct investment, trade and commercial ties with Bougainville. 

“This visit is yet another positive indicator that Bougainville is well on the road to political and broad based economic recovery and that the situation on the ground is such that it has shown the world that Bougainville is open or (has) creditable business and investment opportunities,” said Mr Momis.


Source: Post-Courier

300 passengers believed to have perished in the ill-fated Rabaul Queen

MORE than 300 passengers were believed to have perished in the disastrous sinking of the Rabaul Queen during the early hours of Thursday last week.

And the ship is believed to have completely submerged with no sight from where it went down nine nautical miles off Finschaffen.

Reports reaching the Post- Courier have stated that the vessel was overloaded allegedly carrying more than 700 passengers on board, (400 when it left Buka, more than 100 got on in Rabaul and about 360 from Kavieng and Kimbe) not the initial 350 that had been repeatedly quoted by the media.

Chief Executive Officer of National Maritime and Safety Authority (NMSA), Captain Nurur Rahman, had indicated the ship was overloaded adding that its certificate allowed for only 310 passengers. Rabaul Shipping initially advised there were 350 passengers and 12 crew members on board but survivors are now testifying that there were hundreds more on board that fateful voyage.

NMSA has also advised the total number of passengers is sketchy because there was no proper manifest from Buka, Rabaul and Kimbe apart from the list they have and besides many passengers especially in Buka and other centres bought their tickets at the wharf.

Many survivors rescued and recovering in Lae have confirmed this and were also denying both local and foreign media reports that there were about 350 passengers’ destined for Lae before it sank last Thursday.

The Post-Courier confirmed that unlike passengers travelling on aeroplanes, certainly there will be no passenger manifest released to confirm the right number of passengers on board the vessel, including survivors and the ones missing.

More and more survivors are pasting on social media groups and facebook and from survivors interviewed, the vessel was obviously overloaded.

This is another story published on facebook by a relative of a survivor. “From my younger brother, who was on board MV Rabaul Queen when disaster struck. 

“There were actually 780 passengers on board - 420 from Rabaul/Kavieng /Buka and 360 from Kimbe.

“Mostly young children, mothers and students. There weren’t any emergency procedures or demonstrations when they got on the ship and the shipping agency didn’t limit passenger intakes,’’ he said. 




Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


by Aloysius Laukai

The Autonomous Bougainville Government has dissassociated itself from activities of ex combatants and relatives of Mv Rabaul Queen passengers now holding 3 ships owned by Peter Sharp in Buka.

Chief ABG legal officer,CHRIS SIRIOSI told a meeting of relatives and ex combatants in Buka that the ABG was not involved in the holding of ships.

He said that the action was by relatives and ex combatants who are demanding to see PETER SHARP in Buka.

Chris Siriosi said that the ABG was interested in helping Bougainvilleans who were affected by the accident.

Meanwhile the Bougainville Disaster office is operating 24 hours to give information on the accident.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville

Students Register

By Aloysius Laukai

Bougainville students who did not travel by MV Solomon Queen due to the boat accident last week are urgently requested to register at the Bougainville Disaster office

This is for the ABG to work out if a ship is required to move these students to Rabaul.

Bougainville's chief administrator. Lawrene Dising made this anmouncement in Buka this morning.

He was responding to calls by ex combatants in Buka for the ABG to charter another boat to ferry these standed students out of Buka.

Mr. Dissing said that the ABG through the registration can now decide to engage MV BOUGAINVILLE ATOLLS to Rabaul and possibly other centres.

Meanwhile until 5pm this afternoon only eleven students have put in their names.


Pictured are some students putting their names at the disaster office.




Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


by Aloysius Laukai

The Autonomous Bougainville Government is sending some officers to assist Bougainvilleans who survived from the Rabaul Queen accident, last Thursday.

The officers, one already arrived in Lae this morning and communicate with officials on Bougainville with information about survivors and also dead bodies from the accident.

Bougainville chief adminstrator, Lawrence Dising made these comments when announcing that the ABG PRESIDENT,Chief John Momis would be personally travelling to Lae tommorow to visit the survivors.

Mr. Dising told a fourth meeting with parents and relatives of passengers lost at sea that the ABG was doing all it can to assist thos

e who have been affected by the accident.

FOR students who did not travel last Monday to give in names so that the ABG can organize another boat to Rabaul.

Meanwhile excombatants holding on to three ships owned by Peter Sharp will not release them until all te fate of Bougainville passengers are released to them.

They told the meeting with Bougainville chief administrator this morning that they were not happy with the communication breakdown between the shipping company and the families of those who lost their lives.




Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville

Momis wants enquiry

By Aloysius Laukai

ABG president chief John Momis this afternoon called for a full inquiry into the boat accident that has claimed so many lives of Bougainvilleans and other fellow Papua New Guineans.

He made these comment when sending his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives at this drastic accident.

Mr.Momis said that the probe into this disaster would determine the cause of this accident and those found guilty should face the full force of the law.

ABG President said that he fully supported the call by Prime Minister Peter Oniel to set up an inquiry into the boat accident.

He said the ABG plans to start up education institutions on Bougainville so that Bougainvillean students can study on Bougainville instead of taking risks looking for education institutions in other provinces.

Mr.Momis said that the ABG has plans to purchase its own passenger boat to serve its own people.

New Dawn FM understands that the President wants the administrator to allow some funds to assist families trying to locate their relatives.

Bougainville disaster office has released that 46 passengers from Bougainville were on this boat between Kimbe and Lae.


Source: ABC Radio Australia News

Search for survivers continues





Source: Post-Courier

Build up capacity in Bougainville


PRESIDENT of the Autonomous Bougainville Government Chief John Momis says capacity building is essential for the growth and development of Bougainville.

At a recent gathering in Buka, President Momis said that Bougainville leaders need to work together, to make Bougainville’s dream of achieving independence come true.

The calling for a regional-wide referendum he said, have the people decide their political future set for 2015, as the date of the ultimatum decision. “Leaders have to be ethically empowered and work together to implement the policies set in place by the ABG.” he said

The President said that good governance is the only way that will pave the way for a new Bougainville.

He said that ABG as the legitimate government have roles to play, and that is to mend a lot of loop holes. 

All these have to be addressed to maintain the political arrangements set in the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA).

“Bougainville is a newly established autonomous region, and is optimistic to gaining independence in five years time. We still have a long way to go however by implementing the BPA, we will certainly will win, the prize, we have been fighting for, and that is independence.” he said.

Meanwhile Momis has urged all bureaucrats in the region to seriously deal with issues, more over the human resource and capacity building. 

“Let us move with time and create changes for our mother land Bougainville.” he said.


Source: Post-Courier

Parents seek information on children


PARENTS of Bougainvillean students that travelled to Lae this week aboard one of Rabaul Shippings vessels are seeking information on the wellbeing of their children after reports that the vessel they were travelling in capsized off the waters of West New Britain.

As of yesterday morning, concerned parents and relatives of those who were on board the vessel bound for Lae have been calling the Rabaul Shipping office in Buka seeking confirmation on the incident and any information on the fate of their loved ones. 

News of the incident spread like wildfire through the streets of Buka Town yesterday as many were asking questions on the situation of the passengers on board while others waited anxiously to receive official confirmation from the Rabaul Shipping.

A large number of passengers travelling on the ill-fated vessel were students travelling back to school for commencement of classes next week.

The Rabaul Shipping office in Buka was closed yesterday as the management themselves had not received confirmation of the incident from Rabaul and could not answer the overwhelming flood of questions.

Attempts to receive confirmation from Rabaul Shipping headquarters on the incident were also unsuccessful as phones were left unattended to.

With the high increase in airfares from Bougainville to other centres in PNG, more Bougainvilleans are opting to travel by ship to cut costs.


Source: Post-Courier

Ship down!

Coastal ferry MV Rabaul Queen capsizes with 350 onboard 


Rescue operations continue in heavy seas off the coast of Finschhafen, Morobe Province last night for 120 people still missing in a ferry disaster that has sent shockwaves throughout the Islands region.

Passengers that were on the ill-fated boat were mainly students who were returning to Lae from holiday in their homes in East and West New Britain and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. Eight merchant vessels, supported by officials from the Australian and PNG Marine Safety Authorities remained at the scene and by 8 pm, reported that 230 passengers out of the 350 people on the vessel, MV Rabaul Queen, was carrying have been rescued.

Last night, Lae City readied itself to receive the survivors that were put on a boat which was expected to arrive between 11 and 12 pm.

“We have sent the relatives home and told them to come back by 10pm. Angau Memorial Hospital is getting ready to take in any one that needs medical care. Additional staff is on standby to provide all the help needed,” a spokesman said.

There were no reports of any bodies recovered but shocked and worried relatives of those on board were yesterday fronting up at the offices of Rabaul Shipping, the owner of MV Rabaul Queen, for explanation.

Rabaul Shipping owner Peter Sharp would not provide any other details to the grieving relatives except to confirm the disaster, when confronted at his office. His brother, Hamish Sharp is the Chairman of the National Maritime Safety Authority. MV Rabaul Queen left Buka, with 300 passengers. When it docked at Rabaul, 110 disembarked and they were replaced by 135 passengers. At Kimbe, 105 people got off the vessel and 130 people from Kimbe and proceeded to Lae, when it capsized about nine nautical miles off Finschhafen at 5am yesterday.

And Australian Navy ship nearby picked up the distress signal from MV Rabaul Queen and directed merchants ships 

in the area to head for the site of the crippled boat and started rescuing the passengers.

“Australian authorities last night diverted four merchant ships to the scene quickly to help with the rescue. I have not seen the manifest as yet but it is likely around 300 passengers,” PNG’s National Maritime Safety Authority boss Captain Nurur Rahman said last night.

The PNG National Weather Service said it has sent out a strong warning hours earlier of strong winds and rough seas and warned all vessels not to take to the sea.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has expressed grief over the incident and ordered an immediate investigation into the disaster. 

“We need to bring some safety measures back into this industry. We cannot continue to lose lives at sea. We have a lot of people living on the islands. We will be guided by reports that we get,” Mr O’Neill said.

“Our sympathies go out to the families and the persons who have been affected by this disaster,” he added.

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said Australia stood ready to help in any way it could. “I spoke to my counterpart, PNG Foreign Minister Ano Pala, earlier today (yesterday) to inform him that Australia stands ready to offer all necessary assistance,” Mr Rudd said in a statement.




Source: The National

Mining projects key to development 


PAPUA New Guinea has the potential to become a well-developed nation if its mining projects are managed well and benefits from them distributed widely.

Mining minister Byron Chan told a two-day stakeholder workshop in Port Moresby that this would happen if there was a government-private partnership to ensure that development reached the grassroots people in the village.

The workshop was to push the government and stakeholders to take up the challenge of good governance in the spending of benefits received from the extractive industry in a transparent manner.

It is called the extractive industries transparency initiative (EITI).

Its aim is to strengthen good governance by improving transparency and accountability.

It is a global standard that promotes revenue transparency with a robust, yet flexible methodology for monitoring and reconciling company payments and government revenues at the country level.

Its successful implementation would lead to benefits for the government, the companies, civil societies and for energy security.

Chan said government was willing to participate in this initiative where it would become a vital part of PNG’s development and progress into the future.

He said his ministry wanted to adopt some of EITI’s principles by inserting the relevant provision within the revised mining policy and mining act.

“The revised mining act has expanded on section 161 Information of the Mining Act 1992 by revising the heading to Reporting and Information.

“Under this provision, tenement holders are required to submit all information to the authority and shall not be made available to anyone outside of the authority, unless otherwise authorised to do so,” he said.

Chan said the revised act called for audits to be conducted once ever fiscal year for compliance and regulation of the mining industry.

It would look at the performance of the MRA and its agents or subsidiaries and of all companies licensed under the Act to ensure all policies, laws and regulations are complied with.


Source: The National

Mekamui head: Vote in quality leaders 

PRESIDENT of the Mekamui political group Philip Miriori has appealed to Bougainvilleans to carefully choose and vote for the right leaders in this year’s general election.

“We must be careful in choosing the right people with quality leadership who can speak for Bougainville and represent the people in parliament for the next five years,” Miriori said.

He said the next lot of leaders chosen must be prepared to work closely with the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) in implementing the autonomy arrangement under the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

“They must coordinate their efforts and support ABG.

“There should be no reservations, otherwise, the peace agreement will face difficulties in being implemented,” Miriori said.

He said Bougainville was at the cross-road and only leaders with quality leadership would take it through the next five years and successfully march towards referendum and independence for Bougainville.

“The people of Panguna will not to repeat the mistakes of the past by voting in the wrong people who did not even help us address our own landowner issues and those of Bougainville at large, including the most pressing issue of compensation and speedy economic recovery of Bougainville,” Miriori said.

“We are now planning to put in our own candidate who understands our issues, someone who is highly respected for his professional standing and reputation with vast experience, is matured and boasts good moral principles and family values

and is widely known

not only on Bougainville.”

Miriori appealed to voters in Panguna district, particularly women and youth, to ensure their names were registered in the common roll to guarantee a seat for Panguna’s own candidate in the national parliament.




Source: The National

United in grief 


PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill and Sir Michael Somare yesterday shook hands and stood united in grief – at the funeral of a parliamentary colleague.

Political differences were put aside as MPs from both sides of the warring factions farewelled the late Patrick Tammur (picture) in Port Moresby. The Kokopo MP died last week after a long battle with diabetes.


late Patrick O. Tammur 


MPs paid their tribute and viewed his body at the Grand Hall of Parliament. It was followed by a memorial service at the St Joseph Church in East Boroko.

O’Neill shook hands with Sir Michael and his son, Angoram MP Arthur Somare in a “funeral reconciliation”.

O’Neill was accompanied by his deputy Belden Namah, cabinet ministers, Speaker Jeffery Nape and deputy speaker Francis Marus.

Sir Michael and Arthur arrived with Ambunti-Dreikikir MP Tony Aimo, Southern Highlands Governor Anderson Agiru, Madang regional MP Sir Arnold Amet and Pomio MP Paul Tiensten.

The two factions sat side by side again at the funeral service at the St Joseph Catholic church in East Boroko.

Tammur’s body will be flown to Kokopo this morning where a traditional Tolai welcome with the Tumbuan-Dukduk ceremony is expected at the Tokua airport.

Tammur is survived by wife Salome and three children Oscar, Sophia and Theresa.

O’Neill joined Sir Michael and other leaders in paying tribute to the late MP.

“When he defeated Sir Rabbie Namaliu in the 2007 general election, he knew the challenges that lay ahead of him and the expectations of his people, were great,” O’Neill said.

“Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare recognised his pedigree and his potential and appointed him to his Cabinet in the former government.

“And the young man did not disappoint. He presided over a number of key policy changes in the information and communication technology arena, which now guide development in the industry.

“It is indeed a huge loss that this illness has cut short the life of this promising young leader.

“For his time of public service, however short, I thank his family and the people of Kokopo.

Sir Michael also conveyed his condolences to the family and the people of Kokopo.



Source: Post-Courier

Vote for quality leaders - Miriori

The President of Mekamui Government of Unity, Mr Philip Miriori is appealing to Bougainvilleans to choose very carefully and vote for the right leaders in this year’s coming National General Election.

“We must be very careful in choosing the right people with quality leadership who can speak for Bougainville and represent the people in PNG National Parliament for the next 5 years,” Mr Miriori said.

Mr Miriori emphasised that the next lot of leaders elected must be prepared to work closely with ABG in implementing the Autonomy arrangement under the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

“They must coordinate their efforts and support ABG without any reservations otherwise the Bougainville Peace Agreement will have difficulties in having it fully implemented before the referendum, “ Mr Miriori said.

Mr Miriori said that Bougainville is now at an important cross-road that is critical indeed, and only leaders with the right kind of quality leadership can take us through the next five years and successfully march towards referendum and independence for Bougainville.

“As for our people in Panguna, we are already determined not to repeat the same old mistakes again this time as we have done so in the past by voting for the wrong people who could not even help us to address our own landowner issues and also those of Bougainville at large, including the most pressing issue of compensation and speedy economic recovery of Bougainville.

“We are now planning to put in our own candidate who understands our issues, someone who is highly respected for his professional standing and reputation, vast experience, maturity, moral principles and family values, and widely known not only on Bougainville and PNG but also internationally as well,” Mr Miriori said. 

“The President for Mekamui Government of Unity said that through the current Panguna Unification Process consisting of the Panguna Landowners Association, Mekamui Government of Unity, Original Mekamui faction, Ex-combatants and other interest groups such as churches, COEs, women groups, youth etc we want to choose our own leader whose stand on the issue of independence for Bougainville is without any doubt whatsoever and unquestionable. He must also be a person who has played a key role during the Bougainville Crisis, especially the Bougainville peace process,” Mr Miriori said.


Source: Post-Courier

Buka buai - big and cheap!


ONLY Buka buai is big and cheap and still the best! Bougainville is Blessed with the big, green and juicy betel nut. And while prices of buai have increased in other parts of the country, Buka buai has remained unchanged ranging from 20t to 50t and a bundle of mustard costs 50t and K1.




Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai

Parents and Citizens of students that would be attending HUTJENA SECONDARY SCHOOL are asked to attend a urgent meeting for the PNC next Monday February 6th,2012 at the school hall.

Chairman for the PNC association, JOHN KOMARIN when making this announcement wants all parents and citizens to attend this important meeting before the 2012 school year begins.

He said that the meeting would begin at ten o’clock on Monday morning.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Aloysius Laukai

PNG Power Limited Buka Office is again advising its clients that they are currently facing mechanical problems with their Generators at the KUBU POWER House.

In a memo dated 26th January 2012, PPL management has been appealing to Business Houses to switch on their stand by sets to ease the situation PPL is facing at the moment.

This is to allow workmen to repair the problems with their three Generators.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville

Landowners thanked

WAKUNAI landowners at Central Bougainville have been thanked for allowing work to commence on the Iraka bridge which was officially opened on December 30 last year.

Speaking at the official ceremony ABG Minister for works, transport and civil aviation Carolus Ketsimur said the landowners agreed for a bridge to be built over Iraka river for the benefit of the people of Bougainville.

Ketsimur said the Wakunai landowners were able to put their differences aside and make sacrifices to allow work to commence without obstruction.

He also congratulated the landowners in the other fourteen project sites of which bridges are being built under a K90 million fund by the government and people of Japan for the people of Bougainville.

The total of fifteen bridges built by contractor company Kitano Construction Limited will be officially handed over to the ABG by the government of Japan next month.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville

Chief System review

ABG minister for Local Level Government (LLG), Traditional Authorities and Communication Joseph Nopei says the Autonomous Bougainville Government supports the village chief system.

He said this is evident in their decision to empower traditional leadership structure below the Council of Elders (COE) and village assembly level.

He said the ABG will empower the chiefs so that they will effectively deal with issues at the village level.

He said as the Autonomous Region of Bougainville moves towards autonomy and referendum in 2015, the ABG would like to ensure that the lower level of government are fully functional and operating effectively before 2015.

Nopei added that this was going to be very challenging but assured that work would start this year in conjunction with the review of the COE system.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


THE Bougainville Executive Council (BEC) has endorsed the merging of the Bougainville Restoration and Development Authority (BRADA) with the ABG division of Technical Services (TSD).

In its recent meeting, BEC acknowledged that the streamlining of the two agencies responsible for infrastructure development allows the ABG to enhance the capacity of only one entity instead of the two.

ABG minister for finance and treasury Albert Punghau said the decision was necessary to manage and coordinate high impact infrastructure projects irrespective of the funding sources.

He justified that the merging of BRADA into TSD would avoid duplication of roles, confusion, buck-passing and wastage of resources.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


LOCALS selling river gravel have reason to celebrate this year as the autonomous government of Bougainville has approved new buying rates for riverine materials especially gravel and limestone.

ABG minister for Works, Transport and Civil Aviation Carolus Ketsimur at a recent presentation to ABG members announced that this year, river gravel will be bought at three kina per cubic meter.

This is an increase of two kina from last year’s buying rate of one kina per cubic meter.

He also said limestone would now be bought at four kina per cubic meter compared to last year’s buying rate of one kina fifty toea per cubic meter.

Ketsimur said this was good money easily earned from the natural resources owned by the coastal communities of Bougainville and urged that the landowners invest their money well.

He also urged that companies and landowners do fair business to avoid conflict and misunderstanding.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By New Dawn Media

Telekom PNG Data systems network to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville has been out for three weeks and clients in Bougainville are frustrated at the prolonged inconvenience caused.

Teachers, public servants and the general public needing postal, loan banking and png power services on Buka Island have urged that Telikom PNG quickly address the issue and have its data services restored.

Users of Telikom’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) including Post PNG, Teacher’s Savings and Loans, Nationwide Micro Bank and PNG Power have been the main service providers impacted by the disruption.

Most had to turn away customers needing their services since the problem began because the companies could not access organizational data bases from their network.

Telikom Bougainville branch confirmed that VPN users in Alotau, Mendi and Goroka have also been affected by the outage.

The branch assured that they are working in close consultation with colleagues in Port Moresby to restore the data link as soon as possible.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville

Bougainville prepares for 2012 elections

BOUGAINVILLE Electoral Commissioner Raitama Taravaru said they are confident they will complete all quality checks of the Bougainville electoral roll before the writs for the national elections is released on April 27.

Taravaru said the quality check for South Bougainville has been completed with updated data sent to Port Moresby last week.

The electoral office began work on updated rolls for Central Bougainville last Saturday and is expected to dispatch the data to Port Moresby by Friday.

The PNG Electoral Commissioner had set the end of this month as the deadline for all quality check exercises to allow for a period for objections.

Taravaru added that work on updated rolls for North Bougainville is yet to be undertaken due to delay in the printing of blank cheques by Moore Printing in Port Moresby.

He said as soon as the blank cheques are received, they would raise payments for enrolment agents, transport hire and related costs of the preparation exercise.

Meantime, he is urging all eligible voters not yet enrolled to register their names with village clerks in their respective village assemblies.

Taravaru said that there should not be any excuses for voters not having their names listed on the electoral roll when the village clerks who eat and sleep in the villages have made every chance available to the villagers to enroll.

He echoed PNG electoral commissioner Andrew Trawen’s caution against early campaign and warned that any intending candidates caught campaigning in the region before the writs are issued would be prosecuted.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Tapo Tovilu

Buka General Hospital has three new hands to help out with their health care delivery in the region.

The three new Resident Medical Officers flew into Buka last month for their two year residency at Buka General Hospital.

Dr Mathias Tovilu acting Director of Medical Services and head of Paediatrics in Buka Hospital said that the three will be rotating throughout different sections in the hospital.

He says this month two of the RMO’s will start in the paediatrics section and will be involved all medical work in the section.

The RMO’s are expected to complete a rotational residency by the end of the October.

The program will end at the end of a two year period and will consist of all medical and operational fields.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Tapo Tovilu

The new move by the National Government to introduce free medical healthcare has been brushed aside as being a dream.

Buka General Hospital, following directions from the national health division has been ordered to carry on operations as usual.

Acting Director of Medical Services Dr Mathias Tovilu told New Dawn FM that Buka General Hospital will not be providing free medical care until it is directed to.

He says that for many of the government run hospitals in the country have a lot of problems in healthcare service provision.

Dr Tovilu says that if healthcare is to be free the government must seriously look into fixing all existing problems facing hospitals around the country.

With the Hospital currently facing the shortage of drugs the implementation of the free medical care will be a blow to the hospitals current state.

He announced that the hospital will continue to charge patients’ for medical services provided as the fees charged will help in purchasing medical drugs.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Tapo Tovilu

A group made up of University of Papua New Guinea Bougainville students has just completed a two week long awareness program in south and central Bougainville.

The high power group lead by team leader, Israel Pais a third year Political Science student carried out awareness on the structure roles and responsibilities of the ABG and its branches.

The awareness was mainly targeted at the people of South and Central Bougainville mainly in the areas where fighting between combatant groups are still ongoing.

Israel says that due to the lack of sufficient knowledge on the newly adapted system of government in place for Bougainville, groups like the Mekamui and Liberation forces are still fighting.

He says his team visited the fighting zones and carried out awareness on the government structure to combatants and villagers.

Many of the chiefs and people in the areas they visited were pleased with the awareness and the information which they had received.

The awareness was funded by the ABG and an official report will be released at the end of the month.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Tapo Tovilu

Buka General Hospital is denying reports that blood bags have been discarded due to power outages.

The report released in one of the daily newspapers speculated that due to the constant power outages in Buka town Buka Hospital had to discard blood bags.

Acting DMS Dr Mathias Tovilu says that the hospital is fully equipped with a standby generator and storage UPS to cater for the changeover.

He says the hospital at the moment would not throw away any blood bags as they are currently short on blood.

He says the hospital is operating as usual and has assured the people of Bougainville that the hospital will serve them well.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Tapo Tovilu

The cocoa pod bora is threatening cocoa farmers of Wisai in South Bougainville.

The destructive pest which has destroyed many coca farms around Bougainville is now threatening many parts of South Bougainville.

Noah Tapo a youth observing the pest in Wisai has warned that the pest may soon reach Wisai.

He says cocoa seeds which are being brought into Wisai from Koromira and other parts of Central Bougainville may be a way in for the pests.

He is calling on farmers and the people of Wisai to be aware of the risks of transporting seedlings and cocoa shoots into the area.

Mr Tapo has called on agriculture department to assist in providing information on avenues which can be taken to safeguard their farms.

Attempts made by New Dawn FM to get comments from CCI were unsuccessful.


Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


By Tapo Tovilu

Chiefs in the Kunua District have been challenged to help in law and order in their respective communities.

The challenge was issued by the Minister for Local Level Government, Traditional Authorities and Communication Joseph Nopei.

He made the comments at the official handing over of a new police vehicle to Kuna police on Tuesday.

He thanked the Bougainville Police Service for giving regular police officers who now are working alongside the district caps.

Nopei called on chiefs and village leaders to work with police to ensure law and order in the district.

He added that police officers were also to work in collaboration with the local authorities for better community relations.




Source: PNG Attitude / ABC Radio Australia

Papua New Guinea - forever on the brink



Radio Australia / Australia Network News

TO OUTSIDERS PAPUA NEW GUINEA must always seem to be on the brink of catastrophe - but it never quite happens.

The almost farcical attempt last week by a retrenched Colonel to take over as the military Commander led to immediate speculation here in Australia that PNG was having a military coup.

Even Colonel Yaura Sasa ruled that out when he held his one and only news conference. But while denying he was staging a coup he did threaten to take "necessary action" if Sir Michael Somare was not reinstated as Prime Minister.

That amused me because one of the worst novels ever written about PNG was called Take Necessary Action. It was written by two sisters, Australians, who had been in the Highlands of PNG prior to Independence and it was about how rapidly PNG would descend into catastrophe because Australia under a socialist Labor Government would pull out and let the Chinese take over.

One of the most appalling lines in that dreadful book was a quote from one of the white Australian male heroes who, when marvelling at the beauty of the Highlands, remarked that, "This would be a great county if it was not for Oli."

'Oli' was the derogatory term some expatriates used for Papua New Guineans and it comes from the first two words in any Melanesian Pidgin sentence referring to any action by a number of people. 'Ol' is 'All' and 'i' is part of the verb - "Ol i kam": "They come" - "Ol i go": "They go".

So the white hero of Take Necessary Action believed PNG would be a wonderful place if only there were no Papua New Guineans in it!

There are close to seven million of them now and it seems that there is no great enthusiasm amongst many in the population for Sir Michael Somare to resume office as the legitimate Prime Minister.

Colonel Sasa could not arouse the support of any more than a handful of soldiers to reinstate Somare and his attempted takeover of the army lasted about half a day.

He did claim to be trying to uphold the law and obey the Supreme Court ruling that last year's vote in the Parliament which installed Peter O'Neill as Prime Minister was not done in a constitutionally proper way.

But that ruling is not so clear cut. Two of the five Supreme Court Judges who heard the case did not come down on the side of Sir Michael. Peter O'Neill has the support of a majority of the Members of Parliament and that has been demonstrated again and again since last August.

Perhaps the most worrying aspect of all this is that public respect for the courts and their rulings is probably being undermined.

The independence of the courts and public acceptance of their impartiality has been for a long time now regarded as one of the Papua New Guinea's great strengths.

Back in 1979, just four years after PNG's Independence, the Full Bench of the Supreme Court jailed the then Justice Minister, Nahau Rooney, for eight months for contempt of court after she had written to the Chief Justice berating him over an earlier ruling.

Somare, Prime Minister then too, made himself Acting Justice Minister and set Ms Rooney free after just one day pending an appeal to the non-judicial Mercy Committee. Five judges including the Chief Justice and the Deputy Chief Justice resigned. More than one thousand prisoners then broke out of jail from prisons all around PNG arguing that if it was good enough for the Justice Minister to go free it was good enough for them.

The PNG courts have been called upon to make rulings about parliamentary procedure before.

Prime Ministers in PNG get a certain period of freedom from Votes of No Confidence after being elected. Originally it was six months but later that was extended to 18 months.

Paias Wingti tried to gain an extra 18 months during one political crisis in PNG by resigning in secret to the Governor General, springing that news on a startled Parliament the next morning and then getting himself re-elected PM while his main challenger at the time, the then Deputy Prime Minister, Sir Julius Chan, was overseas and the Opposition was confused.

The Supreme Court ruled Mr Wingti's snap resignation and re-election was not in accord with the spirit of law, that MPs should be able to make a considered judgement. The court annulled the vote. Mr Wingti knew he could not win a considered vote and resigned.

What makes the current situation so complicated is that Mr O'Neill, at this stage anyway, still enjoys majority support in the Parliament.

One of the more astonishing statements to come from the Somare camp in recent days has been made by Somare's Police Minister, Timothy Bonga.

In the wake of the failure of Colonel Sasa's mutiny, Mr Bonga called on the disciplined forces to back the Somare side.

"We are becoming a police state," Mr Bonga claimed, "where absolute power is now vested in the Parliament ... We cannot continue to call ourselves a democracy if this trend continues."

That, I think, sums up the current confusion in Papua New Guinea.

Elections will be held. They are due mid-year but could come earlier. And Australia does not have to fear an imminent catastrophe unfolding in its former colony and nearest neighbour.

Sean Dorney was the ABC's Correspondent in Papua New Guinea from 1979-1984 and from 1987-1998, and is currently Australia Network's Pacific Correspondent




Source: Post-Courier

Somare group ready to talk


THE Somare faction has indicated that it is ready for a round table talk with the O’Neill regime regarding the ongoing political wrangling since December 12, 2011. 

This was revealed by Nuku MP Andrew Kumbakor at a press conference yesterday.

But, Mr Kumbakor said that they will not compromise on the subject of constitution.

He said that the Somare side is prepared to go to negotiations but a proposition remains and that is to allow them to comply as per the Supreme Court Order on December 12, last year.

Mr Kumbakor’s call comes after the PNG Council of Churches called on the two political parties to take their grudges to a round table discussion and sort the political mess and lay everything to rest.

Last week the members of the PNGCC, under the chairmanship of Moderator Samson Lowa have offered to facilitate a forum for a dialogue between both leaders Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and Parliament elect Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to solve the issues amicably.

“We are ready to arrange the place and the facilitators for this dialogue if both agree,” the PNGCC members said.

The PNGCC said that it spoke on behalf of the people of PNG raising concerns over the issue of the prime minister and the police commissioner, citing both matters have not been solved yet.

Also former PNG Defence Force Commander Major General Jerry Singirok Retired made the same call after the eight hour reign of retrenched Brigadier General Yaura Sasa who moved in with soldiers from the Taurama Barracks and held Defence Commander Francis Agwi and two other senior officers under house arrest.

Maj Gen retired, Singirok called for parliament to convene swiftly and resolve the issue of legitimacy of political leadership once and for all.

He said that the change must be done as soon as practical.

Wabag MP and former deputy prime minister Sam Abal also raised similar sentiments last week after the soldiers under the command of Mr Sasa moved in took control of Murray Barracks.

Mr Abal said that the churches call for a dialogue to begin where both sides can come together to resolve what is a political issue and not allow policemen and soldiers to solve it for them.

Both men said that there is an urgent need for both Sir Michael and Mr O’Neill to come together and resolve the current situation where the military has stepped in.

Maj Gen Singirok said that the mutiny was a result of the political impasse between the O’Neill and Somare camps which has taken its ultimate toll.

Mr Abal said that he gave up the Deputy Prime Ministers post to allow for such a deal to be made. The dialogue must start and not allow situation to go under,” said Mr Abal.

“The people of this country cannot allow or accept the impasse to continue. We have always had a Melanesian way of solving the most difficult conflicts such as Bougainville or internal situations and this can be done if both leaders agree to come to the table,” Mr Abal said.

“Situations such as this must quickly be brought under control and I call on our leaders to make a move for the nation.

“On one side it is felt that the Constitution is supreme and it has been broken continuously while on the other side they feel Parliament is supreme. “Looking at our system it may be that it is time after 36 years to review things. We need to reconcile and device a way through this but both sides have to humble ourselves and to come to the table. We must give and take,” Mr Abal said.

Mr Singirok added that the situation is totally out of control and has to be resolved politically within 24 hours or else we lose the nation as all the signs of a failed state are evident.

He said that the whole situation would not occur if both parties had exercised restraint and taken political ownership of aspects of good governance and used due processes of relevant legislation.




Source: ABC Radio Australia - Pacific Beat

Contempt case unlikely to resolve PNG leadership crisis

The battle for the prime ministership in PNG has been dragging on since early December.

But now Sir Michael Somare's faction has moved to try to bring it to an end.

They've filed contempt proceedings against the other contender, Peter O'Neill and his Deputy Belden Namah.

The O'Neill faction claims their numbers in parliament trump the previous Supreme Court ruling - so will another court ruling bring an end to the PNG political crisis?

Presenter: Geraldine Coutts

Speaker: Dr Ron May, Australian National University 

  Listen here !  




Source: Post-Courier

COE is a first of its kind


THE recent Council of Elders (COE) Elections have been described as the ‘first of its kind’ to be used to elect council members and it will be the last.

Returning Officer Sione Nash said that council representatives for each COE were appointed by their village assemblies or clans according to each respective COE constitution which is different from the normal electoral process of nominating and voting for a representative. He said that talks are underway to standardise the system of electing council representatives.

Mr Nash said that the only problem encountered with this method was the disorganisation in some communities to nominate a representative because of individual power struggle by certain candidates. Other than that elections for all 34 COE’s and the two urban councils are complete. 

He said that electoral officials were only there to verify appointed representatives and to provide assistance to COE’s whose constitutions require formal voting to take place.

Mr Sione added that he would like to see that COE’s become more democratic and include people from all facets of the community.

He said that the Council of Elders were an important arm of the Autonomous Bougainville Government “they are the Government on the ground and their authority should be recognised.”

The writs for each respective COE were returned yesterday.


Source: Post-Courier

More awareness on healthy living important


RAISING more awareness on healthy living standards is essential and the way forward for the delivery of better health services.

And the Catholic Health Services of the Bougainville Catholic Diocese in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville has a key role to play, in making sure that more awareness will be carried out, in the rural villagers. 

This has been one of the plans set in place, by the organisation, to improve health service delivery mechanisms.

Newly appointed Catholic Health Secretary Michaeline Pau, 33 of Kokopo, East New Britain is the new appointee to this post; however has said with her effort, she will continue the good works, left by former secretary Clarice Harepa.

Since appointed on October 13 last year, she is confident with her new job and says the implementation of these set plans to improve health is a joint effort by stakeholders. 

These plans she said will come under the microscope of the theme, “Prevention is better than cure” and every health centres operated by the Catholic Health Services in the autonomous region, will see the theme as their corner stone.

“Practicing healthy standards of living will minimise the growing health problems currently faced in the country. This includes infant mortality, maternal mortality, death mortality and also many referrals.” the new secretary said.

She said after supervisory visits will be completed, then reports will be finalised to look at how best, the services will be delivered.

Highlighting some of the problems including, staff movements, clinical performance and facilities management, she said her office will work closely with the health centres, to monitor and control the routine of health workers. This will enable a better health care of life.

She added if health workers practice these routines, it will help them to improve the quality of services.

“Our aim for this year is to improve moral well being of the staff.” said Pau.

She said the Catholic Health Services office will try its best to address problems faced by the 121 staff working in 13 health centres thought the region.

These problems she said have affected staff over the last years resulting in weak performances.

This includes: FUNDING for health infrastructures STAFF housing ADEQUATE medicine supply and LOGISTICAL support 

She assured that her office will try to uplift the standard of staff first, before moving further out with plans proposed for the community. 


Source: Post-Courier

Buka hospital needs board


BOUGAINVILLE’S referral base - Buka General Hospital (BGH) urgently needs a hospital board, a hospital staff said.

The staff, one of the longest serving member of the hospital, requested anonymity and said that since 1997, when the hospital commenced its operations, there has been no existing board in place.

“We need a board and that is very important. A board that would oversee the operations of the hospital, implement and control development plans, and scrutinised the spending level and submit management reports to the National Department of Health.” he said.

The staff also claimed that BGH has been run only by the hospitals management. 

“Over the past year’s, the hospital has been run only by the management. It is best we have a board to control and regulate activities within the hospital.” he said.

With an existing board, he said, collective decisions shall be made, that would maintain the integrity of the hospitals management, and for the smooth operation of the hospital.

He said at once, they tried to set up a board, however this did not eventuate.

“We tried to form a board but failed because there was lack of strategic approach.” he said.

When Post-Courier approached the Office of the Health Ministry of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG), they also were aware of the issue and confirmed that Buka hospital also has no board. 

“There is an urgent need for a governing body for such big key establishment areas like a hospital to exist. The board will manage the day to day conduct and affairs of the hospital.” The ABG Health Ministry office said.

Numerous attempts to contact the National Health Department also failed. 

Meanwhile according to the Public Hospitals Act 1994, under section six — part two Administrations-Division One of Management Boards, “There should an established, management board for each public hospital.”

In relation to the public hospital, the objects of a board are to make the hospital accountable to the local community, provide appropriate and acceptable services and encourage the local community to participate in planning and in the decision-making process.

Subject to the National Health Administration Act 1997, a board has functions to: 

- Administer and maintain the public hospital and its facilities for the care and treatment of the local people;

- Engage and assist local authorities in the provision of community health education and public health information services;

- Provide or assist in the provision of facilities for, or in connection with, education, instruction or practical training of its professional staff and other employees;

- Disseminate information and knowledge in the field of public health for the benefit of the public;

- Provide facilities for teaching, instruction, research or post-graduate studies in medicine, dentistry, obstetrics, paediatrics, surgery, ophthalmology, pathology, psychiatry and oncology.




Source: The National

‘Arrest us’ 

SIR Michael Somare and his politician son Arthur Somare have offered themselves to be arrested – if police have any criminal evidence against them.

Both father and son, caught in a seemingly immoveable political tug-of-war with Peter O’Neill over which side has legitimate government, made the offer following rumours that both were being implicated in the failed military mutiny last week.

Other MPs in their camp were also being sought by police to explain their roles in last Thursday’s short-lived attempt by a retrenched colonel and a group of renegade soldiers to take over the command of the PNG Defence Force.

Sir Michael, who claims his legitimacy from the Dec 12 Supreme Court decision, called on the O’Neill-led regime to “drop the charade and uphold the Constitution” – or make arrests if police held evidence of a criminal nature against them.

Arthur Somare fronted up at the police headquarters in Konedobu yesterday morning and waited a full hour to see Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga to offer himself for questioning and possible arrest.

In response, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said there was a normal police investigation under way to identify collaborators in the botched take-over attempt.

O’Neill claimed his legitimacy to government was from having been elected unchallenged by parliament after the Supreme Court decision.

He enjoys a three-quarter majority support of MPs in parliament and the avowed support of the public service heads including the police and defense forces.

Said O’Neill in a statement: “The crime (what happened at Murray Barracks) is serious in nature and police will get to the bottom of it. If there is evidence that Sir Michael Somare, or Arthur Somare, or Andrew Kumbakor was involved, they will be subjected to the full force of the law.

“Let me reiterate here that no one is above the law. The rule of law applies to everyone, regardless of your status in society.

“It is utter nonsense for Somare to suggest that myself, or Deputy Prime Minister Belden Namah is pushing and intimidating police to arrest him. We respect the police and the work they do.

“Unlike Somare and his camp, we do not intimidate, interfere with, or lure members of the disciplined forces to go outside their line of duty, or break the law.”

But Sir Michael said in his statement: “I am prepared to go to jail for what I know is the right thing to do for this country. This reign of terror and hunt for members of parliament by the regime must stop immediately.

“If the pressure is still on for the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary to go ahead with these arrests, I call on O’Neill and Namah to do it themselves. Come to my residence and hand me the arrest warrant.”

Sir Michael wanted to know if the police were taking orders from their commissioner or from O’Neill and Namah.

“It would be in the public’s interest to know if O’Neill’s purported Police Minister John Boito, or his deputy Belden Namah is pressuring police to carry out illegal arrests,’’ he said.

“People of Papua New Guinea should not be frightened into submission by rogue members of parliament who do not know the meaning of democracy or the processes of governance. This scare-mongering has gone on for far too long.

“I have taken enough insult from an insolent character and first time Member of Parliament - Belden Namah.

“Papua New Guinea can see the true nature of Belden Namah so I only need to say that for many people his behavior is both an embarrassment and frightful. 

“Belden Namah wants to be the dictator of Papua New Guinea and Peter O’Neill is helping him. O’Neill cannot distance himself by remaining silent.”




Source: PNG exposed























The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC)