SECOND FORUM OPENS
The second forum on Panguna negotiations for North Bougainville, that covers Bougainville mainland from Tinputz, Kunua, Kereaka,Selau and Suir officially opened this morning at the Hutjena Secondary School hall on Buka island.
The first forum was held last year at the same location but covered areas in North Bougainville starting from Tasman islands, Nissan district, Atolls and Buka district.
The aim of all these workshops is to gauge the views from all Bougainvilleans on the upcoming Bougainville Copper Agreement negotiations.
Other districts that are yet to stage these forums are Buin and Bana in South Bougainville and Panguna and Kieta district in Central Bougainville which are scheduled for March this year.
In his welcome remarks this morning, the ABG Mining Minister, Michael Oni said that it was an opportunity again for all stake holders to meet and discuss issues affecting the region today in terms of the Panguna negotiations.
The meeting is being attended by leaders from both the Mekamui faction led by its President Philip Miriori and his deputy Philip Takaung and other leaders from Central Bougainville.
ABG President Dr John MomisS is also attending this forum with ABG Ministers and members of ABG.
The two-days forum will end tomorrow afternoon.
There are interesting debates coming out from the second mining forum on the future of the Panguna mine, one of which included the President of the Mekamui Government of Unity, Philip Miriori who has commented that at present he opposes the reopening of the Panguna mine until and after all outstanding issues amongst the Panguna landowners and the people of Bougainville are sorted out.
Mr. Miriori said that there are alot of issues that needs to be addressed before the Panguna mine can be re-opened.
His presentation was supported by his deputy Philip Takaun, Lyned Ona and Lord Blaise Iruinu.
All the ABG members who did their presentations all called on the people of Bougainville to complete all outstanding issues and look at the economy that was not able to sustain the Autonomous arrangement which Bougainville is entangled in.
The members that talked this morning were the Member for Torokina, Steven Suako, the member for Suir, Luke Karaston and the member for Taunita Teop MICHA MOSE.
Mr. Mose said that if Panguna is difficult to address then the ABG must fast tract its policy on mining so that other areas can open one mine to support the economic recovery efforts of the ABG.
LERA WANTS PEOPLE’S PARTICIPATION
The Regional Member for Bougainville, Joe Lera wants Bougainvilleans to unite and discuss the economic recovery of Bougainville.
He made these remarks at the second forum that is discussion the future of the Panguna mine in Buka today.
MR. Lera also praised the ABG for initiating the forum which has gathered all factions of the Bougainville conflict to come and discuss important issues that continues to affect the development of the region.
The Regional member said that it was healthy for the people to debate issues that continues to disturb the peace process.
Mr. Lera also announced that he has already established education institutions on Bougainville starting this year to train Bougainvilleans to work if the mine or any other big business activities resume on Bougainville.
The Regional member said that the Prime Minister of PNG, Peter O’Neil was very supportive of the rebuilding process on Bougainville.
He also announced other projects that could be developed to help support the economy of Bougainville, with projects like Tourism, Education programs, Fisheries and other activities.