‘Criminal Terrorist’, ‘Fanatic’ and ‘Mentally Sick’ – BCL’s Largest Shareholder Sprays Bougainvillean Leaders

Winners are grinners, Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) Chairman, Peter Taylor, and the largest individual BCL shareholder, Axel Sturm, recently met at the opulent Goodwood Park Hotel in Singapore to discuss Bougainville’s future.

Axel G. Sturm and Peter R. Taylor having lunch in Singapore.

Axel G. Sturm and Peter R. Taylor having lunch in Singapore.

In recent years Sturm has become a frequent commentator on Bougainville affairs. His knack for insulting sound bites has made him a favourite among journalists. Many of Sturm’s most legendary sprays are launched via the European Shareholders of Bougainville (ESBC) website which he administers. There he has slammed Bougainvillean leaders, writers and filmmakers accusing them of being ‘criminal terrorists’, ‘fanatics’ and ‘mentally sick’. Sturm has also attacked PNG statesmen and decorated foreign commentators who he accuses of being ‘naïve’, ‘delirious’ and dishonest.

Yet far from distancing themselves from Sturm’s inflammatory remarks, BCL it would seem endorses them. In an address published on Sturm’s ESBC website, Peter Taylor writes:

“As chairman of Bougainville Copper I am restricted in what I can say due to corporations’ laws. You do not have the same restrictions. Your analysis of the situation on Bougainville is appreciated” (ESBC Website, May 2011).

Here is a selection of Sturm’s “appreciated” analysis, which BCL’s Chairman travels several thousand miles to hear:

On Remembering the Bougainville Conflict

Bougainville writer Leonard Fong Roka has written numerous touching stories on the Bougainville war including one about his father’s tragic murder. This is the advice given to Roka by Sturm:

“Dear Leonard, the Bougainville Crisis was a nasty experience – for sure! But I believe that the Second World War was even worse for Bougainvilleans. Certainly one must not forget what happened and one has to learn from mistakes. But touching old wounds regularly is not helpful at all for healing” (PNG Attitude, 3/11/2012).

On BCL Liability for War Crimes and Environmental Damage

Sturm has denied BCL’s liability:

“We shareholders – as I understand, Rio Tinto, also, is a major shareholder – we are OK to invest another US$5 billion into the mine [on which they will make a large profit – PNG Mine Watch]. And I think that is more than enough compensation for a situation that was not caused by Bougainville Copper” (Radio New Zealand, 16/7/13).

He has also seems to suggest BCL was the victim:

“The mine was closed nearly 20 years ago mainly due to the secessionist conflict in which BCL was made responsible. Therefore, we believe that it would be a friendly sign of the Bougainvillean landowners to invite BCL to come back to work on the island” (Post Courier 8/5/2008).

On the Grand Chief, Sir Michael Somare

“I consider him as a poor, delirious old man who is more and more out of his mind” (ESBC Press Release, 26/6/2011).

On Critics of Rio Tinto

Sam Kauona – Former Commander of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army

“Sam Kauona is one of the alleged murderers of the so called Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA)! He is on the pay-roll of foreign notorious backdoor players! Most of his life he spent as a hardened criminal terrorist by intimidating, robbing and also presumably killing innocent Bougainvillean citizens” (ESBC Website, 27/2/2013).

Clive Porabou – Bougainvillean Environmentalist and filmmaker

Sturm accuses Porabou of being a “fanatic”. He claims: “Clive Porabou – mislead and remote-controlled by anarchic left-wing ecologist groups in London (UK) and Australia – still continues spreading lies and jealousy in the internet and on the ground” (ESBC Press Release, 5/4/2011).

In a further exchange Sturm accused Porabou of being mentally ill:

“Parabou: In this regard, the closing down of Panguna Mine involved blood and the loss of lives of twenty thousand fighters, innocent children, men and women from the Southern tip to the Northern isles of Mekamui/Bougainville.

Sturm:   You know very well that only approximately 1200 people were killed by unrest on Bougainville. The others died because of lack of medicines and normal death in that period. … Stop to publish all that bullshit now or are you mentally sick??” (see ESBC Website, 20/10/2011)

Lawrence Daveona – Chairman of the Panguna Mine Affected Landowners Association

Sturm on Daveona in 2008: “When I met him in May in Port Moresby, I had been deeply impressed by Lawrence Daveona. He is the ideal mediator in this sensitive issue. He has our confidence and our full support as well. Earlier than others Lawrence understood that the only way of bringing enduring peace and prosperity to the island of Bougainville means first of all getting all parties concerned together” (ESBC Website, 7/7/2008).

Sturm on Daveona in 2013: “It is true that for many years the ESBC supported Mr. Daveona’s efforts to resume mining by BCL. Unfortunately I had to stop funding Mr. Daveona because of his increasing inappropriate behaviour towards Bougainville’s President, Dr. John Momis and myself. Sadly there was no more sustainable cooperation possible for the benefit of Bougainvilleans. Today, quite obviously, Mr. Daveona follows his very own agenda and private interest which is proved by his recent statements. He does not have any regard for the people of Bougainville or even the Panguna landowner’s future” (Mine Watch PNG, 29/6/2013).

Dr Kristian Lasslett – Lecturer in Criminology, University of Ulster

Dr Lasslett’s research uncovered evidence confirming Rio Tinto’s infamous role in the Bougainville conflict. Sturm claimed: “It’s really shameful if an expert in criminology completely ignores facts and reality. Your naive adoption of statements and claims from rebel groups on the ground disqualify you as an honest scientist [Dr Lasslett’s claims are based on statements made by BCL Managers and internal BCL records – PNG Mine Watch] …I suppose your work in Ulster [Northern Ireland], a region well known for rebellion and organised crime, troubled your vision…Unfortunately you are also allowed to spread your ideas among you students. You shall not use your academic position as a platform for indoctrination and agitation” (PNG Attitude, 26/4/2012).

Brian Thomson – Journalist, SBS Australia

Thomson produced a powerful piece on Bougainville’s tragic past, including material on Rio Tinto’s role in the hostilities. Sturm responded: “Thomson’s loud presentation dismantles him as a naive and unprofessional 3rd class journalist” (ESBC Website, 26/6/2011). Thomson has won two Walkley Awards and a UN Peace Prize.

On Bougainville’s Future and Mining

In an interview with the Post Courier Sturm suggests Bougainville could become the next United Arab Emirates or even the Cayman Islands, a notorious tax haven:

“He [Sturm] also said that if the treasure in Bougainville was exploited, Bougainville would become one of the most fascinating places in the Pacific region [its not already ?– PNG Mine Watch]. Mr Sturm said Bougainville could be compared to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where it was just an ordinary country before oil was found but today was the most prosperous nation in the world. He said if Bougainville considered venturing into mining activities, revenue earned from this industry would be used to fund other sectors such as tourism which would also benefit the whole region. Mr Sturm said the UAE was the wealthiest region and the money gave the Arabs the liberty to cultivate their ancient traditions [note tradition is alive and well on Bougainville – PNG Mine Watch]. Also, in far future Bougainville might become a fiscal paradise like Cayman Islands, Bahamas or other situated next door to the emerging markets of Asia, he said”. (Post Courier, 6/5/2006)


Filed under Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

13 responses to “‘Criminal Terrorist’, ‘Fanatic’ and ‘Mentally Sick’ – BCL’s Largest Shareholder Sprays Bougainvillean Leaders

  1. an old white man talking on his death bed,,,told you already,where you will be buried,I’ll dig you up,,,you talk like a sophister,,,quoting from the history and consulting law books,and buying people…dump old whiteman,be a man enough and come visit Bougainville,make sure you bring some life jacket,,,I’M GOING TO DROWN YOU,,,,

    • You are drowning in your own hubris, but go right ahead.
      There is no room left in this world for any more arrogance and hate.
      It’s not hard to see why the people of Bougainville have destroyed the brilliant opportunity they had……………

  2. lunging m

    Damasiong, excellent response. He and others like him need to know they no longer have the free ride.

  3. Tavore

    You are welcome to Bougainville. Thats where you will be buried!

  4. Meekamui Live

    Sory white ass dnt you knw yo times up?? mybe you having memory loss,better start diggn yo own grave thn waste your time tryng to deepen Panguna,,I mean hw old are you? May God hav mercy on you

  5. Thanks for your great research work dear anonymous writers!
    I do not regret one single word that I wrote. It was and it is the truth – you like it or not!
    Special thanks to all those guys who unmasked themselves here in their comments!.

    Axel G. Sturm

  6. Future fund and national development

    What have you got to offer ?
    Mr Sturm is probably a very well educated and intelligent man.
    Making entirely baseless assertions helps no one.

  7. Tree Frog

    Sturm why don’t you pull your head out of your arse.

    • Tree Frog, why don’t you put your head back up your own arse if thats all you can say.
      Otherwise, try to add some thing sensible to the conversation,…eh?

  8. lunging m

    Very well educated and intelligent! Woo, what a hero! …..must have a Phd in stealing what does not belong to him. Maybe he should return with his intelligence to continue on what is remaining.

  9. ErengDuu

    Screw yourself Sturm.

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