Ramu Nickel CIRCUS continues at “MOA Signing”

Bullshit/Alcohol Rule the Local Bollywood Comedy

Bismarck Ramu Group

WORLD CLASS MCC continues on with its “DEVELOPMENT” of Madang Province. In a scene from a poor Bollywood comedy all the clowns were present TRYING to put on a show that was to convince the people how wonderful the so-called Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was and how it was going to benefit Madang, the country, the region, the world, the planet and the entire universe. It was hilarious at one level, but at another it is a sad state of affairs to see yet another example of the nonsense and bullshit which is presently dominating our country.

Now before we continue let us say we debated among ourselves whether we should use the word bullshit. We decided to go to the dictionary and see how the word is defined. It says: Noun: stupid or untrue talk or writing; nonsense. Verb: talk nonsense to (someone), typically to be misleading or deceptive. Yep Bullshit is the appropriate term all right. That describes the whole event.

MoA

Now the first thing one must ask is why another MoA. There already was one. So why another? Well the post MoA signing “bullshit” will try (and fail miserably) to convince you that after seven years a new MoA was in order, but why??

The first MoA was a typical MoA signed by the PNG government and a Mining Company. That agreement was signed with the Australian based Highlands Pacific. It was signed under the Morauta government on the 26th of July 2000. That Mining Development Agreement was 81 pages long.

When Highlands Pacific couldn’t find the financial backing they needed to get the mine off the ground (or is that in the ground?) they had to settle for WORLD CLASS MCC. Now when MCC came in they wanted to do away with the agreement signed by HP with the PNG government. Actually MCC wanted Highlands Pacific out of the picture entirely.

The Somare government explained to the Chinese that they couldn’t by-pass Highlands Pacific and that the agreement COULD NOT be changed HOWEVER it could be amended. The Chinese LOVED hearing this so they sat down with Somare, (with HP, quietly looking on) and knocked out AMENDMENTS to the ORIGINAL MINING agreement signed by the Morauta government.

The amendments totaled 41 pages. That’s right everyone the amendments were 41 pages and basically took a standard mining contract between a mining company and the State and stripped the state and landowners of most of the benefits they could possibly had gotten. Huh? That’s right! In fact Somare handed to the Chinese everything they wanted including a drastic reduction in the state equity. This “agreement” was signed on the 10th of August 2006.

This “agreement” was questioned by many people, groups and organisations including BRG. Basically what was being questioned is how a standard mining agreement could be “amended” to totally disempower the state and the people. Also how in the world could the PNG government take such a drastic reduction in their stake in the mine. And why weren’t the people consulted? One can certainly assume the answers to these questions given the politics in PNG today.

A copy of the original agreement and the 41 pages of Chinese amendments are here: Mining Development Contract 2000 [9MB] MCC 2008 Amendments to Mine Agreeement [8MB]

Have a look for yourselves. As they say “read it and weep”.

So now they decide (7 years later) to sign a “new MoA”. And you know what it says???? You don’t? – Well nobody else does either- yep it was drawn up in Waigani, sent up here for the Circus – not distributed to anyone, no landowners were consulted – and it was SIGNED! How about that for progress. Nope – we are NOT making this up!!!!! How could you?

CIRCUS PARTICIPANTS

The Circus “SIGNING” took place at Jais Aben Resort. Over 700 people showed up (yea we know MCC said 2,000 in the Daily Log (National Newspaper, but it was only 700). Present along with the WORLD CLASS MCC reps, including ZHAO SHIMIN (and their new media camera man) were the husband of Teresa Kas – James who is currently the Governor of Madang; Little Byron Chan, PNG’s Mining Minister whose never found a miner whose butt he doesn’t love to kiss and do what he is told to do by them: Madang’s Mining Officer John Bivi, whose job was that of ring master – making sure everyone found their seats and signed the MoA as quickly as possible: the chairmen from the four Landowners Associations who have been in MCC’s pockets from the beginning but who as Judge Cannings ruled in the MCC Court case DO NOT REPRESENT THE LANDOWNERS. Keep that in mind everyone. Apparently this issue is NOT going away.

Also present was Usino-Bundi MP Anthon Yagama who went on about how wonderful it was the Chinese haven’t abandoned the project (please Anthon – you know as well as we do why they haven’t abandoned the project – and it has nothing to do with helping PNG or the landowners).

The Mineral Resource Development Company (MRDC) and the Mineral Resource Association (MRA) was of course present. MRA’s major contribution was to have one of their staff drop off K25,000 CASH two days prior to the event to used for the “bar bill”. The MRA staff member said if any money was left over – (there wasn’t) – it could be returned to him (we’re sure it could be).

CIRCUS ITSELF

The circus itself, as stated at the beginning, looked like a setting in a bad Bollywood comedy. It was unorganized and Ring master John Bivi’s job was obviously to keep all the LOYAL people near the front of the Conference Hall and everyone else in the back. When questions were raised by landowners (in the back of the Hall) in regards to the MoA, the process, non-consultation of landowners and where was the actual MoA – they were ignored or told to be quiet.

Mr. Joe Koroma was one of the persons questioning the proceedings, suggesting the Lands Titles Commissioners (LTC) should be informed, present and also sign such an MoA. Mr. Koroma suggested the signing be put off until the LTC could be invited. This was ignored and one Sama Melambo (one of the former plaintiff’s who brought the legal suit against MCC until Somare and company bought him off ) told Koroma and others to be quiet and make sure the signing took place quickly. You see Mr. Melambo is a busy man these days (spending his sell out money no doubt) and he couldn’t hang around, he had things to do, places to go, people to meet.

The husband of Teresa Kas was pitiful in his presentation. He had been putting on a show in Madang, along with John Bivi to try and get people to think he was against the dumping of waste in Basamuk Bay. When he was questioned on this he said – are you ready for this? – the Chinese developer (that’s MCC folks) was testing the system, they had taken samples and had sent them to Australia for further tests to be carried out. Huh??? Ah Mr. Kas shouldn’t the results of those tests be released prior to signing an agreement. And is it MCC who should be doing their own tests? Looks like the “new Jim Kas” is no different from the “old Jim Kas.” No surprise there.

CIRCUS REFRESHMENTS

Once they finally got those that were suppose to sign the new MoA to sign then they moved on to the refreshments which was really why most of the people showed up. The “important people” couldn’t be bothered mixing with everyone else. After all they are important people!! So they demanded that Jais Aben have a separate dinner & drinks for them. They numbered 80 and didn’t want to mingle with the people they just bullshitted throughout. They wanted to celebrate how wonderful they are – and on and on and on.

So with the masters of nonsense and bullshit in one area – and the masses in another folks got down to eating and getting drunk. The first signs it was going to get out of hand came early on as big mouths – usually those with the bigger bellies – trying to outshout each other to prove their worth.

The management at the Hotel saw where it was going and let everyone know the party was over at 7:30. After all they had spent the money the MRA bag man brought for the alcohol.

And to show how grateful they were to the police who were making sure things didn’t get too out of hand too early – the “leaders” gave 10 cases of alcohol to the boys in blue for a job well done.

ON THE GROUND

And so as the circus ends and the clowns think they really pulled one over on the people – on the ground its a different story. As ZHAO SHIMIN smiles his way through the bullshit pleasing his masters back home things aren’t going as well on the ground.

Neither with landowners at both Basamuk and KBK, nor with their employees who are apparently becoming more and more “disenchanted” with the WORLD CLASSERS. Also the heavy rains in Madang the last couple of weeks is causing some problems isn’t it Mr. ZHAO???

And thinking with the holiday season with us and no one paying attention perhaps the WORLD CLASSERS can………………….. can what Mr. ZHAO! Be careful. People including your “supporters” and employees are going to hold you accountable -even if the folks bought off don’t.

And lastly dear readers it appears the NEW MoA is being reviewed by some influential people both within PNG and internationally. The fear is yup – the MoA may not be legal. And without going in to detail the word is if people didn’t read or know what they were signing – even the Landowner Companies – who do NOT represent the communities – as stated in Judge Cannings rulings – well then that’s a problem – not just morally but legally.

So stay tuned from up in Madang. And we haven’t even touched on the pollution and its effects in Basamuk Bay.

1 Comment

Filed under Environmental impact, Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

One response to “Ramu Nickel CIRCUS continues at “MOA Signing”

  1. lunging m

    I love this post. Keep up the good work of not only reporting but seems the on going work behind the scenes. Great job. Definitely staying in tune. Sometimes I wish I was one of those high flying lawyers with much experience to take on such companies and the govt for the sake of our people. Still I have a believe we can do It with what is available. I find the main issue is money to engage the best of the best to take on any opposition. The best of the best have a heart to help but unfortunately they too need to meet costs. .

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