Australian advisor revealed to be behind Bougainville President’s attacks on Panguna landowners

Bougainville President John Momis has been very persistent and vocal in attacking a Jubilee Australia over a report that gives a voice to the marginalized people of the Panguna area. Momis attacks have characterized Jubilee as an interfering outsider. How ironic that we can now reveal Momis’s virulent attacks were written for him by an Australian ‘advisor’ who is paid by and regularly briefs the Australian government…

PNG Exposed

In September this year the Bougainville Voices report was released giving Panguna landowners an opportunity tell their story to the rest of Bougainville and the world.

They spoke with pride about their culture but this then changed to bitterness when landowners from Panguna recounted how their heritage and land was stolen from them by Rio Tinto and their Australian colonial partners. Then when the custodians of Panguna resisted this resource theft their homes were burnt, women raped, and loved ones murdered by PNG troops armed by the Australian government and fed by Rio Tinto.

This story of dispossession and revolution exploded in the media during September and October – up until the report’s publication we had been told that the people of Panguna welcomed the return of Rio Tinto, because it was their only chance to escape ‘poverty’ and develop. Doesn’t this sound like the talk of foreign exploiters, not landowners who shed blood to evict a foreign invader?

brightestbulb_smallDespite once being an outspoken critic of Rio Tinto, strangely the President launched a bitter attack both on the landowners, and the NGO/researcher organisations who helped publish the Bougainville Voices report. Over many long letters he claimed the testimony of those in the report was simply the lies of anti-mining activists in the landowning communities, who had been hand-picked by foreign troublemakers.

All of this venom sounded less like the President and more like the divisive talk of his controversial Australian adviser, Anthony Regan, who has launched attacks on the MP for central Bougainville Jimmy Miringtoro, in addition to former BRA General Sam Kaouna, because both had called him an ‘activist’ working for the Australian government and its corporate friends.

It can now be revealed that these bitter attacks on the Bougainville Voices report were authored by none other than Anthony Regan, President Momis’ so called legal advisor.

You see Rio Tinto’s faithful Public Relations spin doctor Keith Jackson, who has used his popular blog to broadcast these attacks, published one of the letters online. And analysis of that letter tells us who originally authored the document. And who should come up as the author? Not our President, but none other than Anthony Regan.

Regan Letter 2 November

This is a legal expert on the payroll of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade who has helped write mining legislation that has allowed Rio Tinto to hold on to its colonial possessions. This is a man who returns to Australia and has closed door meetings with the Australian government, where he tells Ministers and government officials all about whats happening on Bougainville.

Image: Anthony Regan reports regularly to the Australian government on Bougainville affairs.

Image: Anthony Regan reports regularly to the Australian government on Bougainville affairs.

Australia is responsible for the deaths of many thousands of Melanesians. It is not sorry, instead it is sending its advisers to win back an island it lost through armed struggle. These efforts must be resisted with the same skill and endurance in the political realm that our boys showed in the military realm.

And don’t be surprised if the President now comes out and labels this blog racist. And don’t be surprised if he also claims that he simply dictated these letters to Anthony Regan, who must be one of the best paid secretaries in the world with a consultancy contract of approximately K300,000 which comes out of the Australian ‘aid’ budget.

13 Comments

Filed under Corruption, Environmental impact, Financial returns, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

13 responses to “Australian advisor revealed to be behind Bougainville President’s attacks on Panguna landowners

  1. Linda

    Surprise surprise!!

  2. As an adviser to President Momis, it’s not surprising that Anthony Regan might have proof read the President’s letter. Regan could have written it, but the fact that his name appears as author of the document doesn’t prove anything.

    • Dansi

      Nice try Warwick, but no cigar. If you proof read a document, even make editing changes, it would NOT change the document author in Word. The document’s author is always the person who created the document.

      If you are looking to explain away this abuse of the President’s office by a foreign adviser, you would need a pretty crazy scenario – perhaps Regan created a blank document, saved it, then sent it to Momis for him to write in these disgusting, personal attacks.

      • That’s OK Dansi, I don’t smoke. However, I have proof read documents in the past and to get the formatting right and into a later version of Word, I’ve copied to material into a blank document of my own, which, of course, finishes up with my name on it.

        As I clearly said, Regan might have written it and I’m not trying to prove that he didn’t, but neither can you prove that he did. So you might like to withdraw your accusation, as it’s based on spurious evidence.

  3. Dansi

    So a foreign expert being paid hundreds of thousands of Kina to ‘advise’ Momis is consuming his days with trivial secretarial services?

    And a very basic letter was in need of special formatting assistance, only a foreign legal adviser could provide, as opposed to a secretary on 1/1000th of the salary?

    But really Mine Watch has only confirmed what many in the know, know.

    The President would not waste his time writing long abusive letters. He is many things but he is not a crank. It was simply an Australian settling scores against other Australians who encroached on ‘his’ turf – but what peeves me is the landowners were the sacrificial lambs.

    Their voice has been totally ignored – sad, they speak with profound wisdom. Hopefully we can all agree on that.

  4. Dansi, you sound like the typical conspiracy theorist and you’re entitled to your theories, but to express them as fact could be misleading. However, it does support your views on mining and that’s what you’re all about. I, also, have my reservations about mining, but you and I wouldn’t be having this e-conversation were it not for mining.

    Of course the Panguna landowners are being very cautious this time around and so they should be, but to generalise that all or most landowners agree with your and Jubilee’s position would be yet another deception. They don’t at this stage. Anyway, they’ll be the ones to make the final decision, not Jubilee Australia or any other member of the anti-mining lobby.

  5. Dansi

    You sound like the typical industry apologist Warwick using stupid slogans to discredit people, like ‘you are anti-mining’ or ‘you are a conspiracy theorist’.

    What do you mean by anti-mining?

    I am pro-self-determination, pro self-reliance, pro-culture, pro-environment, pro-peace, pro-Melanesia, pro-Bougainville, pro-balance, pro-justice, pro-family, pro-community.

    And I am against multi-national corporations that help murder communities, destroy environments, break apart families, undermine culture, disrespect Bougainville and generate dependency. Any company like this, I am against, whether their business is mining or making pinball machines.

    So change the record Warwick, the ‘anti-mining’ track is getting real old.

    • Warren Dutton

      Dansi, Tony Regan, could if he deigned to do, rightfully point out that for the past thirty years he has been, on behalf of the people of Bougainville, “pro-self-determination, pro self-reliance, pro-culture, pro-environment, pro-peace, pro-Melanesia, pro-Bougainville, pro-balance, pro-justice, pro-family, pro-community.” I doubt that you will persevere for as long as he has.

    • You’re so sensitive Dansi. Sorry I offended you; I didn’t realise I’d used “stupid slogans”, as you call them. Many people, not just “the typical industry apologist”, use the term “anti-mining” to refer to people who are against (anti) mining. I don’t think many people would consider the term to be a stupid slogan any more than they would consider the term “typical industry apologist” to be a stupid slogan. Indeed, I consider my last message inoffensive and conciliatory.

      Now, what I consider to be stupid slogans are things like “nice try but no cigar” and “change the record”. That stuff’s really corny.

      Anyway, I’m really pleased that you’re not anti-mining per se and from what you claim to be your pros (no, they’re not stupid slogans either), it seems that you and I have much in common. Phew, what a relief! Happy Christmas Dansi!!

  6. Frank Akuani

    LOL. Pro-justice?!? He is a flat-earther! He continues to claim that that there is no evidence connecting BCL to PNGDF war crimes? No evidence, you would have to be blind to overlook the mountains of evidence. For crying out loud their own executives have confessed. But it is easy to endure when the Australians are bankrolling you to the tune of millions of Kina.

  7. Pingback: Bougainville Mining Bill Condemned at Buka Forum | Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

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