President Momis tells landowners to bow before the might of Rio Tinto

A mined mindIn an incredible address to Panguna landowners, made in February this year, President John Momis told communities to forget the crimes committed by Rio Tinto, and bow before the power of this corporate monolith.

Despite the fact Rio Tinto stands guilty of aiding and abetting the murder of civilians, Dr Momis argues that in fact to refuse Rio Tinto reentry into Panguna would be against international best practice. Does international best practice include aiding the slaughter of innocents?

Here are some of the most offensive passages from Momis’ speech:

“Many people have asked, why is the ABG so beholden to BCL?

Now the fact is this. The Bougainville Copper Agreement was made between the colonial Australian government and Rio Tinto. That agreement according to many of us, is a bad agreement. But unfortunately it is the agreement that governs the operation of the mine.

So if we just ignore it, then we could be creating the impression that the ABG does not believe in good governance, does not believe in established international best practices.

But if we, even before we start talking with them, without testing the waters, without finding out from them whether they are genuine or not, decide to either nationalise Panguna mine, or just expropriate it, then we could be up for libel. Remember Rio Tinto is a very powerful company!

Mining companies have their own associations, they dont step on each others toes they may compete against one another, but they have a very strong brotherhood, that has special rules and protocols that they respect.

So my suggestion to landowners and the people of Bougainville is for us to start negotiating, get our mining law passed, and start negotiating with them”.

You can listen to the original speech here:

rio tinto

1 Comment

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

One response to “President Momis tells landowners to bow before the might of Rio Tinto

  1. Michael Luakenu

    I do think that the pngminewatch is jelous and does not want us to progress. They should be more focus on the Highlands and its territorial waters. We should be left alone to solve our problems. This also goes to the Jubilee . There is now too much confusion amongst our own people. There was a meeting held in Nagovis the South Bougainville will take over panguna which is not true. Now we have gone against minig, oilpalm,logging etc. May be PNG wants us to remain just as poor as we are. We are watching when will the panguna Landowners compensate our people who died during the crisis. Some of you are against the Belkol which is a initiated by the special committe support by the people. May be the panguna Landowners have the money if the mine does not open. I now challenge the Pngminewatch to share the burden. ML

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