Why Momis is Beholden to BCL and Rio Tinto


ACT NOW! Special Correspondent in Bougainville

To the President of Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Bougainville Copper Limited [Rio Tinto] is not a bad company after all. Despite empirical evidence proving unquestionable involvement of the company in un-shameful acts in sponsoring terrorism on the innocent, this does not waiver the region’s CEO to look elsewhere in the bid to revive the region’s economy before independence. Dr. John Momis remains satisfied in bringing in what he calls the “better devil”. And there is no doubt that this move is the most unpopular among the population in the region that is now heading to its tenth year of autonomy.

And the President’s reason for working with this “better devil” goes back to a colonial act where BCL is mandated land rights over Panguna and other prospective areas; yes that’s right the Bougainville Copper Agreement! This act to Momis is the very reason why BCL should return. It seems the dear president is not going to quit stooping low for the mining company. In the Inaugural Forum for Panguna Landowners, this is what the president had to say:

“Many people have asked ‘why is ABG so beholden to BCL?’ Now the fact is this, the Bougainville Copper Agreement was made between the colonial…the Australia 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 ah…the…the ah impression that the ABG does not believe in good governance, does not believe in established international ah…good ah…international best practices…”   (President of ARoB, Chief Dr John Momis, addresses the Inaugural Forum for Panguna Landowners, 2014)

And there we have it, putting “international best practice” ahead of the peoples’ interest. What makes the ABG president think that people need Panguna to reopen remains unknown.

And it does not stop there, the guarantee of a POSSIBLE compensation by the company for the past is conditioned upon the reopening of the Panguna mine, and the president’s reason was “if you kill the duck, it won’t lay eggs”. Apparently, the duck Dr. Momis is referring to is BCL, so instead of calling on the company to be liable to its involvement in the past, the president is more than willing allow an operation that the people themselves removed from the island to come back and dig the peoples’ riches in order for POSSIBLE compensation to be paid them.

There is no doubt the president is content with pleasing foreign interests at the cost of his peoples’ land and environment. The president’s arrogance is so obvious, as he labeled the work of agencies and other non-government organisations revealing his government’s cover-up as “mercenaries acts”. It has become evident of the president’s intention, there is no way he is letting this issue slide, no matter how much opposition is being voiced throughout different media outlets both social and mainstream.

What will become of the region if the better devil is given the green light to return via a greedy, inconsiderate and inconclusive minority?



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

5 responses to “Why Momis is Beholden to BCL and Rio Tinto

  1. pui nirai

    Sounds like the same old ruminations of the much maligned, despised, ignored and banished lot from the now defunct bougainville freedom movement in australia. No doubt those that read this will be emboldened to further support Momis in his second quest for the Presidency. Those that do not read stuff like this, well it doesn’t matter does it? because it doesn’t even raise a ripple. If this article is published to dissuade voters away from Momis, the backlash from this will ensure it will have the opposite effect. There are times when it is better to hold your breath and put your pen away and rest your mind at peace than to invite ridicule and scorn from Bougainvilleans who know better not to ridicule their own leaders no matter how much they disagree with them.

  2. anathema678

    Thanks pui nirai. Couldn’t agree more. The rumblings of those who are anti-development, anti-peace, who like conflicts to continue forever because waving protest banners adds meaning to their dull lives, are turning would-be listeners off their bigoted, offensive, boring messages.

  3. Dansi

    LOL Pui and anathema, what hollow people you must be. You are so bereft of spirit you really believe this is written by outsiders. Come home one day, meet those who fought off Rio Tinto, watch the pride with which we work the land and run our communities. See women who are strong custodians and men who will not witness their families ravaged by foreign invaders ever again. See people who wont have their wisdom questioned by those with empty degrees and accolades. Momis can be voted president of the universe, he cant erase our victories.

    • Ana Thema

      Good for you Dansi. They say laughter is the best medicine. Hope it helps you. While not denying that BCL’s presence caused all kinds of problems, the rebellion, in the form it took, did more damage to Bougainville and Bougainvilleans than BCL ever did.

  4. People of Bougainville. Bougainville is for Bougainvilleans first and foremost. Bougainvilleans must Stand United as a cohesive force to challenge any decisions made by a few on the future of their Kingdom. Today you stand challenged on 2 issues, Firstly the upcoming elections, Be wise whom you choose to stand for your area- 1 question to be answered from the heart- I/is he/she running for parliament to satisfy my own greed/ my own region is my heart for every Bougainvillean and the future prosperity of our Nation.
    The second is the upcoming Referendum. Question, Do we want to be ruled by the same colonial forces that Lied to us, stole our resources and engineered the destruction of Bougainville- No must be your answer. You have your wisdom with your Council of Elders who have grown through the problems of the past and do have the courage and wisdom to move your country forward into a prosperous future.
    Bougainvilleans take not, you have very good friends in high places willing to help you succeed as an independent sovereign Nation free from all colonialism.
    On the subject of Mining, ” Its better the devil you know rather that the devil you don’t know” This saying was invented by the colonials to blind the eyes of those that listened but did not understand the statement. It Means – forget the past and let me rape you again. DO NOT make the mistake, THE LEOPARD has not changed it stripes at all, just doing things differently but the outcome is the same. To Get the facts- look up the company and see what atrocity that they are still causing in Africa, PNG , Western Papua and the list goes on.

    You have within you to take control and make the right decisions to do your own mining, on your terms with loyal supporters bigger and better that the devil you know.

    Bougainvilleans CAN stand on their own two feet if they unite as one– Remember the colonial tactics is to divide and conqueror as the did to you before- wake up – be aware and voice your united stance for the future of your beloved nation. Your wise elders have a safety net in place.

    There is an old saying,”Truth reveals itself” in other words, the heart decisions made and expressed, reveals the true character for all to see and discern. Discern wisely and know that you are not standing alone

    Our prayers are with you all

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