Concerns have been raised by Jubilee Australia over the Bougainville Mining Act, legislation which was written by the corporate outfit Adam Smith International from their London office, which is just a short walk from Rio Tinto’s headquarters.
Shortly after this those concerns appeared on this blog site, President Momis issued a press release slamming Jubilee. Jubilee originally earned the President’s anger when their 2014 report brought to light landowner voices from Panguna that seriously undermined the credibility of claims made by the President and his Australian advisor, on widespread local support for Rio Tinto’s return.
In Momis’ most recent attack he alleges: “With reference to my letters to you dated 26th October, 2nd November and 1st December 2014, on behalf of the elected Autonomous Bougainville Government, I am deeply concerned by your failure to have the courtesy of responding to the issues that I raised with you, the questions that I asked you”.
Momis continues “you and the organisation you head are demonstrating shameful degrees of ignorance and arrogance” . The President even alleges Jubilee has acted illegally in publishing the report, a worrying sign of Momis’ growing ambition to criminalise all forms of dissent (e.g. the new mining law criminalises a range of landowner protest actions, including the removal of marker pegs and obstructing bulldozers, both of which are now punishable by prison terms).
In response, Dr Kristian Lasslett who was involved in the 2014 report stated on Bougainville News in response to Momis’ claims,
“This is simply not true – three letters have been sent to the President of Bougainville by Jubilee Australia. The first letter is dated 26 October 2014, the second letter is dated 18 November 2014, and the third letter is dated 6 January 2015”.
Indeed, Jubilee’s response to Momis has even been online since 27 October last year!