For a decade, Bougainville fought foreign exploitation so it could join the world of nations upright and proud and independent.
As the people began to build that dream in the aftermath of the war, President Momis was living in China building a different dream, one which would see Bougainville become a Chinese colony in everything but name.
Momis returned to Bougainville with visions of bustling Chinese metropolises operating outside local laws, in what are known as special economic zones (SEZ). As the NGO Act Now! has warned ‘SEZs are tax free enclaves where businesses are also exempted from normal labour, immigration and environmental laws’.
Momis openly declared that in return for economically annexing the island via the SEZ mechanism, China would be offered all Bougainville’s rich resources. Here is how Momis put it to the ABC:
‘You need, I presume, a lot of money (for an SEZ) and I think chinese capitalists, or Chinese investors, would have that kind of money. We would provide as partners the rich resources that we have’.
There is one problem, the people of Bougainville are the slaves of no one, regardless of their power or ethnicity. An ‘angry Momis’ [see story below] is now calling on his compatriots to bow down to the Chinese, who he claims are the most ‘powerful country in the world’.
Powerful they may be, but powerful enough to dispossess Bougainville?
Many have come, and many have failed already…
Tom Kathoa | New Dawn
The President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Hon. Chief Dr. John Momis has issued a stern challenge to people who continually criticize the presence of foreign investors in Bougainville.
In particular, the president was referring to the Chinese Investors in the region who face stiff challenges and oppositions from people both in the region and outside of Bougainville.
President Momis says, China is the most powerful country in the world in terms of business.
He said America is doing nothing to compensate Bougainville for its damage done during the Second World War and here we have the Chinese to help us raise our economy being criticized for this.
The president was supported by his Economic Development Minister, Hon. Fidelis Semoso who challenged the people of Bougainville to create a conducive economic climate to entice foreign investors into the region.