A journalist’s insights into the war that ravaged her people

behind the blockade

Adam Elliott | PNG Attitude | 25.02.2016

I THOUGHT readers would be interested to know that Veronica Hatutasi has just published a book on the Bougainville crisis, Behind the Blockade.

Veronica is based in Port Moresby and has worked for a long time as senior reporter for Word Publishing’s Wantok newspaper.

The book starts in Toniva, just south of Kieta, as the conflict builds and follows Veronica’s story from there back to Monoitu in the Siwai District of south Bougainville.

Here Veronica stayed with her family until late 1992 when, in August of that year, she was able to get herself and her family to Port Moresby.

The book focuses on her personal experiences in the village as the crisis played out and then, from 1993, on her role as a journalist covering the Bougainville story from Port Moresby.

Veronica gained many insights into the conflict and how it affected the Bougainville people from repeated trips back to the island over the years and her book covers the restoration, reconstruction, reconciliation and peace processes.

Behind the Blockade will be launched tomorrow at the Grand Papua Hotel in Port Moresby.

The book is entirely Veronica’s initiative and I think it is great that she has managed to bring it to publication.

I worked with her through the late 1990s when I was based at Aitape after the tsunami, then for a few more years when based in Madang.

The book is 233 pages long and published by Word Publishing (ISBN 978 9980 89 024 5). It is available from Veronica and you can email her here for further information.


Book on Bougainville conflict aims to plug historical gaps

ABC News | 5.02.2016

There have been a number of books written about the Bougainville Civil War over the years, but the latest work from journalist Veronica Hatutasi aims to plug a gap in the history of the conflict that raged for nearly ten years.

Called Behind the Blockade, her book chronicles what life was like for her young family when the people of Bougainville were besieged by the PNG government.

Helicopters and patrol boats supplied to PNG as part of an aid deal with Australia were used to enforce the blockade after the leader of BRA, the Bougainville Revolutionary Army declared unilateral independence.

Now chief reporter with the Wantok newspaper, it’s taken Veronica Hatutasi a long time to get her book published.

But as the reconciliation process continues 18 years after hostilities ceased, she says people need to know what really happened behind the lines.


1 Comment

Filed under Environmental impact, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

One response to “A journalist’s insights into the war that ravaged her people

  1. Hi Veronica,

    I would love to purchase your book but the link iis not working , so writing to you through this site.
    Please email me ion gcapcm@gmail.com with details of book costs and postage

    Your sincerely
    Freedom Fighter for Bougainville

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