Bougainville Mining Law resembles England’s 16th-19th century black slavery

PRESIDENT JOHN MOMIS CONTINUES TO DEFEND A BARBARIC MINING LAW!

Mothers and relatives grieve for their lost ones

Mothers and relatives grieve for their lost ones

President John Momis continues to defend the Bougainville Mining Law that is equivalent to the English 16th 19th century black slavery law.

In his various speeches he has so far been sugar-coating hand-picked sections of the mine law. He has not been truthful with the people on many areas of the law, some of which are as backward as English 16th -19th centuries black slavery.

The people expect honesty from the former priest!

If he were a wise leader, he would listen to the critics. It is healthy to allow critical discussions and debates on decision-making policies and laws in any country. Momis has the tendency to dismiss outright critical thinkers’ views. Why does he do that? A leader that has his people at heart and who is wise would listen to other views, surely! His defense of the law and his arrogant dismissal of other views makes him a rather stupid man!

Autonomous Bougainville Government, 26 March 2015… … … Bougainville News: Press Release and Full Speech: NEW MINING LAW A REJECTION OF THE PAST: MOMIS

Quoting parts of his speech. President Momis

The Autonomous Bougainville Government passed a new ‘long-term’ Bougainville Mining Law on Thursday 26 March 2014. In his second reading speech in the Bougainville Parliament on Wednesday, the President spoke of the ‘misery, destruction and conflict’ caused for Bougainville by colonial mining law. He said that in passing the new law Bougainville was ‘rejecting that terrible past’.

He said that the under new law, ‘the rights and the needs of the owners of the minerals will be given the highest level of protection.  In particular, the owners will have power to stop either or both exploration on their land, or the grant of a mining licence over their land.’

He went on to say that if Bougainville landowners do allow mining development ‘they will be entitled to rents and compensation, a share of royalties, proper treatment under resettlement plans and programs, preference in mining employment and business related opportunities, 5 per cent free equity ownership in the mine lease holder, and much more’. …. …. … …. …. …’

The entire population needs to hear the Panguna Landowners’ experiences of almost 40-50 years of grievances some include such grievances as the disproportionate distribution of royalties; today many are having to deal with the fact that they are now truly landless, and this phenomenon is unfortunately a generational curse; various landowners of Panguna now returning to reclaim their portions of land only to find that their original land is 120-130 meters below the surface, which is gravel; poor and toxic land they have now inherit; a desert of a place in the Kawerong and Jaba River system running right into the sea on the west coast of Panguna, etc.

Why is it that President John Momis has never fully spoken nor explain to the people about all the offences and subsequent penalties in the new law that would simply imprison people very much like slaves who were brought to England from the African continent by wealthy English entrepreneurs in the 16-19th centuries?

Lets take for example, an authorised officer goes into a certain village and asks a villager for his name and address but the villager refuses to give the required information, the subsequent penalty is fine of K25,000 and 12 months in jail. What if a simple villager does not have that kind of money, what happens in this case? Does the penalty double up to K50,000 and 24 months in jail? There are many such penalties.

… … … , the President spoke of the ‘misery, destruction and conflict’ caused for Bougainville by colonial mining law. He said that in passing the new law Bougainville was ‘rejecting that terrible past’.

This is truly a shocking statement by a statesman, the head of a government! The current Bougainville Mining Law is vague in many areas, there are many loopholes and this allows the government to take complete control over many things. Both the government and the mining company will not be liable if they were miscarriage/s of the law on their part but the people would. On the other hand, as he, the president and his advisor Anthony Regan from the Australian National University, in the past have argued that the company will be penalised just like the landowners and anyone. This particular situation gives the impression that the law is fair, and that’s the scoop they want the people to believe. I am afraid the law is not fair at all by all means. An ordinary villager with no money at hand to pay a fine of K25,000 and jailed for 12 months is not the same as a multimillion mining company that can afford K1million in at the stroke of a pen.

This is maths from hell!

Here are some examples of the heavy, severe, ‘black slavery’ type penalties (refer to BCL FORCES ITS COLONIAL ARROGANCE RELENTLESSLY ON THE PEOPLE OF BOUGAINVILLE, published 7the October 2015, PNG Mine Watch website).

BILL ACT
Description Description
Part 11/ s303(4) Penalty for certain unlawful gold dealings

Penalty fine not exceeding K20, 000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both fine and imprisonment

Offence: Buying or selling of gold contrary to PNG Central Banking (Foreign Exchange and Gold) Regulation 2000

Part 12/ s320(4) Unlawful Gold Dealings

Penalty – K20, 000 and 2 years imprisonment

Part 12/ s308(2) Confidentiality

Fine not exceeding K250, 000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 4 years or both

Offence: if officer/employee of Department of Mining and Energy Resources, member of BMAC, member of Bougainville Executive Council uses information for personal gain.

Part 13/ s326(2)

Part 13/ s326(3)

Confidentiality

Fine of K100, 000 and 2 years imprisonment (if person discloses information)

Fine of K250, 000 and 4 years imprisonment (if person uses information for personal gain)

Part 13/ s316(2) Power to require name and address

Fine of K25, 000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or both

Offence: failure to comply with request by authorized officer

Part 14/ s332(2) Power to require name and address

Fine of K25, 000 and 12 months imprisonment

Offence: failure to comply with request or gives false/misleading information

Part 13/ s317(2) Power to require answers to questions

Fine of K25, 000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or both

Offence: failure to comply with request

Part 14/ s333(3) Power to require information

Fine of K25, 000 and 12 months imprisonment

Offence: failure to comply or gives information that false/misleading

Part 13/ s324 Requirement for information

Penalty for corporation K100, 000

Individual -K 50,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or both

Offence: failure to comply with request for information

Part 14/ s341(3) Secretary may require provision of information

Penalty K50, 000

Offence: failure to provide information or provides false/misleading information

Part 13/ s327 Offences

Penalty A fine not exceeding K100, 000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 4 years or both

Default Penalty – fine not exceeding K50, 000. May also require rehabilitation of land.

Offence: exploration without authorisation, refusal to provide information or comply with requests, removal of mineral, false and misleading information, obstruction of Warden.

Part 14/ s343 Unauthorised exploration or mining

Penalty K1, 000,000 and 10 years imprisonment

Offence: exploration or mining in Bougainville without authorisation under Act.

Part 13/ s328(1) Offence to unlawfully possess minerals

A fine not exceeding K20, 000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years

Part 14/ s344 Unlawful possession of minerals

Penalty K100, 000 and 4 years imprisonment

Offence: possesses minerals, which are reasonably suspected of being unlawfully obtained.

Part 13/ s329 Offence to receive minerals unlawfully obtained

A fine not exceeding K50, 000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years

Part 14/ s345 Receiving minerals unlawfully obtained

Penalty K100, 000 and 4 years imprisonment

Part 13/ s334 Interfering with operations authorised by this act

A fine not exceeding K25, 000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 calendar days or both

Held: unlawful interference with mining operations

Part 14/ s346 Interfering with operations authorised by act

Penalty of K250, 000 and 5 years imprisonment.

Part 13/ s335 Demand for money resulting in interference, obstruction or threat

A fine not exceeding K100, 000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or both

Part 14/ s347 Extortion

Penalty K100, 000 and 2 years imprisonment

Offence: demands payment from holder of tenement or makes threat to interfere with mining activities

Part 13/ s336 Injury to boundary marks

A fine not exceeding K25, 000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days or both

Part 14/ s348 Interference with boundary marks

Penalty of K25, 000 and 30 days imprisonment.

Part 13/ s337 False Information

Silent on penalty

Offence: provides false/misleading information for tenement, extension of tenement, report, return, notice or attestation submitted under Act.

Part 14/ s352 False information

Penalty K100, 000 and 12 months imprisonment.

Part 13/ s338 Penalty provisions relating to annual rent, royalty or production levy fraud etc.

Penalty: fine not exceeding K250, 000 and treble the amount of annual rent, royalty and production levy, and imprisonment not exceeding 3 years

Offence: willful evasion of rent, royalty or production levy

Part 14/ s353 Evasion of annual rent, royalty or production levy etc.

Penalty of K250, 000 and 3 times the amount sought to be evaded and 3 years imprisonment. Offence: intent to evade or assist another person to evade payment of annual rent, royalty or levy.

Please, explain Mr. President John Momis, the former Catholic Priest!

1 Comment

Filed under Human rights, Papua New Guinea

One response to “Bougainville Mining Law resembles England’s 16th-19th century black slavery

  1. This is a ridiculous law designed by Momis and his cronies to punish land owners with this hefty penalty claws.

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