ABG surrendering Bougainville to foreign corporations


Chris Baria

Friends, citizens, fellow country men and women. I am here to express my utter dissatisfaction and discontentment with the way ABG and a select group of people are leading us blindly into the teeth of a storm. Some months ago a Mining Law was passed in the ABG House of Representatives. Few days ago there was a blanket lifting of the moratorium. With it we have surrendered our last bastion against the onslaught of corporate might that has taken over democracies through out the world. How strong, how capable and how well resourced is ABG to contain such might?

Many of us think this is some airy-fairy theory. Many of our leaders and people in the village do not understand that the world out their had changed so much while we in the “dark ages” of the crisis. Today, big businesses control much of what use to be known as the “free-world”. There is a new form of government masquerading as democracy where government conspires with powerful corporation to liberalize the economy and the public sector for a takeover by these corporations. It is called “Corporatocracy” Thanks to the Internet where we can always go to sites that give us the other side of the coin so that we are not misled to believe all the lies dish on television, newspapers and other media for the benefit of the government and its cronies.

I am further sadden that the quest for wealth has taken over the initial cause that we went to war for. They are telling us that the crisis was a bad call and it shouldn’t have happened. So what happened to the heroic stance that people of Bougainville took against all odds to defend themselves, their land and environment for the future generations against an unscrupulous mining giant that was tearing up the mountains and valleys leaving communities landless and penniless. We were hailed around the world as the first ever indigenous victors against a world class mining company.

Australian Government sat on the fence hoping that these pathetic poorly armed kanakas would be put in their place. It shamelessly supplied arms and helicopters to claiming that it was part of some defense cooperation program. It was a disappointment and maybe embarrassment for them in the end. All these efforts were for nothing but reopening of the mine at Panguna.

ABG denies (or tries to) that Mining Law and Moratorium lifting are aimed reopening Panguna when we have BCL management singing a different song.

ABG claims that the people through out all of Bougainville have agreed to the blanket lifting of the moratorium. I have no problems with that. My question is, do we sincerely believe majority of our people know what a “moratorium” is or what we mean by “blanketing lifting?” Do they know what they are agreeing to? The Sioux, Apache, and Cherokee indigenous people defeated rather annihilated US 7th Calvary at the battle of Little Big Horn. Today, this once proud, brave and noble people live in Reservations around USA. A people reduced to rubble by a government that they looked up to and trusted after they signed a treaty not knowing what they were doing.

One of the key requirements for referendum is total disarmament. During May 17 celebrations I was not in Bougainville but I am told that people are heavily armed. Assault rifles, grenade launchers and machine guns enough to dissolve the PNG parliament were openly displayed on that day.

So why are this people totting such toys when they should be happy that BCL or whoever is going to come and mine minerals is going fill up their houses with wealth while they seep Champagne on ice by the roadside?

Are these the people who have agreed to lifting of blanket moratorium as we are told?

Over a period of time I have come to realize that life is more exciting when people say one thing and do another. Great novelist sell their work because protagonists are liars. Yes we were led to believe we were fighting to close the mine and for something call independence which allowed us to mind our own business.

Yes we all sacrificed our nice jobs, our salaries, our medical benefits, school fee subsidies and because we looked out the window and saw that we had left our people behind when we got on the bus.

The very people who preached bleached white freedom now have come down with severe case of amnesia. They can’t remember all that “I am for you” messages they the imparted to us.

Just how much money does the Autonomous Region need to operate without politicians dipping their dirty fingers into the national coffers? Have we set up industries that will act as a buffer in our economy when price of copper and gold fall? Are we preparing our people for the advent of mining or are they just going “get in the way” again as usual?

A large number of educated elites support leanings towards mining without broader understanding of it’s impact on people other than themselves who stand to gain through employment or otherwise. We cannot pretend that we are westerners. We come from a world where groups interests are more important than individual. We belong to a extended family, clan and an area or ethnic group. This are the things we must consider before we make decisions that may clash with our way of life.

Seek to find deeper truth, let’s be honest with ourselves, if we are to gain respect from those who seek to do business with us. Maski crawl olsem kuka painim moni na glory.

Thank you.



Filed under Corruption, Environmental impact, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

4 responses to “ABG surrendering Bougainville to foreign corporations

  1. Glen Carpenter

    Reply to Chris Baria.- Friend, you are right in expressing your valid concerns but firstly remember you the people of Bougainville, all Bougainvilleans dictate the future socio and economic development of Bougainville. Your elected officials in ABG are only mandated to do what the people of Bougainville want, not the other way around. If they do not do what you want or are found by proof to be corrupt in their dealings you the people have the right to imprison then and “kick them out of their office” immediately.

    ALL DEALINGS should be transparent, open and easily understandable, not held in secret, with hidden agendas and kickbacks to certain individuals hidden in off-shore bank accounts.

    The new “mining Law” is not what the “majority of Bougainvilleans want- GET IT CHANGED- Do not let some foreign Colonialist dictators “TELL YOU WHAT YOU NEED”.

    Take charge of your future- You have the international rights to govern your own country, make your own laws and live by your own laws. Learn from the past 100 years not just the immediate past 65 years, get together with your elders and discuss your future.
    The collective Council of Elders are all wise men honed by years of experience and cultural knowledge and the ways of the different invaders. Learn from the good and eliminate the bad and rise up to be a people of Power, United in your Common Purpose of Self Determinism for your future.

    You have already won your independence, you are already a Free Nation now it is time to to unshackle the chains of illusion around your minds and all work in unity to develop your great nation and be recognised and traded with internationally under the same equal terms as any other nation.

    You have everything in place, the unity of self-determinism is already established and growing in power, shaping economic development to sustain not only the recognised Government but the future for all Bougainvilleans.

    You mentioned the peace agreement- Know what this piece of paper with ink on it is. It was a compromised solution to the senseless slaughter or each other at that time. Now this time has passed, educate yourselves as the why’s of the manipulated situation, learn the lessons and never let it happen again. “Your men and women of Renown” understand the past and are building your nation to take its place on the world stage as an independent Sovereign Nation in its own right.

    All Bougainvilleans are coming together in unity as “one people”, as “one voice” “Bougainville for Bougainvilleans”

    Any Foreign company that wants to help you develop Bougainville in the smallest way right through to the biggest developments must first understand these basic premises. You are not to allow any foreign exploitation of any of your natural resources, They are yours, for you to determine your suitable partners on your terms.

    This relates especially to the new mining laws amended to what you want and the moratorium lifting to facilitate economic development and trade will find its own level. Again there must be unity, openness and clarity for all stake-holders so that the economic benefits will benefit all Bougainvilleans not just a few.

    Beware of the “snakes in the woodpile” This I mean the wording of corporate documents that take advantage of your ignorance of international trade, The Governments , The agencies and the people who want to work in secret manipulating your minds, doing deals that are not transparent, open and understandable to Bougainvilleans. They are entrapers, manipulators of the truth with hidden agendas and seek to rule over you in ways that you will not understand.

    I summarise by saying, do not sell yourselves short, You have all that you need. You have the resources, the manpower and the intelligence to chart your future. Whats missing is the cohesive unity of purpose as one voice one nation undivided by factions and agendas of the past. This is your time to stand unified as an Independent Sovereign Nation under God

  2. Bougainville Freedom Movement
    BFM Comment, 11 June 2016

    Lifting of the mining moratorium on Bougainville has hoodwinked the majority of people on Bougainville.
    In March 2016, the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG), knew that the decision on the future of the mining moratorium on Bougainville was a major concern and “that there should be wide public debate on the issues involved”. This was reiterated again as stated by Patrick Nisira, Vice President of the ABG in his public leture on 28 April 2016 in Canberra.
    Yet in his next breath, Patrick Nisira advises, “but we don’t have the funds necessary for an extensive public awareness and consultation program”.
    Instead, the decision to lift the mining moratorium was done without the majority of people on Bougainville even knowing, therefore, appears they were deliberately left out of the decision. They have been intentionally ignored on purpose to allow BCL (Bougainville Copper Ltd) and Rio Tinto to return to Bougainville.
    So, if BCL returns to operate the Panguna mine, like it did in the past, will BCL and Rio Tinto be providing payment and compensation for the deaths and destruction it caused under the unfair Bougainville Copper Agreement?

    The National,Thursday June 9th, 2016.

    ONLY time will tell when the Panguna Mine will be reopened after the Autonomous Bougainville Government House of Representatives lifted the mining moratorium in Parliament session on Tuesday.
    Member for Hagogohe Constituency, Robert Hamal Sawa told The National that the decision was done in consultation with the people who agreed that the moratorium be lifted.
    Sawa said the next task was for the Bougainville Executive Council, Bougainville Copper Limited, Government and the Panguna landowners to negotiate on how well the mine would operate in accordance with the new Bougainville Mining Act.
    He said as the lifting was constitutionally amended, one condition of the lifting was for the Panguna Mine to be reopened.
    “We decided that for the moratorium to be lifted and for Panguna Mine to operate again, only BCL will be allowed back because they know the operation back then,” he said.
    Sawa said they did not want to engage another company apart from BCL which did not understand the situation in Panguna. For areas that have minerals, it was up to the resource owners to organise and decide which mining activity either in alluvial or exploration should take place.
    http://www.thenational.com.pg/ ?q=node/109618

  3. For the love of money is the root to all evil

  4. Hardcore ARoB

    Don’t sell Bougainville to the spirit of Greed! You will create another disaster!

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