Sebastian Hakalits | Post Courier | 21 September 2016
THE Osikaiang Landowners Association Executives has always stood firm on advice that is based on well researched information as they have professional Bougainvilleans advising them.
Unlike all other eight associations that have been established under the Autonomous Bougainville Government’s endeavor to re-open Panguna mine, the SML Osikaiang LO’s suggested process to follow with the PNG and ABG governments with respect to BCL Shares saga.
The SML Executive further stated that their ABG government and the President have taken and have been making so much noise about Bougainville Copper Limited Shares that have been transferred to both the ABG and the National Government.
The landowners speaking through a statement by Chairman Mr. Lawrence Daveona stated that though they supported the Prime Minister and the National Executive Council decision to give 17.4% shares to the Panguna Landowners and the people of Bougainville they revealed that there are a number of issues that need to be discussed and cleared on the process required by both ABG and the PNG Government.
The SML Osikaiang Landowners Association’s views are that at the expiry of the BCA Act (as the case is at present- NO License to BCL) the ownership of Panguna resource is rightly in the hands of SML Osikaiang Landowners under the Nasioi Customary law and that the PNG Government cannot claim any rights over Panguna Mine Resources as a result of Panguna landowners dispute and the Bougainville crisis issue.
The landowners also said one of their other views was that the ABG and President Chief Dr. Momis cannot claim unilaterally that they have rights over Panguna Mine Resources.
Furthermore they said it was unlawful for the ABG to have given BCL ‘Exploration License’ over SML under the ‘ABG Transitional Bill’ on the 8th of August 2014 as it contravenes Section 23 of the ABG Constitution.
The landowners said the ABG Parliament enactment of the ABG Mining Act 2015 does not give our ABG Government and President Momis any right whatsoever to again claim unilaterally our Panguna SML Osikaiang Landowners birth right ownership over Panguna Mine Resources.
This is because they claim that they represent SML Osikaiang Landowners of Panguna Mine in any discussions with the National Government which is unacceptable will not be entertained with anything to do with Panguna Mine resources ownership.
The landowners further stated that the SML Osikaiang Landowners Association Inc. is a legally registered Organization under the Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) and has its own executive and technical advisors who must at all times represent its people as being a separate and independent legal entity.
SML’s executive must pursue its people’s interest in discussions with our ABG Government, the National Government and any Foreign Investor.
The ABG President and the Mining Minister must accept the independent legality of SML Osikaiang Landowners Association Inc. and its executive and as such not confuse our independent stand by including our people’s interest with those of other eight Panguna Mine Affected Landowners Associations.