Women have the final say on Panguna

Rorovana women resist Rio Tinto bulldozers, August 1969

A reply to BCL from Bougainville

Although the reports seems to be all positive that BCL claims to be making some headway towards their plan to re-open the Panguna mine, let us not forget that it’s the Panguna women who are real owners and custodians of the land, and therefore they have the power and the final say whether or not the mine can be re-opened or not.

It’s all very well to say that PNG Government, ABG and the landowners or who else are supportive of reopening the mine. But if the women cannot be convinced and allow the mine to be reopened, we are just wasting our time and giving false high hopes to the potential investors.

That’s the basic and fundamental requirement, isn’t it ? We must listen to the women because without their green light, nothing goes ahead unless force has to be used again just like in the early 70s when the Australian colonial administration decided to use the riot squad to beat up the Rorovana women at Loloho Beach when they tried to stop the bulldozers from forcefully taking over their land to build the present day seaport at Loloho.

If we have not learnt anything at all from this very sad past history, than we are simply refusing to admit the truth and ignoring our conscience to do the right thing.


1 Comment

Filed under Environmental impact, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

One response to “Women have the final say on Panguna

  1. Kataha

    I agree that all land in this area is controlled by women of the community and therefore during the time of the conflict it was dissapointing to see after the Breaking of the Spear Ceremony, bythe Panguna Landower Women, that the men still went ahead with the conflict, and discounted what the women’s actions indicated. That indeed is a lesson to be learned.,

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