Tag Archives: Lawrence Daveona

Women protest against Panguna reopening

Women marching around Arawa Town to say ‘No Mining, No BCL!’

Loop PNG | 15 June, 2017

Mothers in Central Bougainville yesterday protested against the reopening of the Panguna Mine.

The women, supported by youths, men and children, were disputing the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), proposed to take place in Panguna tomorrow (June 16), between the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) and Panguna landowners. This will see Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) return to reopen the Mine before June 2019.

Panguna landowner, Mrs Bernadine Gemel Kama, said they have voiced their concerns to the former Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association (SMLOLA) chairman and his executives because they are the ones who want to sign the MOA with ABG. However, they have done this without the consent of the womenfolk, who are culturally the true landowners.

“If the ABG leaders are wise, they will not talk about reopening the Panguna Mine because a lot of bloodshed has happened because of the mine,” she stated.

“As a landowner in Panguna, I want everyone to know that it is only a minority of people, especially men, who want to reopen the Panguna with BCL. All of us do not want BCL to ever come back to Panguna and mine. If they want to talk about mining, talk about it after independence, not now,” she said.

Youth representative, Robert Baranangko, said he and other young men supported the women because they were not aware of the MOA.

He said Bougainvilleans should have been informed about the decision that the ABG was doing to reopen the mine.

He said the ABG was treading on dangerous waters to talk about reopening the Panguna Mine with BCL, when everyone knows that the blood of 20,000 plus people are on its hands.

He urged the leaders to hear the voice of the women, who are owners of the land, and as a young man, he does not want to see a second crisis happen again in Bougainville.

The peaceful protest march saw the crowd carry a big banner stating ‘No BCL, No Mining,’ and smaller posters reading ‘Do not dig my land’, ‘Women own the land’, ‘Don’t create another bloodshed’, ‘BCL not welcome in Panguna’, ‘Agriculture is the way forward for Bougainville’ and ‘We own the land’.

The march ended at the office of the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association in Arawa, where they voiced their grievance to the former SMLOLA chairman, Lawrence Daveona. 

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Proposed Panguna mine reopening protested

A GROUP of women in Central Bougainville, supported by men and children, staged a march to protest the planned reopening of the Panguna mine.

The signing of an agreement is to be between the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) and the Panguna landowners. It will pave the way for the Bougainville Copper Limited to reopen the Panguna Mine. The deadline is before June 2019.

The women are members of the Panguna landowners. They marched to the office of the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association in Arawa where they met former chairman Lawrence Daveona and his executives.

Panguna landowner representative Bernadine Gemel Kama said they raised their concerns with Daveona and his executives because they were the ones who wanted to sign the agreement with the ABG without consulting the women.

She warned that the Panguna issue would cause division among the people of Bougainville.

“As a landowner in Panguna, I want everyone to know that it is only a minority of people especially men who want to open the Panguna mine,” Kama said.

“All of us do not want BCL to ever come back to Panguna and mine.”

Youth representative Robert Baranangko, who joined the march with the women, said they were not aware of the agreement to be signed.

He said there was obviously a lack of consultation.

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Panguna: ‘MiPela Kilim Yu Dai – Prelude to a Guerilla War’

Panguna pollution

New Zealander details Panguna involvement 28 years on

Dateline Pacific | Radio New Zealand | 11 November 2016

In 1988, before civil war broke out in Bougainville, New Zealander Martin Ward was there, leading a team studying the impacts of the contentious Panguna copper mine.

Panguna had been operating for about 20 years and generating a lot of money for Rio Tinto and the Papua New Guinea Government but doing little for the people of Bougainville, especially those around the mine.

People living there had been complaining for years about the damage caused but had been ignored.

Mr Ward, a trained geologist who describes himself as a poacher turned gamekeeper, had established a company in New Zealand that could look at all the effects of mining.

He says it was because of this work that he was brought in by the PNG Government to make an assessment of Panguna.

Nearly 30 years on Mr Ward has written a booklet detailing his experience. It is called ‘MiPela Kilim Yu Dai – Prelude to a Guerilla War’ which is Tok Pisin meaning ‘We will kill you.’

It comes from a threat made to the group by Francis Ona, who was to go on and lead the separatist faction during the civil war.

He spoke to Don Wiseman about the work his team undertook.

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Bougainville’s Momis dismisses Panguna opposition

john-momis

MOMIS: Lawrence Daveona doesn’t represent the landowners of the SML [Special Mining Lease]. He speaks for himself

Dateline Pacific | Radio NZ | 26 September 2016

Bougainville’s president says the claims of a dissident landowner leader are irrelevant as the PNG province aims to get majority control of Bougainville Copper Ltd.

BCL had operated the Panguna mine and the chair of the Panguna Osikaiang Landowners Association, Lawrence Daveona, says his group are the rightful owners of the mine site and the company itself.

This comes after Rio Tinto gave away its 53 percent shareholding and walked away, claiming it was under no obligation to do anything about the damage caused by the mine.

Panguna had been the catalyst of the province’s destructive civil war.

Bougainville’s President John Momis wants the majority shareholding although the Papua New Guinea government has given its Rio shares to the landowners.

Mr Momis told Don Wiseman most of the landowner groups from around mine, Mr Daveona excepted,  back his government’s push.

JOHN MOMIS: The landowners, more or less unanimously, except for Lawrence Daveona, who doesn’t seem to agree with anything, and he’s totally outnumbered. There’s only one person – there’re two people, who are against the landowners decision to say that the 17 percent the national government wants to give to the landowners, should go to the ABG, which is the legitimate government, because they believe in the new mining law of Bougainville in respect of the shares and benefits of the landowners are much much better than in the PNG mining law. Yeah the landowners are supporting the ABG and they are saying they are satisfied that the shares should be divested to the ABG.

DON WISEMAN: Yet Lawrence Daveona, he represents a critical group doesn’t he, right around the mine itself, and if you haven’t got these people onboard then isn’t any prospect of that mine opening and resolving this issue, isn’t that, well, it is not going to go anywhere is it?   

JM: Well Lawrence Daveona doesn’t represent the landowners of the SML [Special Mining Lease]. He speaks for himself. The landowners of the SML fully support the other landowners in their stance that the shares should and must be given to the ABG, which, in accordance with its mining law provisions, effects equitable distribution to the people, the landowners affected by the Panguna mine.

DW: Alright. So when do you think all of this is going to be resolved. When do you think the ABG will effectively become a majority owner of BCL?

JM: That will depend on how willing the national government is to dealing with the ABG. And if not, our position is clear, and I have stated this consistently in the past, that should they refuse, we will invoke the provision in our mining law to disqualify them, disqualify the national government from operating in Bougainville. Then we will go for international tender to ask any other developer who may be interested.

DW: After all of this angst over mining you must be thinking that if the critical thing is getting an economy going, that you walk right away from it and focus on other areas, like farming and tourism.

JM: Well we are doing that although not much is being said. Our strategy, we have adopted a multi-dimensional approach now. We are going to look at investment in agriculture, in tourism, and downstream processing, whilst we address the Panguna mine issue. There are other mines of course we could be looking at, but as a government we cannot let the landowners of Panguna, who have been exploited by Rio and the PNG Government, and decided to dump them. Walk away from them. As a government we have a responsibility to protect and promote nothing but the interests of the landowners. We are duty bound, in a way, to still fight for the landowners, while we look at other options of generating revenue for a government which is being starved by the national government of even its own legitimate, constitutionally guaranteed entitlements.

DW: In terms of the legacy issues, for the environmental and social destruction, there is a very real chance that nothing is going to come from Rio, so how confident are you that you are ever going to actually have the resources to be able to do anything about that?

JM: Well we may not persuade them, because I think they [Rio] are so morally bankrupt. They are so power drunk that they don’t want to come and address [what are] legitimate issues as far as the government and the people of Bougainville are concerned. Rio make billions, so did the PNG Government. So both Rio Tinto and the PNG Government have a real obligation to address the legacy issues. But be that as it may we are going to embark on an international campaign against Rio and make it known to the world what Rio did to Bougainville from a mine that they made billions out of.

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Panguna mine LO group propose steps

panguna mine pit

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.

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ABG AusAID Advisor, Anthony Regan, Slams Central Bougainville Leadership

Anthony ReganIn an extraordinary break from his ‘neutral’ role as Australian aid funded adviser to the ABG, Anthony Regan has launched an extensive attack on elected leaders from central Bougainville in an Australian journal, Security Challenges [see link below].

According to Regan no-one on Bougainville opposed to Rio Tinto for its past misconduct has pure motives, they are all in the pay of backdoor players!

He claims Lawrence Daveona ‘the executive of the  Panguna Special Mining Lease landowners association, has come under the  influence of an adviser [David Martin] from the United States. They too support Panguna  re-opening, but oppose BCL, mainly on the basis that the adviser claims to  be able to raise the approximately US$6 billion need to re-open the mine,  which would permit the Panguna landowners to own the mine lease’.

Regan has also suggested that the central Bougainville MP’s concerns over environment and landowner trauma is nothing but a trick. He argues, ‘the Member of PNG Parliament for Central Bougainville, Hon. Jimmy Miringtoro, wants the Panguna mine to re-open, he favours his own candidate company to replace BCL’.

Not finished, Regan also goes after the Me’ekamui Government of Unity – ‘The Me’ekamui Government of Unity, based at Panguna, also opposes the re-opening of Panguna, mainly because in the absence of large-scale mining there, the leaders have been entering, or attempting to enter, a range of agreements with foreign interests, in which they have purported to grant long-term rights over minerals in various parts of central Bougainville’.

It does not stop there. According to Regan, the only ones who are pure of  heart in their criticism of Rio Tinto are OUTSIDERS – but he claims, these outsiders are too stupid to realise they are being used by the backdoor players to help rob Rio Tinto of its Panguna gold.

He argues,  ‘From early 2013, when public discussion first emerged about ABG development of “transitional” mining legislations, a curious and perhaps to some extent unwitting “alliance” developed between the outside mining interests and their Bougainvillean partners, on the one hand, and PNG and Australian activists on the other’.

He suggests, ‘none of these activists [critical of Rio Tinto] have long and deep connections to Bougainville, nor detailed understanding of the current problems and pressures facing Bougainville, they have perhaps unwittingly developed alliances with outside interests seeking to get control of mining and mining revenues for their own benefit, and contrary to the interests of Bougainville’.

This narrative created by Regan which claims outsider critics of Rio Tinto are pure in motives but thick, while all Bougainvillean opponents of Rio Tinto, are on the payroll of backdoor players, is an insult to all those who fought and died fighting Rio Tinto for reasons OTHER than money. He doesnt understand land and culture are worth more than money.

Will the ABG President finally come out and condemn these attacks on his constituents and colleagues?  Enough is enough!

Download: http://www.securitychallenges.org.au/ArticlePDFs/SC%2010-2%20Regan.pdf [350kb]

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Bougainville: PLA out- Osikaiang in?

The Panguna Landowners Association (PLA) has gone quiet lately in its activities and the Bel Kol initiative has reached a complete standstill. What is currently in undertaking with this landowner association is unknown.

Lawrence Daveona

Lawrence Daveona

On the other hand, there is the rise of another association called the Osikaiang Landowners Association (OLA). Seen in commentaries on this blog, the person at the fore of this association is non-other than former chairman of Panguna Landowners Association Lawrence Daveona.

Also, Michael Pariu and Lawrence Daveona are not working together as it seems, for the former still promotes BCL and the latter has now become a complete adversary.

What is now clear about these two associations is that PLA is still dealing with Bougainville Copper Limited; however Daveona’s OLA seems to be looking elsewhere. So what is going on? Though both associations stand for the reopening of Panguna, OLA is tracking a different path from PLA.

David Martin

Dr. David E Martin from M Cam, picture taken from Youtube video in his visit to Panguna

The question is; who is OLA working with now? And why? Are we going to hear of a new player coming into Bougainville to meddle with the region’s affairs, as BCL is currently doing? Why not throw in a few names and see where these individuals stand with regards to these associations. Take Dr. David Martin from M CAM, a consultant from the United States who was in Panguna 2 years ago (2012), did a survey of the mine area and released a report on it. It is understood that Mr. Daveona was working closely with Dr. Martin at that time. Assumedly, let us throw in a company that works closely with M Cam, what about Hydromine? Hydromine is a company more or less involved in the line of work as Rio Tinto. That is mining off-course! And M CAM does negotiations for Hydromine, both are US based entities. Hydromine is owned by billionaire tycoon Peter Prieger. So, are we seeing a new player being called in by OLA to rival Rio Tinto’s BCL?

The assumption may be an off the hook good for nothing piece of waste of time writing, however, as stars tend to connect constellations, the assimilation of this is that there is actually something going on with the fact that Mr. Daveona has parted ways with PLA, and through his OLA, been up to some things that people on the ground are not aware of. So what is going on is entirely up to one’s speculation, but the fact that the intention has not deviated from the original one (mine reopening) the speculation should not be ignored.

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