Watson is a Research Fellow with the Department of Pacific Affairs at Australian National University. The young Upe men can remain isolated from their communities for several years as they learn about culture, medicine, hunting and other skills. The islands have a population of around 300,000, and 206,731 people enrolled to vote in the referendum. James Marape, who took over as Papua New Guinea’s prime minister in late May, said on June 14 he would prefer Bougainville to remain part of a unified nation, but would listen to the people’s voice and then consult over future options. Voters had two options â more autonomy, or full independence. The Bougainville Referendum Commission has released the final enrolment and voter turnout figures from the autonomous Papua New Guinea region's independence referendum. Part 2 Report and pictures from Ben Bohane. It is becoming a generic, wilted plant in a thriving forest. Last week the election results in Papua New Guineaâs autonomous region of Bougainville were announced. Dr Temu said that PNG will continue to work with Australia and New Zealand to complete the Bougainville Peace Agreement with the conduct of the referendum in October and also manage the transitional period after the vote is taken. The PNG Prime Minister, James Marape, then confirmed the National Executive Council, the cabinet, will hold its meeting there at the same time. At the international level, Australia will be keen to ensure that whatever the outcome of the Bougainville referendum, stability is maintained in Papua New Guinea, if only to counter China’s growing interest in offering aid and economic benefits as it builds a Pacific presence. The people of Bougainville, an island group in Papua New Guinea, have voted overwhelmingly for independence. To come into effect the referendum result must be ratified by PNG's national parliament. We know this from the countless examples of developing countries that have been turned into pariah states by their own Leaders in power. He said the possibility of trouble was “disturbing” and that “we must hope that matters can at least be satisfactorily contained”. Speaker He also thanked the Donor partners, International organizations that observed the polling and the count the UN team, High Commissioners of Britain, Australia, New Zealand and many who were part of the peace process on Bougainville. If Papua New Guinea honors the referendum result and grants Bougainville independence, one of the region's greatest challenges will be establishing its economy. For Bougainville, it could be argued that the post-referendum negotiation process now taking place between the Bougainville and national governments requires an even more intensive communications and community engagement effort. But customary ownership claims – land used for generations by local communities without the need for legal title – remain unresolved and at least three mining groups are in contention, which means an early restart is unlikely. “Will we see ourselves in the long shadows of the dwindling light and the advanced darkness of the evening dusk, or will we see ourselves in the long and radiant rays of the rising sun? Sir Puka said a national reconciliation and another involving former combatants were postponed last month because of the PNG government’s change of leadership. This was conducted by the BRC, the independent agency established by the two governments of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville to conduct the referendum, between 23 November and 7 December 2019. Simon Pentanu MHR GCL : Speaker The genocide next door – West Papuan band spreading message of freedom | Asia Pacific Report. He said that this significant relationship between our three countries have grown over the years and continue strengthen our friendship. Recommendations will be made about whether such a service should continue. There will also be a presentation by the audience researcher who analysed the impact of the service. Callers were able to press 1 to hear information on peacebuilding, 2 for autonomy, 3 for the referendum and 4 for weapons disposal. Bougainville House of Representatives, Congratulations to Simon Pentanu, who has been named on the 2019 Independence Day Anniversary Honours List. A ceremony to announce the results of Bougainville's historic referendum opened with a chorus of the Bougainville anthem. Available at: https://asiapacificreport.nz/2016/03/06/bougainville-faces-mental-health-issues-legacy-from-the-civil-war/ [Accessed 7 Jan. 2020]. A staggering 98% of Bougainvilleans voted for independence from Papua New Guinea in the recent referendum held between 23rd of November to 7th of December. He said he came back from a visit to Bougainville two weeks ago with an “enormous level of comfort” that the former militant groups had given their commitment to the peace process. In late 2019, the people of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea (PNG) voted in a non-binding referendum offering two choices: greater autonomy or independence. The PNG government must decide if it will continue to stand with the global capitalists or with the Bougainvilleans, West Papuans and many other resilient, grassroot communities across Oceania that say NO to colonialism, nuclear testing, climate change, corruptions that lead to mismanagement, and the gambling of their resources, history and future. It is a period when serious negotiations and consultations between the government of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville will begin, based on the result of the Bougainville Referendum. The islands attempted to declare independence during the formation of Papua New Guinea in 1975 – but they were ignored. Hon. Available at: https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/405899/png-govt-urged-not-to-derail-bougainville-referendum-mandate [Accessed 7 Jan. 2020]. In the nearby French overseas territory of New Caledonia, voters rejected independence from France by a 56 percent to 44 percent margin in November 2018. Sir Puka, who has significantly lifted the tempo on Bougainville since coming into the role just weeks ago, said it is vital for all of PNG’s leaders to show their commitment to the referendum process. Conversely, nothing is more certain than the successes and gross national happiness and contentment that follows when elected leaders live up to the oaths and loyalties they swear by and the responsibilities they promise to live up to in office, leading the people from the front. The final say would then go to lawmakers in the Papua New Guinea Parliament. , Damien Dameng – prominent leader of the Meekamui movement in the 1950’s, from the Iran-Pangka Valley in Panguna District – recognized the impact of these “alien invasions” and contamination of life on the islands. 18 Dec 2019 | James Batley. Invisible capitalists, whose whole philosophy is based on Scottish Capitalist Adam Smith’s book “The Wealth of Nations”, are cashing their cheques amidst the slaughter of innocent Melanesian, Polynesian, Micronesian, Indigenous Australian and other ancient people across the world. “The Queen has of course seen your letter and has read it with much interest,” he wrote. Their claims of developing the Pacific Islands are a mere smokescreen for their true ambitions of a regional and global hegemony, as they strategies how to carve up the Pacific region pie. She was very keen to know the work of these peace builders who work in their communities working tirelessly to end violence against women and children and also carry awareness on the upcoming referendum. Coventry University’s Matt Qvortrup was in Port Moresby to speak to lawmakers about possible scenarios after the referendum. There is a widespread expectation that Bougainvilleans will vote in favour of independence in a result that would then have to be ratified by the PNG parliament, where it could face opposition from MPs who fear other provinces could follow. Still, as is well known, the vote is not binding. The Directorate is under the Department of President and the Bougainville Executive Council. Meanwhile, at discussions this week a British political scientist with experience in referenda said if Bougainville chooses independence from PNG it’s likely to be some years before it is implemented. The Bougainville referendum was also witnessed as a celebratory event â defying fears of renewed hostilities. One of the key findings of the second Bougainville Audience Study is the need for continuous awareness in the lead up to the referendum and beyond. The President Momis mentioned the people of Bougainville that despite so many problems they have faced in the past kept their faith for the future of Bougainville as clearly demonstrated by their vote. He also thanked the Donor partners, International organizations that observed the polling and the count the UN team, High Commissioners of Britain, Australia, New Zealand and many who were part of the peace process on Bougainville. It is expected to be overwhelmingly in favour of independence, with some observers anticipating a âyesâ vote of more than 90%. Despite the overwhelming desire for autonomy, Bougainvilleans require political support and good faith from the PNG national government in Port Moresby before a new sovereign state can be established. Jeremy MillerJeremy Miller is a strategic media and communications adviser with over 15 years of experience in Melanesia. This Sunday, a special #60Mins investigation revealing the communist superpower’s soft invasion of Australia’s island neighbours. Nevertheless, the tree is large and full of potential, and outside visitors are intrigued by its uniqueness. Effective government-to-people communications are vital for an informed and engaged citizenry and are essential for the effective operation of democracy. People voted overwhelmingly for independence (97.71 per cent) in what was widely regarded to be a successful process, with an informed and engaged citizenry. It was a clear sign of the separate identity that Bougainvilleans have long maintained. Chand contends that, given limited access to radio, textbooks and other information sources, the utilisation of digital technologies could allow delivery of basic services in Bougainville. John Momis, a prominent Bougainvillean statesman, referred to the Panguna mine as a “cancer cell” in his letter to the company’s managing director. Apart from any foreign aid it may receive, Bougainville’s future prosperity may well depend on whether it can restart the mine, which contains copper and gold worth an estimated $50 billion. The referendum was non-binding – meaning independence won’t happen automatically. Eight group interviews were conducted with local community leaders, women and youths in a mix of rural and urban settings across Bougainville. Pajomile Minaka, from Bougainville’s southern region the 36-year old, who was a child during the conflict , told Reuters he was taking a law course to equip himself to help rebuild his homeland. In replying to Kerr on 28 August 1975, Charteris compared Bougainville to Scotland and the way oil resources drove hope for Scottish independence. For, good governance is one of the major considerations that must be ticked off or crossed when it comes to ratification of the vote. The referendum was approved by the Papua New Guinea government, but the result is non-binding. The greed of the elite is causing great pain in the Pacific Islands in the name of development and those local elites (masters of modernity) whose day to day preoccupation is perhaps about what’s tonight dinner menu at a Chinese restaurant tonight. The region is home to the vast Panguna mine, then the world’s biggest open-cut copper mine, owned by Bougainville Copper Limited, which then had Conzinc Rio Tinto as major shareholder. Hon. And Bougainville Referendum Commission chairman Bertie Ahern urged all sides to recognise the result and said the vote was about âyour peace, your history, and your futureâ and reflected âthe power of the pen over weaponsâ. Agenda three was on the Post Referendum Transition of which many discussions have been made and also looking at the legal issues going forward. Copper Mine Underscores Doubts over Bougainville’s Economic Viability. The simple fact is that two options are already guaranteed, and it is now for the people to make their choice. A majority of voters selected independence, at 97.7 percent of the vote, with less than 3 percent of voters choosing greater autonomy. With 87.4 percent* turnout, voting in the Bougainville referendum â conducted from November 23 through December 7 â concluded with the announcement of results on December 11. “They will need, according to international studies, at least 900 million kina ($390m) a year to rebuild Bougainville as an independent state.” He said independence would also mean “Papua New Guinea will not be able to be politically responsible for an independent Bougainville state”. Rio Tinto gave up its share in BCL in 2016, and ownership now rests with the government of PNG and the Bougainville government, each with 36.4%. We were fighting for our rights, to get rid of all these bad companies and their effects. equest by the BRC to extend the Referendum date by six weeks from October 12th Polling to November 23rd Polling. As co-founding father of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and Vanuatu’s first Prime Minister, Fr. The JSB noted the progress made so far and resolved for the establishment of a Joint Ministerial Task Force on Post Referendum. The people of Bougainville, an island group in Papua New Guinea, have voted overwhelmingly for independence. The funding shortfall emerged early this year amid preparations, overseen by former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, to register the votes of 300,000 people, most of them spread over the main island of Bougainville, nearby Buka and other outlying islands. All Right Reserved. Just because PNG and Fiji have their own parliament house, currency and armed law enforcement does not mean that they are more free or safer than those Papuans who are murdered every day in the hands of Indonesian control of West Papua. So, what are the implications for the delivery of public information in Bougainville and elsewhere in the Pacific? It seems that any significant decision about the fate of a single nation is no longer sustainable in the long run. The fourth Agenda looked at the Restoration and Development Grants in which both governments have been at loggerheads over the calculations for the RDG.  United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP). 5 major news alerts this week ( July 1- 7) on the Bougainville Referendum, 1 : Ahern urges focus on post-referendum peace in Bougainville ( From Irish Times ), 2. In the pre-referendum period, there was a strong focus on informing voters about the two referendum options (independence or greater autonomy) to enhance the credibility and legitimacy of the result and help maintain peace in a post-conflict setting. ” The United States and its Pacific allies have plugged a funding gap that endangered next month’s independence referendum in the Papua New Guinea (PNG) region of Bougainville, a strategic move that also sidelined China, two sources told Reuters. (2018). The â¦ With a projected vote on independence from Papua New Guinea just three months away, suddenly Bougainville is the centre of a lot of activity. Mr. Pentanu will be awarded the Grand Companion of the Order of Logohu (GCL) Conerred with the title of “Chief” for distinguished public service in the senior roles of Clerk of the National Parliament, Chief Ombudsman, and currently as Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. The Bougainville conflict, in which rival clans on the island fought among themselves and with the Papua New Guinea Defence Force, evolved from multiple issues, including land rights, customary ownership, “outsider” interference and migration, mineral resource exploitation, and perceived inequities and environmental damage associated with the rich Panguna copper mine. Our fragmented worldview has created a separation theology and our separated theology has divided our sociology. . 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