Statement from the Bougainville HardlinersPublished by MAC on 2015-09-23
Source: Statement (2015-09-18)
The following is a statement from the Bougainville Hardliners, who are opposing attempts to re-open the contentious Panguna Mine.
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The views, plans and recommendations of the Bougainville Hardliners
18 September 2015
The Hardliners describe themselves as an organized group of Members of the Public, Women, Youth, Community Leaders, Concerned Citizens and Former Combatants who are opposed to mining on Bougainville. They have already put a stop to the Bel Kol between the Landowners and BCL / Rio Tinto.
Here they explain more about their plan for Bougainville and set out their recommendations for the future
1. OUR STAND – (“RIO+20”) PEOPLE-CENTERED SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, towards a world that is just, equitable and inclusive.
2. RIGHTS-BASED SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT which refers to; Social, Political and Economic processes that effectively serve to preserve, restore or create environmental, social and economic conditions necessary for all persons, including future generation, to fully enjoy their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.
3. A RIGHTS-BASED approach to sustainable development that guarantees the achievement of;
- Poverty Eradication
- Transformation of unsustainable consumption and production
- Protection of natural resources by ensuring people’s rights to participate in natural resource management.
To achieve this it is necessary to transform systemic structural imbalances of power in making decisions. And we ask the ABG to take the responsibility of ensuring this.
4. Our stand is as stipulated by the UN charter on VIOLATION OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE’S RIGHTS UNDER THE UN INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS FRAMEWORK;
- ILO CONVENTION 169 ON INDIGENOUS AND TRIBAL PEOPLES (1989)
- UN DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES (2007)
Our plan is to stop anything to do with mining on Bougainville and encourage Agriculture.
1. Agriculture is our choice; it gives all citizens of Bougainville an opportunity to participate in it. There is enough money in it to sustain the Island population 370,000.
2. Mining is only for those who will eat at the table and force us to eat the crumbs under the table like dogs as it now stands in the Mining Law. We will not talk about mining under this law written by Mr. Tony Regan and his crooks in England for BCL and Dr J. Momis. ABG has been pushed by the foreigners driven by greed for the mineral resources found on the land of Ophir, the LAND OF KING’S FINE GOLD. We won’t allow that to happen here with anyone else except the one allowed by the one who deposited gold here.
The Resurrection of the Hardliners
The resurrection of the Hardliners is for the following reasons.
1. The process here has been put on “phoney war mode” under the Peace Agreement according to Chan’s plans. End of war is yet to be declared. Compensation is the tag for reopening of Panguna mine. Full Autonomy is a burial ground of Independence for which the decision on it is with PNG parliament.
2. Our struggle for freedom from a foreign domination has been hijacked. Money, the thing that created the crisis has once again been used through programs after programs under the Peace Process to lull the minds of Bougainvillians forget their past and surrender their future to the enemy.
3. The divide-and-rule tactic has been used right from the beginning of the crisis. Think about creating Resistance from BRA, breaking BRA into BIG and BRA, killing of Francis Ona, breaking up of Meekamui into factions, killing of Theodore Miriung, creating Peace Agreement and commercializing the Process.
4. Situation under foreign control. “Controlled conflict brings controlled change” a philosophy which operates according to the concept that conflict brings change developed by a German called Hegel in the 1800s has been used here. He called it “Ordo Ab Chao” in Latin which means “Order out of Chaos”. It is a philosophy of benefiting oneself out of crisis. The foreigners are now in control of the crisis in favour of their outcome not ours. It has three stages;
4.1 Beginning of crisis. The crisis can be started locally or internationally.
4.2 Control. International control comes in this stage.
4.3 Outcome. The outcome will be in favour of foreigners not indigenous.
With this there is a question on all the programs under the Peace Agreement.
5. For the former Combatants especially, as the main stakeholders, we felt we were sidelined in discussing the Bel Kol between BCL and Panguna Landowners which later turned out to be an window for BCL to set foot in Central. We therefore called ourselves Central No-Go-Zone Hardliners and wrote a letter to stop the Bel Kol. We are waiting for an official reply to the letter saying Yes or No to the Bel Kol then we will decide what to do next.
Under the Julius Chan Plan note the following that are current;
1.1 Peace Agreement a “phoney war mode”.
1.2 Reopening Panguna mine with payment of Compensation.
1.3 Autonomy a burial ground for Independence.
1.4 Clever use of propaganda
2. In Politics
2.1 Order of divide-and-Rule tactics
2.2 Buy off and /or intimidate influential Bougainvillians to reduce their support base and subsequently to kill them.
2.3 Promote division and dissension between “soft” and “firm” elements. Possibly do a deal with soft elements of BIG (ABG) on “partial autonomy”. Result issue of Independence deferred, mined will be forced open, because Bougainville will be subject to PNG laws, opposition to the reopening of the mine will become “a law and order issue”.
2.4 Isolate, marginalized and discredit key activists
2.5 Promote discension and chaos in Bougainville support groups.
3. In economy
3.1 The mine; offer compensation instead of self-determination seek out those prepared to sell their birthrights. Try to split landowners, BIG (ABG) on this issue.
3.2 Offer of services; Using Ausaid, rebuild schools, roads ..etc. Provide services in PNG controlled areas.
Record of meetings so far
1. First meeting was where we looked at;
· Updates on our lawyers interpretation of the mining law that deprive us of our rights on the mineral resources on Bougainville.
· What BCL is doing with the Panguna Landowners with Bel Kol program to open a door for BCL to set foot in Arawa.
In this meeting we decided to call ourselves CENTRAL NO-GO-ZONE HARDLINERS and wrote a letter that took the Bel Kol meeting by surprise and the week-long meeting was called off.
2. At the second meeting we called the members of Central Veterans Office to discuss with them what we were doing and ask for their opinion. They agreed with us but said they would write their own letter in parallel to ours.
The Letter to Halt the Bel Kol
1. We wrote the letter to stop the Bel Kol between the old Panguna Landowners Association and BCL and representatives from all COEs signed it. We distributed the letter at the beginning of the Bel Kol meeting in Arawa on August 17th. They were caught by surprise and the next day they cancelled the meeting and ran away.
2. Our reasons of writing the letter are in the letter. But our main concern is that BCL the culprit of Bougainville war wants to use our culture to make its way in again. And their dealing with the Old Landowners Association is an insult to Meekamui and the whole of Bougainville.
3. The Minister for Mining remained behind and asked us to have a talk with him. We met him at South Nasioi Member’s Guesthouse and told him what we know about him. In the evening we wrote to him and told him to give us his Yes or No to the letter on Bel Kol. To date we are still waiting.
The change of the Hardliners Letterhead
We are now thinking of changing the letterhead to include all Bougainville.
- We will change “Central” with “Bougainville” to read BOUGAINVILLE NO-GO-ZONE HARDLINERS.
- HARDLINERS represents those who are going to stand solid together against foreign exploitation of Bougainville.
- NO-GO-ZONE– represent areas around Bougainville we will not allow outside exploiters enter either on the land, sea, sky or communities.
Our Alternatives and Recommendations we will put on demand
1. We want referendum by-passed with Peace Agreement to discuss only Independence now.
2. Our Economic alternative now is Agriculture; we will refrain from discussing Mining till after Independence.
3. We want the Mining Law re-written, it was written by the multinational corporation EHM without FPIC of Bougainville and it violates our rights.
4. We want Mr. Tony Regan with other Australian advisors deported from Bougainville under the orders the Prime Minister gave recently.
5. We are going to talk to the Central Members of ABG about our demands.
6. We are going to mobilized Bougainville Hardliners against foreign invasion of our land.
7. We are going to talk to the Hardliner Backbenchers in the Parliament.
8. We will push for a political opposition party in the Parliament.
Mr. James Onartoo Mr. Eugene Orinaa Mr. Joe Taruna
The Central Hardliners Executive