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06 October 2012

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Thanks for trying to summarise this paper by Simon Kenema. I downloaded the whole article and could see that he used a lot of "big words" and jargon, which the "man on the street" doesn't use.

I can understand what Leonard F.R. is saying in his reply to our comments yesterday.

The more we talk about the Bougainville war and try to summarise what happened the more it should help the other tribal groups now in the throes of watching great mines or LNG concerns develop mining of various types on their land.

The environmental destruction is one cause of tension. As mentioned previously on this blog over the past few years, there are ways to restore old mining areas to some form where the land can be of some economic use.

The "social disruption", another form of tension, must be something that the mining companies, as well as the governments, local and national, have to try to help solve.

There must be ways to see that the mining royalties are handed out in a fair way to all the people who deserve them. If they are not, then that creates tension.

Much education needs to take place so that the local people of the mine area understand the whole concept of ownership of minerals. If the people don't understand what is going on, then that creates tension.

I'm sure that the problems that occurred on Bougainville will reoccur, in some shape and form, in all these other newer mining areas throughout the whole of PNG. Tensions could be great over the whole of PNG.

O'Neil seems a very "laid back" relaxed sort of fellow who looks as though "he has seen and heard it all before" so one hopes that he will visit these new mine areas and listen to the grievances and see that the mines do the right thing by the local people i.e. they stop the pollution of the local water supply, they provide jobs for the local people etc etc etc.

There are a lot of possible problems and tensions that could develop in PNG over the next few years and it will need lots of wise men and women, who are patient, caring and understanding, for the road to be smooth.

Just as in Australia we have "mateship" and a "fair go" as concepts of the Australian way of doing things, let's hope that all the good aspects of the PNGian nature, the good aspects of the Melanesian Way, will overcome these tensions and there will not be another Civil War.

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