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18 February 2013


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LFR is a true Bougainvillian who speaks not only for himself but for the people of his province, mainly the new generations that still need to be educated about their past history.

In a nutshell the war did not only cause heartpains but also moulded the people to be creative and gave that burning desire to love Bougainville more.

A classic example would be LFR, he has the heart for his province and those people that cannot be heard.

If we have a lot of peopole like him in PNG mainly the young generations we can move to another level.

Change starts domestically and goes out to the international level. Good job LFR.

Phil - Cargo cult is essentially a mechanism to try and manage the expectation gap. And large scale resource projects do create huge expectations.

But let me not distract from Leonard's excellent piece here.

Will discuss cargo cult in another thread.

Write on Leonard Fong Roka of Panguna!

LFR is a Bougainville history lover and one cannot argue against his strive to get the past known.

That past must not be forgotten to the good of Bougainvilleans not some other aliens!

Bougainvilleans who are growing up must know their past. I enjoy all his articles that sticks mostly to the past.

There are times when he comes in the present and leaps to the future as we can see if we go back to 2011 when he actually entered PNG Attitude.

Bougainville leaders need to preserve his writings in a book form since I see that his works will be of value to the island and people.

LFR - a blistering write!

More of this, please! This is a searching, honest, uninhibited true-speak. If others have a different opinion, they better be as convincing.

Your observation that ABH leaders have reaped the benefits of their position is a sad norm in PNG.

Mineral Resource rich areas in PNG have almost all failed to make good with their budgets. I dare, nay, I pray someone on Attitue can demonstrate otherwise.

Many people could say all sort of things about Leonard Fong Roka, we the young generation of Bougainville still see him and his works as giving something to us his people to guide us to run a better Bougainville in the future.

History is what that created the present so Bougainvilleans must know that to predict the future of the Solomon island of Bougainville as LFR love to call his home.

That's an interesting comment about resource developments and cargo cults, David. You should expand on it further.

I know from what I do that people's expectations are generally out of all proportion when a resource development comes into their area.

'We're all gonna be rich' is a common refrain but the reality is often very hard to swallow.

I imagine the rumours about the mine starting up again are having the same effect, especially on the people who don't remember or ignore the troubles before.

Getting out and listening to the people is exactly what Governor Lera is and has been doing.

PS, well stated Leonard.

Thanks Alex. Nice comments.

Apart from sorcery, one other thing that excites the intuitive mind of PNGans is something called Cargo Cult.

In some ways, large scale resource projects (mining/petroleum etc) have turned into a Cargo Cult of sorts in modern day PNG.

It has sadly thwarted the resourcefulness and the enterprising spirit of our people in a major way.

The people of Bougainville have proved resourceful and entrepreneurial, and I believe it is these two traits they need to develop further for a sustainable future - not hand outs of money from POM or a mine, both of which, as Leonard says, undoubtedly will end up in the hands of just a few who deem themselves entitled.

Communities could be asking, what can we do for ourselves to better our situation? What can we grow, build or sell? What skills or products can we export? How can we work together to build something of which we can be proud, rather than tear each other down with constant fighting and bickering?

I don't have the answers, and there are many more questions to be asked, but it would be good to see them asked. I'm sure some of the answers would be surprising, and inspiring.

Good stuff, Leonard.

It's going to be a hard road for the people of Bougainville.

Of course, they have an excellent example of how not to run a country not far away to the west. Maybe the lessons from PNG can be applied to Bougainville.

I'm with Jeff too - more articles like this one which look to the future rather than dwell too much over the past make good reading.

It would appear that the ABG has much in common with its counterpart in Waigani.

Perhaps the saying, 'You get the government you deserve' rings true in this case!

Leonard a refreshing read. I urge you to write more on topics like this and what you think the future of Bougainville should be or what you would like it to be.

Maybe your ideas and words will one day find a politician and influence his thoughts.

Thanks for this update on what you think is happening in Bougainville.

If other people think differently I hope they will comment.

It certainly paints a bleak picture of this tiny sad island.

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