THERE ARE A NUMBER OF CRIMES against human rights that Bougainville has been subjected to under the ruling state of Papua New Guinea.
Many Bougainvilleans who search deeper into the problems of their island home are broadly categorising the crimes under exploitation, indoctrination and genocide.
In the many exchanges of discourses we hold daily, I often talk about writing to educate Bougainvilleans to see the fateful trend in which our island is heading.
To me literature is one means to educate the Bougainville people to search into the sources of their problems; or the means to foster irredentism.
Thus I see, as a writer and author, my task for my Solomon Island people is to stand up on the massive indoctrination we are faced with. That is, I feel like dedicating my life to writing and publishing a few more books exploring this hell PNG has and is subjecting us to.
In a 2005 book, Bougainville Before the Conflict, edited by Anthony J Reagan and Helga M Griffin, Douglas Oliver is cited as having referred to Bougainvilleans and Western Solomon [Choiseul] islanders as “the black spot in an island world of brown skins”.
The late Bougainville leader, Joseph Kabui, is cited in Ulukalala Lavaka Ata’s 1998 article, The Bougainville Crisis and PNG-Australia Relations, as saying: “It is a feeling deep down in our hearts that Bougainville is totally different than PNG, geographically, culturally. It’s been separate place from time immemorial. Ever since God created the Universe, Bougainville has been separate, has been different.”
All these Bougainvillean physical features are obvious. Bougainvilleans are black as God created them, whilst PNG people are reddish or brown as Oliver noted.
But PNG’s seven million people do not acknowledge the distinctive qualities of Bougainville’s 200,000 people but rather indoctrinates them to pave the way for exploitation and eventual genocide.
The fate for Bougainvilleans starts from the PNG Constitution. The very first line in the Preamble, “We, the People of Papua New Guinea— united in one nation…” is the foundation of indoctrination of Bougainville people.
Under the real definition of the term ‘nation’ PNG is not a nation but a country of 800-plus nations. Building a country on lies brings disaster and PNG experiences that in the form of corruption, crime and so on.
PNG further enforces this lies on Bougainvilleans through the education system. PNG has an education system that does not respect Bougainvilleans but rather, it is a curriculum that turns Bougainvilleans away from their origins or roots.
Every textbook used in PNG primary schools, high schools and secondary schools absolutely lacks Bougainvillean content; not a chapter in social science textbooks dedicated to Bougainville history, politics, culture and geography.
No textbook has Bougainville symbols and characters simply because PNG lacks the deep understanding of Bougainville society and culture.
Thus I believe my role is to take the first step against this savagery done to my Solomon Island people of Bougainville.
My first book, The Pomong U’tau of Dreams: A Bougainvillean Collection of Poetry (2013), is uniquely Bougainvillean. The moment a Bougainvillean reader sees the cover, he or she knows that the book belongs to him or her; deep inside, the content is all about his people and land.
This book will soon be followed by a collection of short stories, Moments in Bougainville, followed by two completed manuscripts, Brokenville, an autobiography of my Bougainville crisis experiences from 1988-97 and Tales from Bougainville, an anthology of short stories and poems (both scheduled for publication in 2014).
Bougainville is drowning in the tempestuous sea of PNG indoctrination and I am the only one seeing our identity and dignity sinking.
So as long as I live, I will try to rescue my island with a few more books and die a proud Bougainvillean.