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13 August 2014

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Kevin - You are right and many of us find it hard, for the leadership of Bougainville also finds it problematic to look back down history lane and put things in order.

For, as Kris once said, Bougainville needs not aid from Australia, Rio Tinto and PNG, but reparation.

My pleasure Kevin, and thank you for the kind feedback (and thanks also to KJ for posting).

The evidence is devastating. Whats more it is vital to framing current events on Bougainville.

People on the ground at Panguna feel BCL is responsible for war crimes. Now it is perhaps for legal scholars to decide whether the evidence presented here and in the book are tantamount to that; but in layman's terms their actions were reprehensible.

I have shared this evidence on numerous occasions with the major news agencies including the ABC, and the Post-Courier; to date, no one has felt that these revelations are either newsworthy, or relevant context to current proceedings (with the honorable exception of Radio New Zealand and Antony Loewenstein).

I am not a journalist, and I can only hope there are good reasons for this omission, I am not aware of. But it is terribly frustrating to see so much essential context left out, that would flip the story on its head.

The naïve side of me imagines hard documentary evidence corroborated by first-hand sources from within BCL, that prove serious allegations long denied by one of the largest and most influential mining companies in the world, would be the very stuff of the 'fourth estate'. Alas no.

And the silence has consequences; it creates the space in which the company and its political allies can negotiate and act without being bound in any way by a historical context that remains seared in the minds and flesh (quite literally) of the land's custodians.

Regardless, the struggle for accountability and justice on the ground will continue, its unheard at the moment, but I hope in the future things will change.

Thank you for this article. Though in Moresby, from beginning to end of this "crisis" (an inadequate word), I know so little.

I am gob smacked that, after an initial posting 12 hours ago, not one single comment has been received. The citizens of Bougainville, I now more understand your angst. A sad, sad chapter of PNG's history.

Kristian thank you for posting and I will find and purchase your book to add to my collection. These are shocking revelations and the sort of thing we used to read and hear about from Uganda.... words fail me....

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