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07 October 2014


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Leonard Roka

Our problem, as Bougainvilleans, is not the re-opening or not of Panguna mine but of getting free from Papua New Guinea.

Bougainville suffers exploitation, indoctrination and genocide in this political status quo.

And for my wantok, Simon Pentenu, 'character assassination' is what this article portrayed. Of course. And this is trait of weakness to be a balanced by broad minded leadership from an elder of your stature.

But from all these comments here, and credit to Dansi Orerupeu, I see your skin has grown too deep over time.

Furthermore, we cannot let go of the past mistakes, which the current ABG leadership tends to be doing.

Our politics today is all to 'please PNG' who is the ruler behind the three killing agents of our Solomon Island of Bougainville and Bougainvilleans that are indoctrination, exploitation and genocide and not to pursue the right to be free that has cost us lost of lives and property since 1988.

But I feel your generation is not the generation that can let go the tether from the problem our northern Solomons faces for you are entangled in the past.

Vikki John | Bougainville Freedom Movement

Bougainville “...let not outsiders pit us against ourselves”. Excuse me, but aren’t BCL and Rio Tinto the outsiders that are pitting you against yourselves in Bougainville, Simon Pentanu?

Firstly, I would like to thank you Simon Pentanu for acknowledging me for the Jubilee Australia report “Voices of Bougainville”. I am over the moon!

“Voices of Bougainville, Nikana Kangsi, Nikana Dong Damana (Our Land Our Future) is a truthful and well researched report and I feel elated that you think it was part of my doing! Many thanks.

Simon Pentanu and whoever helps you with your research, you are totally wrong! Actually, I had nothing to do with the fabulous report by Jubilee Australia. Guess you should get your facts straight before accusing me, don’t you think?

As a very dear and respected friend of mine from Bougainville, who I sent the “Voices of Bougainville” report to, replied to me by email and said, “Congratulations to Jubilee Australia report. Momis and chair lady of BCL set up landowners association are great liars......The report is the truth of Panguna reopening. I give my endorsement and blessings to the committee. Don’t give up team. Vikki you too don’t give up.”

So Simon Pentau, whilst you now have included me as an instigator of the “Voices of Bougainville” report so incorrectly, I would like to know the following:

Why do you insist that “Jubilee is at the forefront and is in this for exposure and publicity, not for the benefit of Bougainville”?

You are not making sense. Why would anyone in their right mind in Bougainville want BCL and Rio Tinto back on Bougainville?

Have you read Paul Quodling’s book he wrote in 1991? The book is titled “Bougainville: The Mine and the People”.

In the back of the book are the appendices and at Appendix C you will see correspondence from the then Father John Momis (now your current President) to the author of the book Paul Quodling, the General Manager of Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) at the time. Would you like me to copy and paste it here for you? I will attach it at the end of my comments.

At page 90 of the book , John Momis says, “... The BCL mine has forever changed the perceptions, the hopes and fears of the people of Bougainville. You are invaders. You have invaded the soil and the places of our ancestors, but above all, your mine has invaded our minds.”

So, why now, has John Momis changed his mind about the Panguna mine? It does not make sense.

On page 91 of the book, John Momis again stresses his opposition to the Panguna mine. He says, “You have been so determined to take our earth and send it to Europe and Japan as quickly as possible, that you have created an operation on a scale which makes it overwhelming.

Because of that massive scale you pour fifty million tons of our earth into the Jaba River every year. Because of that massive scale, you have made such massive profits that our economy has been reduced to colonial dependence.”

So again, why do you want BCL back in Bougainville?

Even the response from Paul Quodling (BCL) to John Momis is definitely worth a read particularly the last paragraph. He certainly was a well regarded company man, or shall I say in today’s terms a capitalist corporate thug who had no respect for the environment or the people on Bougainville.

Yes, the shareholders of BCL and Rio Tinto were his friends, not the people of Bougainville. Money was all they thought about and still do until this day.

Yes Simon, I again thank you for your regard for me, so now I copy and paste your quote:

“There’s little I can say about Vikki John. I believe she’s relatively harmless because I understand she rarely expresses her own views, assuming she has some. Apparently, her function is to cut, paste and disseminate any anti-mining material she comes across, in order to alert poor, ignorant Bougainvilleans to the dangers of doing further business with notoriously nasty mining companies.”

Yes Simon, who needs a knife and fork? Use your fingers or chopsticks. Who needs gold or diamonds? If only those who wear it were aware of the devastation to the environment and humanity to have the gold or diamonds, they would soon realise they should not wear it.

In honour of my friends who died in Bougainville, thanks to BCL and Rio Tinto.

Peace be with you.

Dansi Oerupeu

I stopped reading this after the first two paragraphs. I just saw your attack on Clive Porabou. Man you have a hide, suggesting he is in bed with Noah Musingku. This comes from you, the man who made a mountain of money from U-Vistract. Aung bai yu tok wanem lo disla?

Not all us mountain people are as stupid as you think. For instance I was reading a book by Dr Patrick Gesch, and here is what he said about you and U-Vistract, and I quote "When the Ombudsman of PNG, Simon Pentanu, received K90,000 in an early return on his investment, it was a disgrace because he must have been aware of the nature of this pyramid scheme".

A disgrace, wise words.

And you talk about birds of a feather flocking together. Who do you flock with Simon?

Tell us about some of your friends, who pay you the big bucks (well, besides Noah Musingku). Mipla lo hia save long ol samting yu save mekim baksait lo mipla ol pipol lo hia.

Tell us about your consultancy work for Bougainville Copper Limited. Yes, your good friend Lawrence Daveona has told us all about it.

And tell us about your deal with Godfrey Mantle and the Mantle Group, that Queensland businessman who has grabbed 12,500 hectares of Bougainville.

You are certainly flying with an interesting flock Simon. BCL, Noah Musingku and Godfrey Mantle. You are a real nationalist.

Michael Lorenz

On their website, Jubilee invites us "to pray for long-term solutions to the global poverty crisis".

Fair enough I suppose. But their actions appear to belie their noble aspirations.

I mean, we won't have much progress in that direction if there is no copper to be had. Metals like copper are vital if we are to find solutions to the "global poverty crisis".

Given these realities, one has to ask why Jubilee appear to oppose the re-commencement of mining when it could be argued that mining is part of the solution to the problem that they ask us to pray about.

Next question... is Jubilee, therefore, part of the problem? :-)

By the way, I don't know that you can blame the socialist ideology for Kristian's obsession.

Socialism does not oppose mining per se, in fact many of that ilk have been in the mining business, and Trotsky, being a man of action, would have not have questioned the need to produce metal.

I think one needs to look elsewhere for the source of the bee in his bonnet.

Dansi Oerupeu

Usage of assumptions in this piece is just epic. And yet you cannot disprove the report's findings.

Still need to know where Momis and ABG got their 97% support from. Oh, wait a minute, isn't that a lie? Care to shed some light on this Mr Pentanu? Mining kasiampa!

Tampara Kamuno.

Peter Comerford

Congratulations Simon on a well written, thought provoking article, highlighting what many of us have always been aware of in our involvement with PNG: the opinionated 'experts', the naive 'do gooders', and the 'wannabes'.

I am no expert either and only spent several years on Bougainville.

I wonder historically how different things may have been if women (who I am led to believe were the landowners through matrilineal lines), had been the signatories on the original lease.

The women certainly seem to have a voice during the peace process.

Barbara Short

Thank you Simon for this brilliant summing up of all these expatriate "do-gooders" who really haven't got a clue.

I'm glad to hear you have a Bougainville Facebook Forum. I'm an Aussie Sepik who enjoys being part of the Sepik Region Development Discussion Forum on Facebook.

I've been a member for about a year now and learnt a lot how PNG works today.

Fortunately I have some of my ex-students, "senior Sepiks", who often comment on my comments and try to help me understand the situation today.

Aussies need to understand that PNG society includes some who are very well educated and many who are not so well educated and are still struggling to come to grips with the modern world.

They all have a vote on election day. The people who get elected to run the country include a few who are well educated and have plenty of savy plus many who are quite the opposite.

PNG will only survive if it can make things work with this mix of people.

I realise that you may not like to be lumped in with "PNG people" but I taught at Keravat NHS for 7 years so I naturally lump Bougainville in with PNG.

I apologise for Musinku - he was there after I left! I didn't teach him economics.

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