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25 February 2016


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The ABC Four Corners program covering the Samarco Dam collapse in Brazil will raise many discussions within PNG and comparisons with the BHP environmental performance following the failure of the Ok Tedi tailings dam many years ago.

21 October 2016 marks 50 years since the Aberfan disaster in South Wales with the deaths of 116 infants and 28 adults. It wiped out a generation and the community still bears the scars. The cause was identified as thixotropic tailings (liquefaction).

Despite a myriad of legislation and a veneer of respectability in the form of corporate governance, organizational codes of conduct and corporate social responsibility, the Samarco dam collapse indicates little has changed in half a century!

It is worth quoting one of George Orwell's contemporaries.........

A reasonable estimate of economic organization must allow for the fact that, unless industry is to be paralysed by recurrent revolts on the part of human nature, it must satisfy criteria which are not purely economic! (R H Tawney - Religion and the rise of capitalism, 1922)

I just found out more information about Veronica Hatutasi's book "Behind the Blockade" which may interest others on this forum.

Book on Bougainville conflict aims to plug historical gaps
Updated 5 Feb 2016, 8:33am

There have been a number of books written about the Bougainville Civil War over the years, but the latest work from journalist Veronica Hatutasi aims to plug a gap in the history of the conflict that raged for nearly ten years.

Called Behind the Blockade, her book chronicles what life was like for her young family when the people of Bougainville were besieged by the PNG government.

Helicopters and patrol boats supplied to PNG as part of an aid deal with Australia were used to enforce the blockade after the leader of BRA, the Bougainville Revolutionary Army declared unilateral independence.

Now chief reporter with the Wantok newspaper, it's taken Veronica Hatutasi a long time to get her book published.

But as the reconciliation process continues 18 years after hostilities ceased, she says people need to know what really happened behind the lines.

Congratulations to Veronica.
I look forward to reading your book "Behind the Blockade".

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