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02 May 2016


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I must preface the following remarks by pointing out that I am not familiar with the current situation on Bougainville, nor was I ever posted there as a kiap.

That said, I am not in the business of offering gratuitous advice to Bougainvilleans about how they should proceed in the future. For good or for ill, they should be the people to determine this.

It seems pretty clear that John Momis, Patrick Nisira and, no doubt, many other Bougainvilleans are acutely aware of how exquisitely difficult it is going to be to find a viable path towards even autonomy within PNG, let alone independence.

My concern is the intrusion of others into the debate, mostly from the left of politics, who view the situation through a number of different ideological perspectives.

So, we have the Bougainville Freedom Movement which, on the face of the above offering, is busily raking over some very old coals rather than focussing upon what can realistically be done now.

Not that I disagree with the idea that the Australian government stuffed up the Panguna deal and managed the subsequent developments rather badly. No objective observer could reach any other conclusion.

However, after carefully allocating the blame for the ensuing debacle, we are still left exactly where we are now.

Like Mr Nisira, I do not think that trying to fit Bougainville into one or more ideological frameworks is going to help matters much.

The situation is so unique and so fraught with complications that even people with a deep knowledge of the island and its peoples obviously struggle to make sense of it.

Unhappily, there are still people who believe that particular ideologies, be they so-called neo-conservatism or one of the several brands of "socialism" that are still around, are a "theory of everything". History has repeatedly demonstrated that such belief systems are all flawed, often very seriously so.

Any and all of these ideologies fail to adequately explain what has happened on Bougainville in the past, much less what could or should happen in the future. Consequently, trying to apply them is both useless and unhelpful.

It seems to me is that the most helpful posture for Australia right now is to stay right away from Bougainville. Weighed down by history, both good and bad, we carry too much baggage to try to play the "honest broker", whether overtly or covertly.

The Bougainville Freedom Movement and other interested bystanders might usefully do the same thing.

Remembering Moses Havini one year on.....

Today marks one year that our dear friend and comrade Moses Havini passed away on 2 May 2015.

We continue to be inspired by Moses and the love, dignity and freedom Moses had for his people on Bougainville and their right to self-determination.

On 28 October 1993 in Sydney, Moses Havini was the International Political Representative and Human Rights Advocate for the Bougainville Interim Government and said to the people of Australia;

"I'd like to inform you that your tax dollar which has been paying for mortar bombs, bullets and grenades, has been used to turn my island of Bougainville into a sea of blood. This is a plea, that it is up to you, the taxpayers, to question how your money is being used."

There is more to be told about Australia's colonial past and the dirty deals done with mining companies, which still seems apparent to this day.

And 25 years later, still no justice for the Bougainville people.

On 24 June 1991, the ABC TV Four Corners documentary"Blood on the Bougainvillea", was shown to Australian viewers .It is extremely upsetting and very sad but you can view the Bougainville documentary at

The Bougainville Freedom will continue to aspire to Moses Havini's belief that the truth must be known and that his people should be able to freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development as a human right.

We continue on in your wisdom and footsteps Moses.

With great respect,
Bougainville Freedom Movement.

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