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18 June 2019

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An independent Bougainville linking up with the ethnically similar Solomon Islands seems like a logical thing to do but Australia must not be seen to be encouraging such an association.

Kowtowing to the big boys in the geopolitical game in the Pacific would also not be a good look for either Bougainville or the Solomons.

Whether such a link up is practical is another matter.

Papua and West Papua should logically be linked up with PNG but we all know where that scenario would lead.

Your last sentence Keith, could well become prophetic as many have now suggested this is a logical conclusion. Bougainville is and has always been part of the Solomon Islands. It was just split off though colonial map makers in the 19th Century.

The essence of the potential dilemma for the political leaders of both Bougainville and the Solomons is whether they could be crunched back together without too much dyspepsia.

Political reality being what it is, once some leaders have political power, human history says it very hard to give some or all of it up.

From an outsiders point of view, those people living in the southern Bougainville have always had an a free association with their friends in the North Solomons. But then, so do the people in PNG's Western Provence have with Australia's Torres Straight people.

The viability of an independent Bougainville is the real question that could swing the outcome. The question might come down to: Mine or not to mine copper and gold?

Would Bougainville as a separate nation be more likely to reopen Panguna to renew an income stream or would Bougainville as part of the Solomons be pressured to mine Panguna for income for a cash strapped Solomons?

Husat i save? Speaking of which, there are subtle differences between PNG Tok Pisin and the Solomon's Pisin. Clearly any possible integration might lead to some interesting discussions in the future.....

The living standards of both may also play a part in any decision. Then there's the tension between the Malaita people and the people of Guadalcanal. Do Bougainvilleans want to become involved with that problem?

It could come down to having two bob each way. A free association once Bougainville splits off from PNG.

I have lost my email contacts for the PNG Writers so can you help me by forwarding your email to this new email address... jimmyawagl3322@gmail.com

Help me to have your email address and also for Keith and Phil as well.
_________

I have provided Jimmy with Phil and my emails - KJ

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