Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Nexus between Bougainville crisis and National Alliance Party crisis: Panguna Mine


BOUGAINVILLE Copper Agreement (BCA) was entered into between Australian Government and Rio Tinto Zinc subsidiary Conzinc Rio Australia in 1969.
Many Bougainville leaders and people objected but the United Nations had wanted transfer of government rule to Port Moresby.
A major economic project was needed to underpin a new nation’s economy. So was born the Panguna mine.
In 1974, only two years after mine production, Michael Somare led a team of young nationalist leaders in John Kaputin, John Momis and others to renegotiate the BCA.
Then after further 14 years new generation leaders from Panguna mine led a revolt on Bougainville.
It took 10 years of war for Bougainville leaders to make a stand.
A special regime for Bougainville was agreed to in 2001.
The significance of this Agreement was that Bougainville Government would be responsible for mines on Bougainville.
However, in 2005 National Alliance government enacted the Mineral Resources Authority Act 2005 that in essence took back the power the government of Bougainville had.
Now Autonomous Bougainville Government is lost and confused.
Somare and Momis are now on either side of the mining power divide on Bougainville.
In time PNG will come to know Somare well.
At independence he led Pangu Pati to national fame.
In the last 10 years of his political career he gathered a group of leaders who formed an alliance.
An alliance is not an entity at law.
 It is a group of individuals coming together to share common interest.
In 2002 the National Alliance Party was born.
 It was not out of necessity.
Rather it was out of convenience.
Pangu Pati had young leaders who resisted Somare leading it again.
He formed National Alliance Party and destabilised Pangu Pati.
Now he has destabilised the National Alliance Party.
By appointing Sam Abal who is not a deputy leader of National Alliance Party as the deputy Prime Minister, Somare has clearly rejected the deputy leaders of his party.
Somare’s leadership is painted with leadership of lust for power.
Power play politics Somare used as his way of neutralising and ejecting leaders with potential Prime Minister material.
PNG is proud to have St Michael the Archangel as its Patron Saint.
He led an army of angels to defeat Lucifer in heaven.
Now he will see PNG being free of political power play and denial of development for all.
God bless PNG.

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