Mekamu’ui welcomes PPP to B’ville

National

MEKAMU’UI hardliners have welcomed the return of the People’s Progress Party (PPP) to Bougainville.
In a meeting, last Sunday at Aropa, in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, the Mekamu’ui followers invited PPP founder and former prime minister Sir Julius Chan and Parliamentary party leader Ben Micah to a reconciliation ceremony that would try to put to rest crisis-related issues between the party and the people of Bougainville.
The gathering was a PPP awareness meeting at the residence of former Bougainville Revolutionary Army commander Sam Kauona at Aropa village and was attended by paramount chiefs from the Kieta district.
Kauona and his wife are financial members of the PPP.
They said that although Sir Julius participated in reconciliations in Buka and Kavieng, he and PPP must reconcile with the people of Central Bougainville because that was the nerve centre of the Bougainville conflict.
Although they regarded Sir Julius as “enemy number one” for his part in the Sandline issue, they said they had come to realise that Sir Julius had embraced and continued to fight for changes to mining legislations, which was the core issue of the Bougainville conflict.
All the chiefs, including former politician, David Sisito, said PPP may have been founded in New Ireland by a New Ireland leader, but it became an established political party in pre-crisis Bougainville.
They agreed that PPP policies placed emphasis on changes to mining legislations which is the key issue being pursued by the AROB.
Party policies were also geared towards the grassroots people, they added.
A number of chiefs who spoke made reference to the achievements by member for South Bougainville as an example of a new crop of leadership backed by PPP who were moving South Bougainville and urged people in Central Bougainville to unite under PPP in order to make Central Bougainville progressive as well.
The meeting noted that after 40 years of absence from Bougainville, PPP is now making a comeback in Bougainville.
Sisito said elected MPs must have the support of a political party in order to bring about changes, adding the party that will fight for Bougainville’s cause was PPP.
South Bougainville MP Timothy Masiu attended the meeting in his capacity as the regional party leader for Bougainville.
The meeting, described by one chief as historical.

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