Amicable solution sought

The National, Friday July 15th, 2016

BOUGAINVILLE Affairs Minister Joe Lera has called on the National and Bougainville governments to work together to address the issue of Rio Tinto’s decision to transfer Bougainville Copper Limited’s (BCL) shares.
Lera said Rio Tinto’s decision to transfer BCL’s shares was a sensitive issue for Bougainvilleans. If not dealt with transparently, it would affect the peace process  and cause differences at the political level and among social groups.
“The distribution of Bougainville Copper Limited’s shares by Rio Tinto is a very important and sensitive agenda within the context of the Bougainville peace process. As the minister responsible for Bougainville’s matters, the Government and the ABG have very exclusive roles in handling decisions that must support and strengthen the collaborative efforts of both governments towards the peace process in Bougainville.”
Lera said the people of Bougainville had confidence in both governments working together to deliver on the referendum process in Bougainville. Lera said he believed that the issue of Rio Tinto’s decision to distribute BCL shares must be discussed jointly by the leaders of the two governments to reach an agreement that would benefit the Bougainville peace process.
“With respect to both governments’ views on this compelling issue, we must discuss and come up with agreeable solutions in the best interest of the peace process.”
Lera has instructed the office of Bougainville Affairs to come up with possible ways of bringing the leaders of both governments together in a joint collaboration so that the issue of the BCL shares may be addressed.