The National Tuesday, March 27th, 2012
THE people of Panguna and the Mekamui government have expressed gratitude to the Japanese Government for building 15 bridges for Bougainville.
The Japanese last week officially handed over the 15 bridges built under the first phase of the Japanese bridge project.
Panguna Landowners Association interim chairman Michael Pariu and Mekamui Government of Unity president, Philip Miriori said they were grateful.
Pariu said the people of Panguna felt a special connection with the project because it was initiated and directly negotiated by one of their very own most prominent and highly respected leaders, the late Joseph Kabui.
“The people of Panguna are very proud because this is a historic achievement by one of our own leaders, we can closely associate with this very important project,” Pariu said.
“Such an achievement we feel should clearly demonstrate what the leadership of Panguna can really offer to change the course of history and open a new chapter for Bougainville in terms of its post conflict infrastructure development and economic recovery,” he said.
Miriori said they hoped the bridge project could be seen as start of more good things to come to the
people of Bougainville from the government of Japan.ese Government.
“After completing all other bridges in south and west coast Bougainville under Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the project, the people of Panguna would like to call on the Japanese Government to seriously consider upgrading and sealing all our main trunk roads throughout the region because for far too long we have been tricked and given so much lip service by other more traditional donors in the region whose policy is to simply maintain the roads year after year so that we can keep going back to them and be heavily dependent on their foreign aid with their so-called advisors who eventually end up being the main beneficiaries of such aid.
“It is hoped that the recent meeting that our President Chief John Momis with the Japanese ambassador may pave the way for the rehabilitating of the Kokopau-Arawa-Buin highway, which should then be named Yamamoto Highway,” the Panguna leaders said.