PERSONALLY, I would like to see Bougainvilleans choosing what’s best for them – referendum is one way but not all.
What many do not see or want to talk about is the divide created by the civil war and its ramifications that have lasted until this time.
I fear something bad is in store following the referendum … it’s either way.
There will be trouble when PNG Parliament ratifies the results and decides not to let go of Bougainville.
There will still be trouble when Bougainville breaks away and lives on its own.
There is so much hatred between each other, given the divide caused by the crisis years between PNG-backed resistance fighters and diehard BRA rebels.
Currently, they are not seeing eye-to-eye, believe me.
I interviewed a young man (named) from Tinputz.
He told me, he was 10 when BRA rebels launched an attack on his village, killing his entire family.
He was rescued and raised by his bubu (grandfather).
He promised to pay back.
One day, he saw one of these BRA rebels at Kokopau (other side of Buka passage).
He chopped the guy, who was fortunate to have escaped.
Such is the situation I am fearing about.
Earlier, when we travelled up past Tinputz, there was a cross along the roadside.
It marked the place where a suspected BRA rebel was killed a week earlier (pay back).
The roadside market there was shifted to a new location.
At the new market site, people talked about what had happened down the road.
There was plenty to buy at very low prices.
The scar left behind by the civil war has reached an unimaginable line and will bear weight on the referendum decider.
Cyril Gare, Via email