Compensate soldiers


THE PNG government has betrayed the soldiers who have fought and died during the Bougainville crisis 20 years ago.
This civil war emanated from the extraction and sharing of Panguna copper mine benefits and not a war for Bougainville to attain political independence.
The Bougainville government has deceived the PNG government by using this crisis as a reason to bid for their political future as captured in the Bougainville Peace Agreement.
PNG soldiers were deployed to provide security to Panguna copper mine and not sent to protect or defend PNG unity.
Bougainville’s dream and vision of becoming an independent nation was well before the crisis and to achieve that, there should be another way around and this is through a diplomatic arrangement and not the use of weapons.
We should have saved those lives if Bougainvilleans admitted the truth that they wanted political independence from PNG.
They have played a smart game by misleading the PNG government to cheaply endorse the third pillar of Bougainville Peace Agreement.
Destiny that will fit to those who have lost their lives is greater autonomy and Bougainvilleans should vote for it to ensure they have greater power to manage and control their own resources while remain with PNG.
This was what they’ve fought for during the crisis.
Independence will only please Bougainvilleans but it will not go down well with the relatives, families who have lost their love ones during the crisis.
To conclude; the PNG and ABG government should compensate those soldiers who have lost their lives without any good reason.

Hanam Bill Sandu,