Concern raised on referendum outcome


CONCERNS have been raised about the level of financial commitments that the PNG government will decide to support Bougainville if the majority of Bougainvillians opt for political independence from PNG in this coming referendum.
The media interviews of Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) leaders on NBC prior to referendum is all for political independence and nothing else.
There is clear disregard for BRF (Bougainville Resistance Force) and other silent people of Bougainville who supported the PNG government in the crisis to have a fair say for their livelihood and future too.
It will be a real testing time for PNG’s political leadership to safeguard the PNG constitution if the price of lasting peace on Bougainville is political independence and not greater autonomy.
As a government officer serving in Waigani at the height of Bougainville crises in 1991, it was taken as an act of treason against the Independent State of Papua New Guinea by the BRA (Bougainville Revolutionary Army) which resulted in the bloody crises for a decade.
Whatever the contribution by then BCL (Bougainville Copper Ltd) upon the entire country, including Bougainville, was reduced to ground zero over the period of the crises and beyond.
By then other resource projects have picked up to support the PNG economy including Bougainville to date.
Having made those indisputable political connotations for all leaders to understand, I leave it to the turn of events and how the PNG government handles the aftermath of the referendum.
There are 21 provinces including NCD and ABG who share the pie from Waigani.
Whatever is pledged for Bougainville should not be more than any of the other provinces with similar land size and population is the benchmark to go by every year.
There will be serious political questions that needs to act decisively.

Observer NCD