The National, Wednesday June 26th, 2013
Bougainville is at the crossroads and what happens from here will depend entirely on the will for the region to raise its own funds, ABG President John Momis says.
Momis, speaking yesterday at the fourth regional forum on Panguna mine negotiations in Arawa, said Bougainville could dream about gaining independence but “independence and economy go hand in hand”.
“How are things going to happen when we do not have the funds to support the Autonomous Bougainville Government, which is the only vehicle that people will use to decide their future through this referendum?” he said.
Momis said Bougainville was independent as it was already exercising the power of autonomy but would have to take on added responsibilities such as defence and its own currency after the referendum.
He said for the government to raise enough funds to sustain autonomy and independence the Panguna mine must be reopened under the proposed policy on mining which will be tabled at the ABG House at the September session of parliament.”
Meanwhile, Meekamui unity government president Philip Miriori said they opposed the reopening of the mine because BCL had no money to restart operations.