People gearing up for referendum, says Masiu


SOUTH Bougainville MP Timothy Masiu says the people are gearing up for the referendum in June by taking part in reconciliation and weapon disposal activities.
Masiu, also the deputy Opposition Leader, said public awareness was also continuing.
Officials of the United Nations and the New Zealand government are assisting the people in the weapon disposal programme. Masiu said the people of Bougainville had phrased the motto “weapon free-referendum is ready” as they gear up for the referendum.
A delegation from the Autonomous Bougainville Government is in Port Moresby to discuss peacekeeping matters.
Masiu urged the Government to make sure MPs are aware of what is happening in Bougainville. He blamed the lack of government funding for the failure of the parliament bipartisan committee to visit Bougainville and witness the progress of the preparations.
“While the Government has not addressed it, the people are ready to determine their future,” he said.
On Prime Minister Peter O’Neill telling outsiders not to influence the people on the referendum, Maisu said the only outsiders on the ground were the UN weapons disposal team and the New Zealand government team.
“They are helping us in the absence of the national government,” he said.
“However, I want to assure the people that we the Opposition will address the Bougainville issue when we get into power.”