PM blames ‘system’

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PRIME Minister James Marape has refuted claims that the overwhelming vote for independence by the people of Bougainville had to do with their dislike for Papua New Guinea.
He said yesterday it was more to do with their frustration over the “system of governance”.
“Many in AROB voted for independence not because they don’t like us (PNG),” he said.
“It’s because they are frustrated with the system of governance, which is not correct.
“Since 1975, the system that we have, and the distribution of wealth to the landowners, to the local level governments, district authorities, provincial and national government, has a lot of foul-ups.
“Some are getting more and some are (being) left out. So there is a lot of anger (about) Panguna, which is the same as Lihir (in New Ireland).”
Marape will be in Buka today where he is expected to make a “special announcement” with Autonomous Bougainville Government President Dr John Momis.
Today in Port Moresby, the Bougainville Referendum Commission chairman Bertie Ahern will hand over the writs for the referendum results to Governor-General Grand Chief Sir Bob Dadae at Government House.
He will be accompanied by Bougainville Affairs Minister Sir Puka Temu, ABG Peace and Implementation Minister Albert Punahau, commissioners Robert Igara, Dr Thomas Webster, Patrick Nisira, Ruby Mirinka and Bougainville Electoral Commissioner George Manu.
Public debate on the overwhelming 97.7 per cent vote for independence announced on Wednesday have centred on why so many people want to break away from Papua New Guinea.
Meanwhile David Sharma, an Australian government lawmaker who once lived in Bougainville as a diplomat and helped draft the 2001 peace agreement, said Australia would keep a close eye on developments in its nearest neighbours.
“I’m pleased that the Bougainvilleans have expressed their view in such a clear way, but I would sound a note of caution that Bougainville is an island of about 200,000 people and countries of that sort of population often struggle to take on all the full attributes of a sovereign state,” Sharmer told Australian Broadcasting Corp.
“How this plays out will be a concern. The civil war that started all this in 1988 was initially over a big resource project – the Panguna copper mine – but really because of Bougainvillean separatism or independence aspirations at the time.
“So obviously, these issues have sparked serious civil conflict before and unrest.
“I think it is a time we need to tread cautiously and watch closely and do what we can to make sure the situation remains as calm as possible.”


  • I do not think the ordinary Bougainvilleans themselves know what they are getting themselves into amidst all the hype and euphoria surrounding the prospect of gaining independence and/or being “independent”. Its one thing to become independent but its a totally different ball game when it comes to self sustaining themselves and their small nation-state well into the future given their low population, small land mass, and undoubtedly scarce natural resources.
    Any old tom, dick or harry would gladly welcome the prospect of being independent, however there are always other more mundane considerations that need to be carefully considered and weighed prior to taking that leap of faith into self independence.
    Keeping my fingers crossed they are able to make it all stick together if and when the PNG Government finally gives the green light.

  • is PNG supporting after Bougainville after the declaration of independence ?
    That question needs to be clear to all PNGeans, however those who voted in other parts of PNG , what is the png immigration law stipulated , should they have passports or visa/work permit etc to stay here in PNG. We must have a clear line of boundary in our laws , we must not be lenient , if they are country they must also follow our png Immigration and Constitution of PNG or deported back to Bougainville. Most of these people who marry to Bougainville must have have dual or single citizenship passport. Give them choice, also if they vote for independence, let them move to Bougainville, and fill immigations papers and apply for work permitts here in PNG. Thats what they want, they must go back to Bougainville and apply for Job and work permitt in PNG, NOTHING comes easy.

    That is now what Bougainville want, jobs and security, laws of PNG applies to all foreign employees Bougainvill must be seen the same.

  • Again, again, Bougainvillea will regret on the decision that is made today, you stay strong when you are with PNG. God has declared that PNG will be a righteous nation, cause we are coming into the appointed time, separation is taking place, just like Abraham to Lot………….

  • PM is wrong. It is not the system that made them vote for Independence. Historically Bougainvilleans have regarded themselves as unique and different from the Redskins and wanted Independence. In 1975, when PNG gained Independence, Bougainville also declared it’s Independence from PNG. In 1990 Francis Ona again declared Independence. The provincial and autonomous governments came about because of Bougainville desire for Independence. So PM how could 98 percent vote for Independence if it was because of the system. They have made known to us that they don’t want us, lets shake hands, say goodbye to each other and go our separate ways and still remain friends. Let’s not fight another war.

  • I think the title of this particular news item does not truly represent what the PM meant I n his speech. Mainstream media such as the National must refrain from publishing misleading headlines in their newspapers. It is dangerous and at the same time disseminates wrongful information that is susceptible to wrongful interpretation by the public on an important national matter in discussion.

  • Congratulations to Bougainville on deciding to be Independent to Mama PNG. Ok they have voted to be independent, good, now get with Immigrations Department, Foreign Affairs Department and Border securities to make sure all Bougainville in the mainland PNG and other provinces in PNG to be moved back to Bougainville immediately. If they are working in PNG, then they must have the necessary papers (Visa) to do so. And they all have to have passports to be in PNG, if not, they are all illegal immigrants in this country now and they should be removed quickly. They don’t know what they have voted for, so show them the fruit of their votes.

  • Yeah, it’s now happiness for the Bougainvillians to finally achieve what they have fought for and dreamt of for ages.
    To sum up everything, it’s congratulations to their newly formed nation of black roses and all the best in the years to come.
    Whatever challenges that comes your way will be nothing new but just what every other newly formed countries in the world have faced, went through and gained strength to prosperity to be who they are today so,,, it’s

  • The challenges of nationhood is enormous. Voting for independence is easy but putting it into reality and making it work is a whole another ball game.

  • Congrats, they have made their views known. Bougainville has already created friends with other nations, this is the time they have been waiting for and you will see they people will be flogging in.
    Bougainvilleans in PNG can decade whether to be a bougainvillean or become PNG citizen.

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