Bougainville. Papua New Guinea press review
A former commander in the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) Ishmael Toroama decided to run for President of Autonomous Region of Bougainville already a second time – in 2015 he came a distant second to President John Momis.
According to Ishmael Toroama, he can deliver the safe environment needed to encourage investors. In addition, Mr. Toroama will focus on the Bougainville Peace Agreement, and the emphasis for him would be on properly establishing the rule of law so the investment can be attracted and an economy developed.
Expects, that Bougainville will go to elections in August after the poll was put back two months due to the COVID-19 State of Emergency (SoE). According to I. Toroamama government’s decision to delay the vote was illegal.
Earlier this week the Bougainville electoral office called on prospective candidates to hold off campaigning because it was causing confusion among the people – the government’s acting secretary, Thomas Raivet. Nominations don’t open until next month.
An Australian human rights group is re-assessing its strategy as it tries to convince the owners of mining giant Rio Tinto to repair the damage done by its Panguna Mine in central Bougainville, which is closed for three decades. The Human Rights Law Centre, working with Bougainville landowners and the Catholic Church had sought to raise the matter during Rio Tinto’s recent shareholder meetings in Britain and Perth. Written questions were submitted to the meeting in London but the response from Rio chairman, Simon Thompson, was the line the company has used now for a number of years: Rio Tinto acknowledges the concerns held in Bougainville but that, they believe, the company was fully compliant with the standards that applied at the time.
The Autonomous Bougainville Government member for Tsitalato constituency and presidential candidate Fidelis Semoso has urged Bougainvilleans to continue to remain as one united family. Mr. Semoso made the call at a small ceremony where he delivered food supplies including rice and garden produce to the Bougainville Atolls community residing in Buka.
F. Semoso was helped by North Bougainville women’s representative and deputy speaker in Bougainville House of Representative Francisca Semoso and member for North Bougainville William Nakin.
The three leaders donated food items to more than 1000 people from the Atolls – Mortlock, Tasman, and Fead Islands – who are residents of Buka. The fresh garden produce were donated by the villagers of Tsitalato constituency – Malasang, Hangan, and Lonahan villages.