bougainville independence day02/12/2020
EX-TAOISEACH Bertie Ahern has declared a landslide referendum vote backing Bougainville’s independence from Papua New Guinea. In the meantime, those who campaigned for independence are looking forward. The mine, unused for 30 years and its infrastructure and equipment stolen or trashed, will require a decade and billions of dollars to restitute. Polls will stay open for two weeks to ensure those in remote villages have a say, with a result expected in December. On Saturday morning in Bougainville's main city Buka, at least 1,000 people gathered as polls opened, with scenes of singing and dancing as excitement grew over the possibility of independence. Why are thousands of Indian farmers protesting? Spectators at the scene whooped and cheered, and a group of women broke into song, said Gordon Peake of the Australian National University, who attended the announcement. A former veteran who fought in the civil war, he said he had been working "around the clock" to ensure the vote could go forward -- and now "we got what we wanted.". “Another step before that though will take place here in the PNG Parliament, where the government also needs to approve any outcome.”. Chairman of the Central Bougainville Events Committee and Kieta District Executive Manager Tonny Moera said over the years there was never much emphasis on the celebrations. Gianluca Rampolla, the United Nations resident coordinator in PNG. IT was an emotional day for Bougainvilleans when the results of the referendum showed most people were in favour of independence. The vote caps a 2001 peace deal that ended a brutal decade-long war between Bougainville rebels, PNG security forces and foreign mercenaries. The South Pacific region of Bougainville has voted for independence from Papua New Guinea. However, Peake cautioned that more complex work lies ahead, and that the fight has only been half won. “We should not rush things, we should take our time to ensure a good outcome,” he said, adding that a final result “could be five years” away. The 1988-1998 war had its roots in a struggle over revenues from the now-shuttered Panguna copper mine, which at one point accounted for more than 40 percent of PNG’s exports. Bougainville has voted overwhelmingly to seek independence from Papua New Guinea, with more than 97 per cent in favour of autonomy. “The celebratory spirit around this particular day, I think it demonstrates the maturity of our leadership and the maturity of the people in Bougainville,” Temu said. "That's all.". The referendum is not a determining vote. But the rich mineral resources on Bougainville will not magically transform into a fully integrated and prosperous economy the day independence is granted. The civil war had in part been over a dispute about the mine's management, and some predict Papua New Guinea will be reluctant to lose access to the region's valuable natural resources. Bougainville independence campaigners are bracing for this next step; the copper mine, estimated to be worth $58 billion, has long been a point of territorial contention. " As we celebrate Independence Day for 2019, I want to reflect on the upcoming referendum and the future political path of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. Since French explorer Louis de Bougainville arrived on the palm-fringed archipelago more than 200 years ago, control passed in turn from Germany to Australia, Japan and the United Nations before administration was handed over to Port Moresby. Bougainville has voted overwhelmingly to seek independence from Papua New Guinea. 176,928 votes for independence have been recorded out of 181,067 ballots. November 27, 2019 Bougainville’s Faustian Bargain They wanted to make sure the issue of fighting for independence was put to rest. Bougainville Independence Day From The Guardian, (Australia) 9 September 1998. Bougainville, an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea (PNG), has been inhabited by humans for at least 29,000 years, according to artefacts found in Kilu Cave on Buka Island. On September 1, 1975, the people of Bougainville raised the flag and declared independence as the Republic of the North Solomons. "We just want everybody to respect our people's choice and give us what we want," he said. "This referendum has been on people's minds for 20 years," said Peake. Yet there’s few outward signs of PTSD. Updated 2:37 AM ET, Wed December 11, 2019. Up to 20,000 people were killed in the fighting, with thousands more displaced from their homes. Some remarked that days of heavy rain preceding Saturday’s vote were a sort of “baptism” for a community that still vividly remembers the pain of conflict. Who controls that wealth is likely to be vital in determining whether a newly-born Bougainville succeeds. Joyous voters in the Pacific island chain of Bougainville cheered and sang as they flocked to the polls Saturday at the start of a long-awaited referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea. New Zealand is leading an international unarmed police contingent for the vote, backed by fellow witnesses to the 2001 peace agreement: Australia, Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. The choice before voters is between an enhanced version of the current autonomy arrangements or independence. However, the vote indicated such an overwhelming demand for independence that Papua New Guinea may have difficulty brushing it aside, Peake said. The referendum is a centrepiece of the 2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement, which ended the longest-running conflict in the Pacific since the Second World War. It was an emotional moment for me. The region is named after Bougainville Island, the largest island of the Solomon Islands archipelago, but also contains a number of smaller islands. The results were met with celebration in Bougainville, where the results were announced in the city of Buka. About 207,000 Bougainvilleans are registered to vote on whether Melanesian isles will become world’s newest country. More than 1,000 people waited on Saturday morning to cast their ballots at one polling station in the main city of Buka, as others formed makeshift choirs that stomped through the streets, waving independence flags, blowing bamboo pipes and chanting in chorus. As a Bougainvillean and a Papua New Guinean, I am less concerned about Greater Autonomy, Independence (or the ‘Third Choice’ whatever it might be). The simple fact is… More than 181,000 people voted in the independence referendum in Bougainville, a group of islands that sit on one of the world's largest copper mines, off … “There’s been massive investment in terms of awareness-raising to ensure that the expectations of the voters be managed, to ensure that the understanding of the process be clear,” said Gianluca Rampolla, the United Nations resident coordinator in PNG. The ex-Fianna Fail leader was … Polls will stay open for two weeks to ensure those in remote villages have a say, with a result expected in December. John Momis, Bougainville regional president, cautioned excited voters on Saturday that the referendum was only one step in a long process and urged patience. Mohin said he and other activists will begin building the region's economy, educational system, and health services, in preparation for an independent future. Their choice is between full independence or greater autonomy within PNG. The non-binding referendum was part of a peace agreement forged nearly 20 years ago, which brought an end to a … But in a sign of hopeful cooperation with the national government, Momis was accompanied to the polling station by Puka Temu, PNG’s minister for Bougainville affairs. Next, the Bougainville and Papua New Guinea governments will need to meet and negotiate details for a new relationship. Afghan gov’t, Taliban announce breakthrough deal in peace talks, Kurd vs Kurd: Fears of full-scale war rise in northern Iraq, Al Jazeera Centre for Public Liberties & Human Rights. ", Eddie Mohin has been campaigning for independence for years, and hailed the day as a victory. They are among the poorest in the southern hemisphere and the need for cash to build infrastructure, develop institutions and balance the books “creates an opportunity for actors like China to get involved”, said Jonathan Pryke of Sydney’s Lowy Institute. A referendum, 20 years in the making, is underway to decide whether the small island of Bougainville in the south west Pacific will seek full independence from Papua New Guinea (PNG). Joyous voters in the Pacific island chain of Bougainville cheered and sang as they flocked to the polls Saturday at the start of a long-awaited referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea. The Pacific island chain of Bougainville has begun voting in a long-awaited referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea (PNG). There were failed attempts at independence then, before simmering discontent erupted into a nine-year civil war that left thousands of people dead. Papua New Guinea gained its independence on September 16, but with Australia's assistance, refused to recognise Bougainville's independence. Supporters of full independence are expected to win handily, although without reliable opinion polls, a surprise is always possible. "People have been waiting for the opportunity to cast their vote for a long time. An autonomous region in Papua New Guinea, Bougainville is aiming for independence and elected a president who shares that ambition. The referendum has been a long time coming. More than 181,000 people voted in the independence referendum in Bougainville, a group of islands. The 20-year itch Bougainville has voted for independence, but may not get it The restive province of Papua New Guinea has waited since 2001 for a referendum Asia Dec 18th 2019 edition Women and children wear traditional dress at a referendum polling station in Buka, Bougainville, on November 25, 2019. Buka, Bougainville (PACNews)-- Autonomous Bougainville Government President, Grand Chief Dr John Momis has hinted a possible five year time-line to negotiate possible independence from Papua New Guinea for the people of Bougainville. ... saying it is 'a day of shame' and party has 'failed Jewish people'" The mine is estimated to still hold more than five million tonnes of copper and 19 million ounces of gold – worth billions of dollars at current market prices. But rejection would risk rekindling former feuds and destroying the peace process. “I was watching it live on my phone. “While many are expecting an overwhelming vote for independence, what that would look in terms of building an economy and breaking away from Papua New Guinea isn’t entirely clear yet,” Al Jazeera’s Nicola Gage, reporting from the PNG capital, Port Moresby, said.
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