bougainville referendum result

I look forward to talking more about my vision for this process when I travel to Bougainville later this week”, the Prime Minister said. The slaughtering of Papuans every day by Indonesians on the other side of this imaginary colonial border (PNG and West Papua) is being undertaken in the name of “national unity and integrity.” There is no unity or integrity in killing your fellow beings. [1] The vote is the result of an agreement between the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government. The Bougainville Affairs Minister, DR. Puka Temu this week  acknowledged the important tripartite relationship that the three countries, Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea have developed over the years. [5] The referendum was delayed again to 23 November at the request of the Bougainville Referendum Commission to ensure the credibility of the referendum roll so more people can vote, most of the promised funding not having been sent by the national government. Regular polling finished yesterday (Tuesday) at 6pm, with only the submission of postal votes to continue to Saturday 7 December, 6 pm. We are all facing the same existential threats under the current global world order. [i]   Hermkens, A.-K. (2015). Sources with direct knowledge of the arrangements in Bougainville told Reuters that China was not blocked from helping fund the referendum, but neither was it invited to contribute when the shortfall emerged. Sir Mel Togolo, the BCL chairman, told the company’s annual general meeting on May 2 that continued uncertainty about Panguna’s tenure remains a big challenge. After two weeks of voting, the results are finally in: More than 98% of Bougainvilleans have voted in favor of independence. “They will need, according to international studies, at least 900 million kina ($390m) a year to rebuild Bougainville as an independent state.” He said independence would also mean “Papua New Guinea will not be able to be politically responsible for an independent Bougainville state”. The island has had its own autonomous government since 2005. Dates for this weeks BRC Bougainville Roadshow announced: Information and progress updates from the Chair Hon Bertie Ahern and Commissioners. ” 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. The people of Bougainville, an island group in Papua New Guinea, have voted overwhelmingly for independence. Flip The Script: Nora Vagi Brash, Which Way Big Man? In an attempt to control protesting against the mine operations, the PNG government used foreign-supplied mercenaries to massacre thousands of Bougainvilleans, with the support of the Australian government. The end of the fighting led to the Bougainville Peace Agreement, the creation of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, and the promise of a non-binding referendum on independence. But mining has been crippled by the war – and the distribution of revenue was one of the factors behind the conflict. The fourth Agenda looked at the Restoration and Development Grants in which both governments have been at loggerheads over the calculations for the RDG. A crowd of people in Bougainville watching the handover of the agreed definitions for the two questions for the Independence Referendum. Election officers also traveled by overnight boat to get to some of the five offshore atolls and visited a police lockup to collect votes from prisoners. A number of initiatives were undertaken by the Bougainville government and other partners to overcome people’s lack of access to traditional mass media (radio, television and newspapers).”. “China is everywhere. Bougainville Referendum News : As we celebrate Independence Day today for 2019, Simon Pentanu MHR GCL reflects on the upcoming referendum and the future political path of the Autonomous Region of #Bougainville. Agenda three was on the Post Referendum Transition of which many discussions have been made and also looking at the legal issues going forward. Bougainvilleans want to defend the earth while mining companies like Panguna mine are indifferent to the suffering of people and destruction their land, all in the name of progress and development. 4.With a projected vote on independence from Papua New Guinea just three months away, suddenly Bougainville is the centre of a lot of activity. Simon Pentanu. This is the essence of my message today. In the pre-referendum period, there was a strong emphasis on the need for widespread voter education to enhance the credibility and legitimacy of the vote itself, and to maintain unity and peace. This indicated that the strategy fell short of its promise, which reduced uptake of the service. All BRA and all Bougainvilleans practiced this holiness… Our spirits had to be holy, so God would get rid of Satan [the mining companies} …And God helped us…”. It is hosted by the National Research Institute of Papua New Guinea as a record of an historic national event. Australia, China, and Bougainville’s Choices. This article is based upon a paper published by the ANU Department of Pacific Affairs (DPA) as part of its ‘Discussion paper’ series. They’ve taken the bark, the leaves and the branches, until the tree no longer resembles its former greatness. [online] Available at: [5]. All across the Pacific region of Bougainville, people have voted in a historic referendum to decide if they want to become the world’s newest nation by gaining independence from Papua New Guinea. Regional, International Eyes on October Referendum. “If the BRC thinks they need a little more time because of the credibility issue on the referendum roll then the Joint Supervisory Body (JSB) will be the body that will make the final decision. Interviewed by Anna-Karina Hermken, Author of “Marian Movements and Secessionist      Warfare in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea” (November 22nd, 2005). [6]. Last week the election results in Papua New Guinea’s autonomous region of Bougainville were announced. See Part 2 for full details or Download Document Here. When the overwhelming result for independence was handed down, people spontaneously started singing it again. “It gives them at least the belief that they could stand on their own two feet and the wish to do so, so that they can keep the wealth of their territory to themselves.”. Also, the hotline had been used in places where people had no access to radio and very limited access to other forms of media. [2]  RNZ News (2019). For example, as part of their emergency response to COVID-19, both the PNG and Bougainville governments are operating free-call telephone information hotlines for their citizens. The results will be announced in mid-December.,,,,,,,,, Bougainville Referendum Results : ‘We are reborn’: Bougainville votes 97.7 % for independence from Papua New Guinea, Bougainville Referendum News : Regular voting now complete with overwhelming vote expected in favour of independence but the birth of a separate nation may take many years to achieve, Bougainville Referendum 23 Nov News : Sixty Minutes visits Bougainville to ask why is China on the move in the South Pacific? Of the 181,000 ballots, almost 98% were in favour of independence. For now, a lack of accommodation inhibits tourism. “If Bougainville successfully secedes, Papua New Guinea would be weaker economically, and hence likely to be more pressing, so far as Australia is concerned, for economic support.”, “Bougainville secession would also increase the possibility of instability in Papua New Guinea in other areas.”. She said that the work Sr Loraine  is doing must be supported by donor partners. Pacific island of Bougainville is moving a step closer to potential independence from Papua New Guinea as preparations begin for a long-promised referendum later this year. In late 2019, Bougainville held a A team of ANU researchers observed the 2019 Bougainville referendum and found it offered valuable lessons for future elections. For, good governance is one of the major considerations that must be ticked off or crossed when it comes to ratification of the vote. Bougainville President Fails Victims of Brutal Resource Conflict. The … Adriana SchmidtAdriana Schmidt is the Director of the Autonomous Bougainville Government’s Directorate of Media and Communication, the agency responsible for whole of government communications. She was very keen to know the work of these peace builders who work in their communities working tirelessly to end violence against women and children and also carry awareness on the upcoming referendum. As a Bougainvillean and a Papua New Guinean, I am less concerned about Greater Autonomy, Independence (or the ‘Third Choice’ whatever it might be). His movement believed that colonial administration, mining and churches were thieves full of trickeries, and that Bougainville must be restored. (2018). The legacy of Damien Dameng, the father of Meekamui. Complicating the voting process were the limited communications throughout the region and the traditional way many people live, including not owning any photo identification. He also thanked the Donor partners, International organizations that observed the polling and the count the UN team, High Commissioners of Britain, Australia, New Zealand and many who were part of the peace process on Bougainville. Although the PNG government was against independence, and does not have to accept the result, the huge mandate will make it hard to ignore. The first Greater Autonomy for Bougainville and the other full Independence from Papua New Guinea. [6] Australian Strategic Policy Institute analyst Karl Claxton said there is a wide expectation Bougainville will vote to become independent. Sir Puka, who has significantly lifted the tempo on Bougainville since coming into the role just weeks ago, said it is vital for all of PNG’s leaders to show their commitment to the referendum process. [7]  United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP). The giant void in the middle of the island, left behind by the Panguna copper mine, represents the tragic loss of 20,000 innocent lives – Bougainvillean mothers, fathers and children killed during the civil unrest. While China gives most of its aid to PNG and Fiji, the region’s two biggest economies, Jubilee’s Fletcher says China giving aid to an independent Bougainville was “feasible.”, Geoff Hiscock is a Sydney-based journalist with a focus on international business. Diplomat Brief Both in Bougainville and elsewhere in PNG, there is a large gap between ideal and actual service delivery. ”  Experts believe people the 250,000 to 300,000 people of Bougainville will vote overwhelming in favor of independence ahead of the other option, which is greater autonomy. It seems that the overwhelming outcome of the referendum on Bougainville, with over 97% of eligible voters supporting independence, surprised even seasoned observers. The ABG President, Chief DR JOHN MOMIS was lost for words after the results were declared by the Chair of the Bougainville Referendum Commission this afternoon. Under the terms of the agreement, the referendum is nonbinding and will be subject to consultation after the vote has taken place. We are reborn.”. People voted overwhelmingly for independence (97.71 per cent) in what was widely regarded to be a successful process, with an informed and engaged citizenry. The Bougainville referendum was also witnessed as a celebratory event – defying fears of renewed hostilities. Likewise, its population would be one of the world’s smallest – slightly smaller than Pacific neighbour Vanuatu, and slightly bigger than Barbados. The gender of the voter could not be determined, Outside the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, in PNG provinces, and Solomon Islands and Australia. Agenda two was on weapons disposal, after the joint Weapons disposal secretariat briefed the JSB on the progress of the Me’ekamui Weapons disposal program, the JSB resolved and noted that the weapons disposal work must continue, and also touched on the National Reconciliation ceremony that must be held between the National Government and the ABG and also between the veterans. [online] Rio Tinto gave up its share in BCL in 2016, and ownership now rests with the government of PNG and the Bougainville government, each with 36.4%. Results announced on Wednesday, had the case for independence backed by 97.7 per cent of the 206,000 registered voters. So, what are the implications for the delivery of public information in Bougainville and elsewhere in the Pacific? He said he came back from a visit to Bougainville two weeks ago with an “enormous level of comfort” that the former militant groups had given their commitment to the peace process. Still, as is well known, the vote is not binding. It’s an outsized international role for Bougainville, which lies 900 kilometers (560 miles) east of the Papua New Guinea mainland. The research found no striking differences in the awareness or use of the service by age or gender. Pajomile Minaka, from Bougainville’s southern region the 36-year old, who was a child during the conflict , told Reuters he was taking a law course to equip himself to help rebuild his homeland. “Given the new strategic landscape, and not to mention the huge reserves left in Panguna (copper) mine, I would expect an independent Bougainville would have a number of potential international suitors to help them with their financial challenges,” Mr Pryke said. The enemy of the people are the industrial nations with the support of local governments who don’t understand the complex networks of indigenous social structures, value systems and their deep connection to their ancestral land. The service was the first of its kind in PNG and was envisaged as a short pilot to identify the usefulness of the technology for public information dissemination in Bougainville. Two upcoming reconciliations are to be held on Bougainville at the same time before the referendum. The two governments must consult and we must develop a road map that leads to a lasting political settlement that the National Parliament can consider. Most of Australia’s aid goes to Papua New Guinea. Of the 42 people who participated in the group interviews, 37 owned mobile telephones at the time of the research. This article is based upon a paper published by the ANU Department of Pacific Affairs (DPA) as part of its ‘Discussion paper’ series. “The Queen has of course seen your letter and has read it with much interest,” he wrote. 4. Solutions to ensure as to whether Melanesia will survive or not require a collective effort. The referendum was approved by the Papua New Guinea government, but the result is non-binding. The JSB also resolved to approve a new arrangement for the National Government to provide 100 Million annually to the ABG for the next ten years starting next year. He said Rio Tinto was in favour of a “united Papua New Guinea”, though he said that may change if it deemed its long-term interests lay elsewhere. The people of Bougainville have chosen overwhelmingly to become the world's newest nation in a historic referendum to break away from Papua New Guinea. ”, Picture above  : Almost 100% of Bougainville voters backed independence in last year’s referendum but palace letters show Australia’s governor general John Kerr told the Queen that such a move ‘cannot be done legally. [10]. China’s Foreign Ministry declined to comment on whether it was involved in discussions to assist in the referendum. Professor Qvortrup said he’d seen other referenda results implemented in a matter of months, for instance in Czechoslovakia and Ukraine, which said were examples of countries that broke up quickly. The MSG founding fathers such as PNG former prime minister Paias Wingti, Solomon Islands former prime minister Ezekiel Alebua, and Vanuatu’s first prime minister Walter Lini had visions backed by strong political desire to strive for the entire decolonization and freedom of the Melanesian people and territories under the colonial rule in the South Pacific. This worldview has destroyed millions of lives on this planet. Raymond Masono upon casting his vote during the polling at Bel Isi Park in Buka. Chand contends that, given limited access to radio, textbooks and other information sources, the utilisation of digital technologies could allow delivery of basic services in Bougainville. Mr Ahern met UN secretary general António Guterres in New York to discuss the progress of the peace process in the autonomous region of Bougainville.”. The Bougainville Referendum Commission has released the final enrolment and voter turnout figures from the autonomous Papua New Guinea region's independence referendum. They appeared in a fringe of forest at the edge of Teuapaii village; hesitant, ghostly, looking awed and slightly bewildered at the scene in front of them after their years of seclusion in the bush. The woman who made several comments is the former ABG member representing the women of South Bougainville, Rose Pihei who stressed the need to address traumatized people and also address mental health issues in our communities. “Now, at least psychologically, we feel liberated,” said John Momis, president of the regional autonomous government. Even so, some research participants did not understand how to select the four options or that the messages changed each week. There will also be a presentation by the audience researcher who analysed the impact of the service. It allowed people to ring a free-call number and hear pre-recorded messages about peacebuilding and the three pillars of the Bougainville Peace Agreement. Whatever the choice is, and we know that Independence is the greater expectation of most Bougainvilleans, we have to make it work. The Bougainville conflict, in which rival clans on the island fought among themselves and with the Papua New Guinea Defence Force, evolved from multiple issues, including land rights, customary ownership, “outsider” interference and migration, mineral resource exploitation, and perceived inequities and environmental damage associated with the rich Panguna copper mine. Claudio said that giving Upes a chance to vote at male-only polling stations was one of many referendum firsts. The number of voters is 206,731. Available at: [Accessed 7 Jan. 2020]. For example, in South Bougainville, participants reported substantial challenges with the quality and reach of mobile network signals and said that they had almost no access to radio stations, newspapers or television. “I want to first acknowledge the result. But customary ownership claims – land used for generations by local communities without the need for legal title – remain unresolved and at least three mining groups are in contention, which means an early restart is unlikely. ( See full story Part 2 ). The local community perceived that it was not getting its fair share of Panguna’s wealth. Available at: [Accessed 7 Jan. 2020]. He said the possibility of trouble was “disturbing” and that “we must hope that matters can at least be satisfactorily contained”. At the international level, Australia will be keen to ensure that whatever the outcome of the Bougainville referendum, stability is maintained in Papua New Guinea, if only to counter China’s growing interest in offering aid and economic benefits as it builds a Pacific presence. The mining investors are untouched by the generational pain that mining and civil war have caused in Bougainville. Available at: [Accessed 7 Jan. 2020]. The referendum is a key part of a 2001 peace agreement that ended a brutal civil war in which at least 15,000 people died in the cluster of islands to the east of the Papua New Guinea mainland. The mine was a huge export earner for Papua New Guinea, but many in Bougainville felt they got no benefit and resented the pollution and disruption to their traditional way of living. The vote is not binding and the Government of Papua New Guinea has the final say on what becomes of Bougainville in the event of voters choosing independence. Sharing of digital content by Bluetooth or local Wi-Fi hotspots does present another opportunity for those with suitable devices. Bougainville House of Representatives, Picture Above : Prime Minister, JAMES MARAPE and ABG President, DR. JOHN MOMIS signed the joint resolution September 12 at the Presidential villa Buka in front of journalists and the Ministers and members from both the ABG and the National Government. The violence in Bougainville began in the late 1980s, triggered by conflict over an enormous opencast copper mine at Panguna. With doubts persisting about Bougainville’s economic viability if it cuts ties with the central government, the referendum outcome will be closely watched by other PNG provinces pushing for greater autonomy, such as East New Britain, New Ireland and Enga. Supported by Australia ’ s wealth same time before the referendum vote is the moment have. – that ’ s wealth Australia ’ s aid goes to Papua New Guinea and! 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