Image taken from an SBS Dateline documentary “Blood and Treasure” where the President claimed “A vast majority of Bougainville, I would say over 97% want the mine to be opened”
It seems that Momis is still adamant despite what came out in the Jubilee research proving to be valid. What we still see happening is the President Chief Dr John Momis going out in the media in an attempt to disrepute the report. These attacks can be compared to the saying ‘you can’t wipe the dust out of the other’s eye when there’s a plank in yours’.
Yes and what is this plank one may ask, the plank is the more than obvious lie the President made about people’s support for Panguna mine reopening. No one can deny the 97% support claim made by the President on one of Australia’s major television channels in 2013. The lie about people’s support for the reopening is a lie that still hangs. A lie that the President himself has not been able to admit to, but one President Momis has not been able to disprove beyond doubt.
The response from President Momis is nothing but attacks on the methods of the report; and that is all. There is nothing to show in terms of evidence to suggest the President’s claim of people’s support has any type of backing,
A few weeks ago the President himself was in Buin to open a major show. He openly remarked “Ol lain autsait save kam insait na giamanim yumi nabaut (outsiders are always coming in and lie to us)”.
But is the honourable President himself being truthful in this case? President Momis has never lied to the world when he came out a year ago and frankly claimed without second thoughts that 97% of the people of Bougainville want the Panguna mine to be reopened? It is a lie indeed, and the President himself knows it. So the President is blaming outsiders for lying when he himself went outside and lied on Australian national television about the people’s support for Panguna reopening. What irony there.
If President Momis is telling the truth then may be the Mekamui Security checkpoint at Tunuru is a fake and Momis wants to assure to people that there is no risk for investment in this venture that once caused great harm on the environment and people, preceding with a war and blockade that furthermore brought catastrophe on the people. Maybe factions are holding onto guns for the sake of their own security, who knows, it would be interesting to know why the Mekamui Defence Force still exist. If indeed people want the mine reopened, indicators would point otherwise as the factors given in this paragraph alone attest.
Furthermore, if the President is adamant that his 97% support is indeed true, then let us look at how the President and the ABG carried out its consultations with regards to the mining issue in the region. Since 2009, consultations have been said to be carried out throughout the entire region, however, most of Central Region, especially Panguna have been waiting in vain for the consultations to be implemented. They are still waiting now. And if this is the kind of validation that the President will use to legitimize his claim, then it sets a dangerous precedence in the authority’s ability to be unbiased and most importantly, truthful. If ABG is to question the validity of the Jubilee research, maybe they should check their methods of consultation first and foremost.
Issues of complaints have been echoed throughout other centres where consultations were carried out by ABG. There is a claim of fixing in the way which consultations were handled. Most complaints convey the lack of gauging views, and as always, methods were more towards bulldozing in favor of one notion, hence, there is always dissatisfaction, although people are more than happy to attend for a sitting allowance or free food.
The President LIED to the people of Australia, and the world that the people of Bougainville want Panguna to be reopened. And this is as explicit as it can get, the most apparent and obvious lie.