Bougainville News: Radio Ples Lain’s (mobile community radio station) first broadcast.

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Radio for a referendum

By Jeremy Miller, Australian Civilian Corps (ACC) Communications Specialist, Bureau Media and Communications, Department of the President and BEC Autonomous Bougainville Government*

Turning up to any small community in a vehicle that can send a telescopic radio mast 20 metres into the sky is a pretty good way to advertise your arrival. If that community is in Bougainville and hasn’t had radio for more than 15 years since a decade-long conflict destroyed all infrastructure, nor had access to newspapers or TV – then you begin to understand the excitement of the growing crowd, observing our preparations for Radio Ples Lain’s (mobile community radio station) first broadcast.

We’re in Halia, the constituency of Patrick Nisira, Vice-President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, and I’m training a small and enthusiastic team of young Papua New Guinean media professionals recruited and equipped with the assistance of Australia’s aid program.

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Officially launched by Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop in Arawa in December 2014, the Radio Ples Lain communication project aims to enable the government to provide its people with information about the Bougainville Peace Agreement, and preparations for the upcoming referendum – a referendum that will determine the region’s political status. It’s heavy material, but in the Bougainville way, a school choir arrives unannounced and we welcome them onto the show to sing a few songs they’ve been practicing since they heard we were coming. As the broadband-like grapevine spins into overdrive, the local magistrate and then the district police officer turn up and deliver crime prevention messages aimed at a growing youth population succumbing to dangerously powerful local homebrew and marijuana.

Later into the five-hour program, we open the lines for SMS and talk back. I’m astounded at the positive response. People far beyond our anticipated 30kms radio footprint are texting in with messages of goodwill for the project, and more importantly calling in with questions for the Vice-President which he’s even more delighted to finally get the opportunity respond to live on air.

Before the show ends, with our temporary village studio feeling more like a crowded Turkish sauna, two former combatants from the Bougainville Revolutionary Army arrive. They want to go on air and tell their story. It’s a good one. The Bougainville war from 1989 to 1998 drew many into armed conflict and many others lost their lives. But in the subsequent peace, some ex-combatants, like these two, are leading grassroot reconciliation processes critical if Bougainville is to have a chance at a peaceful and fair referendum. Their story will hopefully spread peace amongst tonight’s listeners and maybe motivate more to play a cooperative role in continuing peace and stability in Bougainville.

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As they do, it will be Radio Ples Lain’s job to travel around the region to capture and broadcast these stories, and assist an important dialogue among people, communities and government in the lead up to the referendum which is to be held within the next five years.

*Jeremy Miller, is an ACC Communications Specialist, who was on assignment with the Autonomous Bougainville Government’s Bureau of Media and Communications. The Radio Ples Lain project and other communication initiatives with the Bureau of Media and Communications were funded through the Governance and Implementation Fund, a partnership between the governments of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was part of Radio Ples Lain’s broadcast in the former capital of Arawa during her recent visit to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

Bougainville 2015 Election News : Do you qualify to be Bougainville President or Member of the House ?

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CANDIDATE REQUIREMENTS By JENNIFER NKUI Photo above : Election rolls preparation

Candidates intending to contest in this year’s ABG General Election are urged to consult the qualifying requirements for candidates before contesting in the election.

For details are below

91. QUALIFICATIONS FOR AND DISQUALIFICATIONS FROM ELECTION AS PRESIDENT

56. QUALIFICATIONS FOR AND DISQUALIFICATIONS FROM ELECTION

While issuing this call on Monday, the Acting ABG Electoral Commissioner George Manu stressed that this is to avoid court battles that may arise following the declaration of a candidate that is not qualified to contest in a particular seat.

He said intending candidates must come and check with us so we can advise you on what requirements you must fulfil before you can qualify to contest in the constituency, former combatants, regional women’s and presidential seats.

He then pointed out that according to the ABG Constitution, a member of the House of Representatives must not be less than 25 years of age and candidates intending to stand for election must also be qualified to vote in the elections of the Bougainville House of Representatives.

He added that in order to contest in one of the 33 constituency seats, a candidate must be a Bougainvillean and be a member of a clan lineage that holds land in the constituency for which the candidate wishes to nominate. Mr. Manu went on further saying the candidate must also have been in that constituency for at least five years immediately prior to nomination.

As for the regional seat for women, a candidate will be eligible to contest if she is a Bougainvillean and be a member of a clan lineage that holds land in that particular region that she will be contesting in. He said the woman candidate must also have resided continuously in that region for at least five years immediately prior to nomination.

And for those intending candidates for the three regional seats reserved for the former combatants, the requirement is that they must be a Bougainvillean and a former combatant.

The candidate must also be a member of a clan lineage that holds land in that region that he intends to contest and that he must also have resided continuously in that region for at least five years immediately prior to nomination.

On top of that the acting commissioner stated that the candidate’s nomination must be endorsed by twenty other former combatants from that region.

And in the presidential seat, the candidate must not be less than 40 years of age, is a Bougainvillean and is qualified to vote in the elections of the Bougainville House of Representatives.

According to the Bougainville Constitution, a Bougainvillean is defined as a person; • who is a member (whether by birth or by adoption according to custom by the clan lineage) of a Bougainvillean clan lineage (matrilineal or patrilineal) owning customary land in Bougainville; or • who is married (whether by law or custom) to a person regarded as a Bougainville; or • Who is a child one of whose parents is a Bougainvillean as per the above definition Intending candidates are advised to check with the Assistant Returning Officers or the regional returning officer to get more information on these requirements.

Below is an extract of section 56 of the Constitution of Bougainville that details the qualifications of candidates that are eligible to contest for the constituency, women and former combatants seats.

56. QUALIFICATIONS FOR AND DISQUALIFICATIONS FROM ELECTION.
(1) A member of the House of Representatives must be not less than 25 years of age.

(2) A candidate for election to the House of Representatives must be qualified to vote in elections to the House of Representatives.

(3) A candidate for election to the House of Representatives as a member referred to in Section 55(2)(b)(i) (establishment and composition of the House of Representatives) must be a Bougainvillean and –
(a) be a member of a clan lineage that holds land in the constituency for which he wishes to nominate; or
(b) have resided continuously in that constituency for at least five years immediately prior to nomination; or
(c) have been born in that constituency.

(4) A candidate for election to the House of Representatives under Section
55(2)(b)(ii) (establishment and composition of the House of Representatives) must be a woman and be a Bougainvillean and –
(a) be a member of a clan lineage that holds land in the Region (North, Central or South) of Bougainville for which she intends to nominate; or
(b) have resided continuously in that Region for at least five years immediately prior to nomination.

(5) A candidate for election to the House of Representatives under Section 55 (2)(b)(iii) (establishment and composition of the House of Representatives) must be a Bougainvillean and a former combatant (as that term is defined in Schedule 2 (meaning of certain expressions)) to this Constitution and –
(a) be a member of a clan lineage that holds land in the Region (North, Central or South) of Bougainville for which he intends to nominate; or
(b) have resided continuously in that Region for at least five years immediately prior to nomination,
and have his nomination supported in accordance with Section 58(1)(d) (mode of nomination) of Schedule 10 (electoral provisions relating to the first general election of President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government and members of the House of Representatives) or with the Bougainville law referred to in Section 106 (Bougainville Electoral Commissioner and elections generally).

(6) A person is not qualified to be a candidate for election, or to continue to be a candidate for election, referred to in Subsection (3), (4) or (5) if he has nominated in an election to be held at the same time, as a candidate –
(a) referred to in any other of these Subsections; or
(b) for the office of President.

(7) A person is not qualified to be, or to remain a member of the House of Representatives if –
(a) he or she is not entitled to vote in elections to the House of Representatives; or
(b) he or she is of unsound mind within the meaning of any law relating to the person and property of persons of unsound mind; or
(c) subject to Subsections (8) to (11) (inclusive), he or she is under sentence of death or imprisonment for a period exceeding three months; or
(d) he or she has been declared bankrupt by a court of competent jurisdiction and remains bankrupt.

(8) Where a person is under sentence of death or imprisonment for a period exceeding three months, the operation of Subsection (7)(c) is suspended until –
(a) the end of any statutory period allowed for appeals against the conviction or sentence; or
(b) if an appeal is lodged within the period referred to in Paragraph (a), the appeal is determined.

(9) The references in Subsection (8) to appeals and to the statutory period allowed for appeals shall, where there is provision for a series of appeals, be read as references to each appeal and to the statutory period allowed for each appeal.

(10) If a free pardon is granted, a conviction is quashed or a sentence is changed to a sentence of imprisonment for three months or less, or some other form of penalty (other than death) is substituted, the disqualification ceases, and if at the time of the pardon, quashing, change of sentence or substitution of penalty –
(a) the writ for the by-election has been issued – the member is not restored as a member of the House of Representatives and the by-
election proceeds according to law; or
(b) the writ for the by-election has not been issued-the member is restored as a member of the House of Representatives.

(11) In this section –
“appeal” includes any form of judicial appeal or judicial review;
“free pardon” means a free pardon granted under Section 151 (grant of pardon, etc.,) of the National Constitution;
“statutory period allowed for appeals” means a definite period
allowed by law for appeals, whether or not it is capable of
extension, but does not include an extension of such a
definite period granted or that may be granted unless it was granted within that definite period.

(12) Nothing in this section is intended to reduce any right conferred by Section 50 (right to vote and stand for public office) of the National Constitution, but it is the considered opinion of the People of Bougainville, expressed through the Bougainville Constitutional Commission and the Bougainville Constituent Assembly, that any restrictions imposed by this section are reasonable and are reasonably justifiable in a democratic society having a proper regard for the rights and dignity of mankind.

An extract from section 91 of the Bougainville Constitution detailing the eligible criteria for those intending to stand for the presidential seat.

91. QUALIFICATIONS FOR AND DISQUALIFICATIONS FROM ELECTION AS PRESIDENT.
(1) Until a Bougainville law made by an absolute majority vote provides otherwise, a President must be not less than 40 years of age.

(2) A candidate for election as President must be qualified to vote in elections to the House of Representatives.

(3) A candidate for election as President must be a Bougainvillean.

(4) A person is not qualified to stand, or to continue to stand for election as President if –
(a) he is not qualified or becomes disqualified, in accordance with Section 110 (right to vote) to vote in an election to the House of Representatives; or
(b) he is of unsound mind within the meaning of any law relating to the person and property of persons of unsound mind; or
(c) he is under, or becomes subject to, a sentence of death or imprisonment for a period of more than three months; or
(d) he is, or becomes disqualified from standing for election under this Constitution; or
(e) he is, or becomes, a member of, or a candidate for election or appointment to, the National Parliament, or to the House of Representatives; or
(f) he has already been elected as President on two occasions; or
(g) he has been declared bankrupt by a court of competent jurisdiction, and remains bankrupt; or
(h) he has nominated in an election to be held at the same time as a candidate for election as –
(i) a member representing a single member constituency under Section 55(b)(i) (establishment and composition of the House of Representatives); or
(ii) a woman member to represent the interests of women under Section 55(2)(b)(ii) (establishment and composition of the House of Representatives); or
(iii) a former combatant member to represent the interests of former combatant members under Section 55(2)(b)(iii) (establishment and composition of the House of Representatives); or
(i) if the election is an election for President under Section 58(5)(d) (recall of member of the House of Representatives) and the person is the person whose recall is the subject of the poll under Section 58(5)(c) (recall of member of the House of Representatives).

(5) Nothing in Subsection (1) is intended to reduce any right conferred by Section 50 (right to vote and stand for public office) of the National Constitution, but it is the considered opinion of the People of Bougainville expressed through the Bougainville Constitutional Commission and the Bougainville Constituent Assembly, that any restrictions imposed by this section are reasonable and are reasonably justifiable in a democratic society having a proper regard for the rights and dignity of mankind.

 

Bougainville Development : New K8.25 Million roadwork’s Buka to Arawa -the economic and social lifeblood of this island

Arawa Roads

Transport infrastructure is fundamental to the ongoing social and economic development of Bougainville and we are delighted to be able to fund these works and partner with ABG to improve the safety and reliability of the road network

Australian High Commissioner, Ms Deborah Stokes said she was proud to be able to support this project.

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Work has now begun on six kilometres of resealing works to support the essential road link between Arawa and the capital Buka. The project is funded by the Government of Australia.

This project falls under the Papua New Guinea – Australia Transport Sector Support Program and is part of Australia’s long term commitment to transport infrastructure in Papua New Guinea. Maintaining sections of the network such as this stretch is a vital part of keeping the road reliable, in good condition and reducing the lifetime cost of the road.

ABG’s Chief Secretary, Monovi Amani, was quick to highlight the impact that a well maintained road network has on the people of Bougainville. “The road between Kokopau and Arawa is the economic and social lifeblood of this island. Maintaining a reliable and safe road means a better chance for businesses and for our citizens to access crucial services.”

The K8.25m project will ensure that small businesses like the Rising Sun guest house in Arawa will be able to reduce operational costs with a well maintained road. “My business relies on the road to bring guests and goods to town. The condition of the road has a direct impact on my running costs; regular new tyres and vehicle maintenance can be very costly.” said owner Betha Lorenz.

The works contract has been awarded to local company Dekenai who have considerable experience working in this part of Bougainville and provide major employment opportunities for local workers. Resealing is expected to be completed by April of this year.

The resealing will start at the entrance to Panguna at Morgan Junction, providing two sealed PMV laybys next to the market area, and finish at the Tunuru turnoff. Australian High Commissioner, HE Ms Deborah Stokes was proud to be able to support this project. “Transport infrastructure is fundamental to the ongoing social and economic development of Bougainville and we are delighted to be able to fund these works and partner with ABG to improve the safety and reliability of the road network

Bougainville Development News: Implementation of High Impact Projects accelerates in 2015:

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“The year 2015 will be an exciting year for Bougainville as more projects will be implemented throughout the Region as restoration and rebuilding continues”

Implementation of High Impact Projects in Bougainville accelerates in 2015:

The high impact projects funded by the Special Intervention Fund (SIF) as a conditional grant to Bougainville continues to gain momentum as the year 2015 begins.

Despite criticisms from different people with different reasons, the Joint Programme Management Unit together with the ABG Department of Technical Services and other relevant implementing agencies were able to mobilise projects after the first K100million was released by the National Government in April 2014.

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In just eight (8) months (April-December 2014), Twenty one (21) projects out of twenty seven (27) projects to be funded under the SIF for 2013 and 2014 were mobilised in preparations for implementation and some were already in the implementation stages.

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These projects included the Aropa Airport Redevelopment Project which was completed on record time of two (2) months twenty (20) days and was officially opened by the Prime Minister Hon Peter Oniel and the ABG President Chief Dr John L Momis. The airport is now operational and taking in 3 flights a week .

The other projects which are currently being implemented are the Buka Ring Road Sealing (first 20kms from Malasang to Malis) , the Buka Town Sealing ( all the streets within the town area),

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the NBC Upgrade project which is will see the NBC Coverage extended throughout the whole of Bougainville by April 2015,

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The bridges along the West Coast of Bougainville (Nagam, Shuun, Dirty Wara) to be built by POGE Limited, Also the realignment of the Road in South West Bougainville.

The Arawa Town Road sealing will also commence in March 2015 and so it will be co-funded funded by SIF and DFAT through thier Transport Sector Support Program (TSSP). The same arrangement will be done for the Buin Town Roads which will also be upgraded and sealed this year. The outcome would be to have all three township ( BUKA, ARAWA, BUIN) roads upgraded and sealed.

The Kokopau to Buin Raod Sealing project is being divided into different sections. The sections include, Kokopau to Siara , Siara to Arawa, Arawa to Kieta , Kieta to Toimanapu, and Toimanapu to Buin. Implementation for sections from Kieta to Buin will be done in two sections…the first ones from Kieta to Toimanapu and the next section will start from Buin coming back to Toimanapu. Contracts for these two very high impact project estimated to be awarded soon.

The other programmes that have projects being implemented are the Bougainville Economic Feeder Roads Programme which already has 10 feeder projects awarded and are being implemented , and by the end of these month 4 more feeder roads around Bougainville will be awarded.

The year 2015 will be an exciting year for Bougainville as more projects will be implemented throughout the Region as restoration and rebuilding continues.

Guava Access Road in Panguna rehabilitated after 24 years:

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The Guava Access Road in Panguna , Central Bougainville is being upgraded for the first time after 24 years. The access road leads to Guava Village in the Mountain Ranges of Panguna which provides access for the people around those areas.

Villagers along that mountain range use the access road to transport thier cargos up to thier villages on foot for many hours. The project is under the Bougainville Economic Feeder Roads Programme funded by the Special Intervention Fund.

The contract was awarded to Nairobi Constructions, local company from the area. The rehabilitation of the Guava Access Road is a big relief to the Mothers and Children who most of the times carry thier cargos on and travel by foot back to the Mountains around the Guava Area.

Edwin Moses ,who is from the area and also the Managing Director of Nairobi Constructions thanked the Autonomous Bougainville Government and GoPNG for funding through the SIF and said that the project is all about “confidence building ” to the people from Panguna, especially the Guava Area.

 

 

And in other news

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COE’S GET TRANSPORT ASSISTANCE
By Aloysius Laukai

The ABG is strengthening its local level governments with transport support starting this year.
And today three TOYOTA LANDCRUISERs and several Boats were presented to the COE’s throughout Bougainville.
Last week the KONNOU COE was presented a Toyota Open back to the chairman, ALOYSIUS MASIU to carry out peace building activities within the COE which is the biggest constituency on Bougainville.


AND today three TOYOTA land cruisers and boats were presented by the Bougainville administration. New Dawn FM understands this is the first time COE’s have been given vehicles and Boats to assist with their transport problems.
During the Bougainville Provincial Government days all Community Governments had their own vehicles to carry out their work.

Bougainville News: New Dawn FM Bougainville commences filming for mobile cinema project

New Dawn FM is engaging in a nation-wide video awareness to provide the citizens of Bougainville with information on the Bougainville Peace Agreement and improve citizens’ understanding of six governance issues: disarmament, referendum, good governance, missing persons, war widows and government corruption.

New Dawn Manager Aloysius Laukai provides an update on the project and writes:  

Please note : Bougainville News is operated by Aloysius Laukai

Surveys

The first mission of this PACMAS funded project, was to find out what people in Bougainville already know about our six topics: weapons disposal, the referendum, good governance, missing persons, war widows and government corruption.

We made six surveys, one for each topic, and each with seven sections.  New Dawn FM reporters went to different centres in Bougainville to conduct the surveys among a cross section of the population. In all, over 230 surveys were answered.

We found differences in reactions according to where people lived: in Central Bougainville, people felt more strongly about weapons disposal, for example.  Some answers varied according to gender, such as attitudes towards what constitutes corruption.

However, it was clear that people were eager to find out more: they wanted to know about the structure of government, about how to report government corruption, and they had a lot of questions about the different aspects of the referendum.

The film we will be making will address these needs but also tell them where to go to get this information.

Scriptwriting

New Dawn FM Bouganville Peace Agreement Awareness

Scripting was a natural process especially after analysing the questionnaires and taking into account people’s opinions on the different topics.  It was clear what information we would need to get across, and commenced on a list of interviewees for each film.

For the government corruption video, we came up with an exciting and dramatic way to get our point across – a fable of a dog that turns into a corrupt politician and along the way involves his whole community.

Filming

Filming has started with recordings on ‘missing persons’.  We spoke to Government and NGO representatives, and also captured stories people told of their experience of having a relative missing.  The interviews were eye-opening.

Bordger Bakere from ICRC spoke about the policy (that was adapted to investigate the whereabouts of the missing people as a result of the Bougainville Civil War that occurred in the years 1988 – 1998), and appeals to the members of the public to come forward if they have any information on the missing people.

Two mothers,  Scholley Miriori who lost her nephew and Claire Situ who lost her son, gave personal testimonies of what it’s like to not know where the remains of a loved one are.

Peter Garuai has set up his own association to help people who have been affected from this, and we have captured his views too.

We are hoping that our awareness video on missing persons will encourage people to come forward anonymously so that valuable information can be shared safely.

New Dawn FM Bougainville Peace Agreement awareness

Next Up

For the other 5 topics, we are yet to conduct interviews but work on identifying interviewees and arranging interview times have begun.

As we film, and then edit, we have started building the footages into coherent narratives.  This part of the project provides a great opportunity for the New Dawn FM staff to develop their capacity in working with moving images and getting familiar with the Final Cut Pro.

We’re looking forward to when we will be taking the films and setting up mobile cinemas night after night in towns and villages around Bougainville.

– See more at: http://www.pacmas.org/blog-post/new-dawn-fm-bougainville-commences-filming-for-mobile-cinema-project/#sthash.NSrCDeMC.dpuf

Bougainville News updates: Elections, health and new public service 4 articles

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After the completion of data entry by the team above, preliminary Election rolls will be distributed to all Bougainville constituencies, Council of Elders and District Offices for public scrutiny. In this issue we have four stories with delays caused by constant power blackouts in Buka
  • WORKERS TO ENTER DATA IN THREE SHIFTS
  • BOUGAINVILLE PUBLIC SERVICE DEDICATED
  • CALL TO RELOCATE LEMANMANU HEALTH CENTRE
  • PUBLIC SERVANTS ARE PRIVILIGED

Preparation for the ABG 2015 General Election is in progress and the office does not leave any stone unturned.

By Aloysius Laukai

This morning the Electoral Rolls Data Entry exercise commenced and staff selected will start entering data into the system as of today and until the exercise is completed.

A total of officers were announced over the weekend to go into three shifts to complete the project.

Before the commencement of this exercise, the data processing officers (DPOs) were challenged by the Regional Returning Officer John Itanu, to do a thorough work on the updating of the preliminary rolls.

The DPOs were also reminded that the number of the eligible voters that will be casting their votes in this election will depend on how accurately they have entered the names of those that had filled in their claim for enrolment forms.

After the completion of data entry, preliminary rolls will be distributed to all constituencies, Council of Elders and District Offices for public scrutiny.

Those eligible voters who do not have their names on the common roll will now enroll for inclusion in the final Common roll.

It is anticipated that the writs will be issued at the end of March, 2015.

BOUGAINVILLE PUBLIC SERVICE DEDICATED

BY JENNIFER NKUI

The Autonomous Bougainville Government dedicated for the first time the Bougainville Public Service and its public servants in a dedication service today.

The dedication service under the theme “A Call to Serve under God’s Leadership” was the initiative of the chief secretary Monovi Amani and was held at the Hutjena Secondary School hall and was attended by all public servants.

Pastor Kepsi Elodo who is also the president of the Seventh Day Adventist church in the region flew in last week Friday for the dedication service.

When presenting his sermon for the occasion, Pr. Elodo stressed to the public servants that as public servants, they were called to serve God’s people of Bougainville.

He challenged them saying the interest of the people of Bougainville must be served because God gave them the strength, wisdom and knowledge so they must do their best.

Under the topic “A Call to Serve under God’s Leadership” Pr. Elodo revealed that because God knows our past, present and future, it is appropriate for public servants to work under God’s leadership because God knows the way.

He said challenges for this year may be greater than the challenges faced last year but he reminded the public servants that God is interested in them and that he will take care of them.

He again challenged the Bougainville public servants saying everything that they do, whether in secret or in public is never hidden from God and if they are not judged by the law of this land, they will be judged by the law of heaven.

In conclusion, Pr. Elodo urged and encouraged the public servants to stop the practice of corruption, to remain faithful to their spouses, to attend church services regularly, to read the bible and to pray often because by doing so God will bless them, their families, their work, the Bougainville Public Service and the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

After the sermon, the public servants were asked to hold hands and form a big circle as Pr. Elodo offered a prayer of dedication for the public servants, the Bougainville Public Service and the ABG.

CALL TO RELOCATE LEMANMANU HEALTH CENTRE

BY JENNIFER NKUI

The Lemanmanu Health Centre in Haku constituency should be relocated according to Chief Hendry Onsa.

He told New Dawn Fm in an interview today that there is a land issue going on at the moment and the people of Haku constituency are concerned because the landowners sometimes force the closure of the health centre.

He said recently the ambulance belonging to the health centre was taken by a local who claimed that he was not paid by the officers of Lemanmanu health centre for hiring his car.

He added that this issue of land ownership has been going on for 20 years now and he is therefore calling on the government and the health department to fast track the relocation of the health centre to Hagogohe.

Chief Onsa revealed that an agreement has been signed already by the chiefs of Hagogohe and he is also calling on Dr. Anthony Pumpara to fast track the relocation of the health centre because the people are tired of waiting.

He said the proposal for the health centre to be relocated was done fifteen years ago and it has never been implemented.

He added that the landowner issue is still there and the only way to solve the problem is to relocate the Lemanmanu health centre to Hagogohe.

PUBLIC SERVANTS ARE PRIVILIGED

BY JENNIFER NKUI

Bougainville public servants are privileged to be in the position that they are in, says the ABG chief secretary Monovi Amani.

Speaking during the Bougainville Public Service dedication service this morning, the head of the Bougainville Public Service stressed that public servants are privileged to be employed by the ABG because if they can look around them, they can see that there are a lot of young, educated and matured Bougainvilleans who are still out on the streets.

He added that as public servants, they are so privileged because at the end of two weeks, they get to take home their finances to share with their families.

He said they have heard a very important message on servant hood from Pastor Kepsi Elodo and because of the occasion’s importance, the dedication service will be held every year from today.

He stressed that it is important that the dedication service be held every year to re-educate the public service which is the machinery for the government of the day.

Mr. Amani revealed that the gathering of public servants today is all about putting God first every day under God’s leadership.

He said under God’s leadership, there are certain conditions and rules that they as public servants must abide by.

He then asked the public servants to honour the government of the day saying if they do so, they will also honour the people of Bougainville.

Bougainville News: Plans well underway for 2015 elections in Bougainville

 

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The election of the third House which will commence with the issue of writs in the coming months will see Bougainville leaders vying for the 40 seats in the Bougainville House of Representatives, including that of the president, three women seats and seats for former combatants representing the three regions and 33 constituency seats.

This election is very crucial to Bougainvillean as it marks the start of the referendum period which, under the conditions of the Bougainville Peace Agreement, is to be held between 2015 and 2020.

By WINTERFORD TOREAS/EDITED BY JENNIFER NKUI

THE Acting Electoral Commissioner for Bougainville, George Manu (pictured above), has recently announced the appointment of returning officers and assistant returning officers for this year’s ABG General Election.

This election is very crucial to Bougainvillean as it marks the start of the referendum period which, under the conditions of the Bougainville Peace Agreement, is to be held between 2015 and 2020.

Leaders elected will play a crucial role in addressing outstanding issues like weapons disposal, economic recovery and good governance which are needed to be met before the set referendum date.

The appointed officials include Regional Returning Officer John Itanu who will be responsible for the presidential seat, Peter Wanga (Northern regional seats for women and former combatants), Charles Kopana (Central regional seats for women and former combatants) and Sam Roroga who will be responsible for the southern regional seats for women and former combatants.

The Assistant Returning Officers for each constituency include Francis Tommy (Peit, Tonsu and Tsitalato), Garry Kenehe (Haku, Halia and Hagogohe), Peter Kutadio (Taonita/Teop, TaonitaTinputz), Henry Taul (Nissan), Samuel Aririan(Teua, Mahari), Peter Tokin (Atolls), Robert Toromet (Suir, Selau), Collin Darei (South Nasioi, Kongara and Kokoda), Denise Palipal (North Nasioi, Eivo-Torau and Ioro), Sylvester Semoso (Rau, Terra), Mathew Maau (Baubake, Makis), Moses Koiri (Lule, Konnou), Martin Tumuki (Kopii, Ramu, MotunaHuyonoTokunutui), Justin Teneke (Baba, Lato, Bolave) and Leo Gobekatsu (Torokina).

The dates for the issue of writs, polling, counting and return of writs have already been set but the announcement will be made by ABG Speaker Andrew Miriki.

BOUGAINVILLE ELECTORAL COMMISSION URGED TO DO MORE

BY JENNIFER NKUI

The Bougainville Electoral Commission is urged to do more to update and increase the present total number of registered eligible voters throughout Bougainville in preparation for the 2015 ABG General Election.

This urgent call is made by the leaders of Central Bougainville, particularly those from Panguna District where according to the figures held at the electoral commission, the total number of registered voters in the Ioro constituency alarmingly appears to be 1, 827 at the moment.

In a released statement today, the leaders insisted that this is simply not possible while Evo/Torau and Konnou constituencies have 5, 090 and 7, 407 registered voters respectively.

They revealed that during the last PNG General Election in 2012, it was reported in the common roll that the number of registered voters for Ioro constituency was around 7, 000.

The leaders are therefore seriously asking as to where the rest of the 6, 000 registered voters from the last common roll update during the PNG General election went to.

According to the recent figures obtained from the Bougainville Electoral Commission last Thursday, the total number of eligible voters in Bougainville is surprisingly as follows, Central Bougainville 28, 754 voters, South Bougainville 52, 219 voters and North Bougainville 62, 530 which totals up to 143, 503 voters.

This according to Sam Kaouna, Martin Miriori and Father Simon Mumarinu is not even half of the total population of Bougainville which is 300, 000.

The leaders demand that special efforts be made by the electoral commission to update the figure for Central Bougainville saying this figure is unrealistic, especially after considering the fact that all of the faction of the Mekamui are known to have recently registered their names to participate in the coming election.

They said this is vital especially in preparation for the referendum and if this is not done, the people will be deprived and robbed off their democratic rights to choose the leaders who will represent them in parliament in the next five years.

ELECTORAL COMMISSION TO PAY SERVICE PROVIDERS

By WINTERFORD TOREAS/edited by JENNIFER NKUI

THE Bougainville Electoral Commission will still be paying service providers that have yet to be given their dues for services rendered during the 2010 ABG General Election and the 2013 ABG bye-elections.

The Acting Bougainville Electoral Commissioner, George Manu said he has already made a request to the Autonomous Bougainville Government to release funding to pay off these outstanding bills.

He said he is constantly negotiating with the government to give him this money before we go into the election. When questioned on the outstanding for the 2012 National General Election, the Acting Commissioner distanced his office saying it is the responsibility of the PNG Electoral Commission (PNGEC) to secure funding and settle the dues.

Mr Manu however said he has been constantly contacting the PNG Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen to settle these dues.

He added that as a concerned Bougainvillean, he has been discussing with the PNG Electoral Commissioner to settle these outstanding before the election.

During their meeting last week, Mr. Trawen informed Mr. Manu that the National Electoral Commission is waiting for the opening of the government accounts in March this year. And according to Mr. Trawen, once they access the accounts, they will pay off the outstanding.

POLITICAL PARTIES URGED TO REGISTER

By WINTERFORD TOREAS/edited by JENNIFER NKUI

The acting ABG Political Party Registrar Joseph Kaipu is urging all political parties to start registering with his office.

He made this announcement last week, thus encouraging all political parties to go to his office so he can assist them to fill in their application and finalizing their registrations before they can be able to participate in the upcoming 2015 ABG General Election.

He stressed that he does not want to do any last minute registrations because late registrations sometimes might not be in line with the ABG Political Parties (Registration) Act 2006.

That is why according to Mr. Kaipu it is very important for all political parties to start collecting the application forms from his office during this month because he does not want to rush up the registration process in the last minute.

The acting ABG political party registrar revealed that only one political party, the New Bougainville Party which is headed by the ABG President chief Dr. John Momis has collected the application forms from his office.

He added that he is only waiting for the party’s public officer to submit their application for consideration before he can register the party.

Mr. Kaipu said registration will close towards the end of March on the date scheduled for the issue of writs.

 

Bougainville Media News :New Dawn to improve understanding of the Bougainville Peace Agreement

 

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The New Dawn Video Awareness Program project will engage Bougainville’s citizens in a nationwide video-based campaign to improve the country’s understanding of the Bougainville Peace Agreement. Since its establishment in 2001, consultations have continued between the community and the government to ensure parties uphold the Agreement.

This will however, be the first use of audio visual education in these efforts.

Please note : Aloysius Laukai and New Dawn are publishers of this news service

Supported by the PACMAS Innovation Fund, the project developed by New Dawn FM, an independent community radio broadcaster, will produce six educational videos in Tok Pidgin language on Disarming, Referendum and Good Governance – the three pillars of the Peace Agreement.  Other sensitive issues that will also be covered are missing persons, war widows, and government corruption.

The 15 – 30 minute informational videos will be screened across the country, targeting the three district centres of Buka, Arawa, and Buin as well as key rural locations.  The live screenings will provide opportunities for discussions and debates on issues such as gender equality, empowerment of women, good governance and democracy.  Online deliberations will also be encouraged with New Dawn FM sharing the videos on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Typepad.  DVDs, mobile phones, and USBs will also be used for distribution.

Project Overview Working with: New Dawn FM

Start Date: 1 October 2014 – 30 September 2015

Goal: Raise awareness about missing persons, war widows, government corruption and the three pillars of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

Budget: AUD $30,000 –

The outcomes of the New Dawn Video Awareness Program project are:

  • address an island-wide-lack of public understanding of Bougainville’s governance system;
  • bring matters of gender equality, missing persons, and government corruption into the public sphere and promote deliberations of these issues across the country;
  • facilitate the development of New Dawn FM’s video production capacity; and
  • providing opportunities for Bougainvilleans to engage with democracy not just as citizens but also as contributors to the media.

The New Dawn Video Awareness Program activity contributes to Bougainville’s ongoing development of a free and open democracy and aligns with the PACMAS Media Content component, as well as PACMAS’s overall goal of supporting better governance in the Pacific region by contributing to the development of a diverse, independent and professional Pacific media system.

To view the full project profile please click New Dawn Video Awareness Program.

Bougainville Media News : Media will play important role in Bougainville referendum

 

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“With the Referendum coming up there is a need for more awareness to be made so that the people of Bougainville are made aware of the work of the ABG and how they can contribute to the preparation of the region for Referendum

ABG Minister for Community Development, MELCHIOR DARE

By Aloysius Laukai

The new Bougainville Chief Secretary, MONOVI AMANI says that the media must report facts and figures precisely and not to change the story.

He made these remarks at the special meet the press dinner hosted by the ABG’s Division of Media and Communications last night.

About 40 people attended, they included 2 from New Dawn FM/ bougainvillenews.com,6 from Radio Bougainville 10 from Media and Communications, Bougainville Bulletin  Post Courier rep, Catholic Church Media, Tinputz FM AUSAID rep and several others including Secretaries from the ABG Departments.

Picture Above: Robert Anisia Director for Communications, Chief Secretary Monovi Amani and Minister for Community Development MELCHIOR DARE at the media meeting tonight.

AMANI in his speech said that in Business you don’t expose all your work to the media as your competitors could use your work for their own benefit or to kill your business.

But in government, all the activities must be made available to the media so that the people know and become partakers in the development initiatives.

He said as media personnel they however must report facts and not twist issues to create problems for the government. AMANI said that his office will be utilising media to disseminate vital information to the people of Bougainville and the World.

DARE PRAISES BOUGAINVILLE MEDIA

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The ABG Minister for Community Development, MELCHIOR DARE last night thanked the Bougainville media for supporting the government in disseminating vital information to the masses.

He made these remarks at the meet the Press dinner organized by the ABG Division of Media and Communications at the Hutjena Secondary School hall last night.

This is the first time for the Media and Communications division to organize and meet with all forms of media be it Electronic or Print operating on Bougainville.

The Minister said that with the Referendum coming up there is a need for more awareness to be made so that the people of Bougainville are made aware of the work of the ABG and how they can contribute to the preparation of the region for Referendum.

The Minister represented the ABG President, Chief DR. JOHN MOMIS who is also the Communications Minister at the dinner last night.

 

Bougainville Government must be transparent in all areas of development says Kauona

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On behalf of the ex combatants in Bougainville, Sam Kauona, amplified that the Autonomous Bougainville Government must be transparent in all areas of development. He raised the issue of transparency, because, he claimed that many people did not have knowledge about the current developments brought into the region by the government
Third part of the forum held between the ABG led by President Chief Dr John Momis and the ex combatants
By Tanya Lahies :Picture caption: Sam Kauona and Monovi Amani poses for a picture after the forum  On behalf of the ex combatants in Bougainville, Sam Kauona, amplified that the Autonomous Bougainville Government must be transparent in all areas of development.

He raised the issue of transparency, because, he claimed that many people did not have knowledge about the current developments brought into the region by the government.

Kauona urged that weapons disposal was their area of responsibility and autonomy was the governments, but added that the government was still not delivering much needed services or programs it could have delivered.

Kauona claimed that, the money spent by the government to the development of Bougainville is not visible.

Kauona questioned whether the government monitored how the budget was spent on goods and services and he urged for more checks and balance on the budget itself especially on how the money was used.

Other concerns raised were on the delaying of the mining act and why there were foreign advisors involved. He questioned why, an advisor who had links with Rio Tinto was involved in the Mining Act and why there was no input from landowners and Chief of Elders (CoE)?

Kauona also wants to see honesty from public servants who are paid to do their jobs and not just occupying offices. He asked for a proper explanation about Torokina Oil Palm Project because at the moment, he sees that there was no sign of work taking place.

Vice President Patrick Nisira responded to the questions of Sam Kauona that the mining act did involve the landowners.

He urged that the Torokina Oil Palm Project had completed the phase one of the project, which was social mapping.

Phase two of the project is now progressing and a business development plan is being developed and once completed, investors will be invited to bid to work on the plantation, he said.

Hon Nisira urged that there needed to be an understanding about the shareholder agreement of the Bougainville POGE Development Corporation.

He said that the shareholder is based on a trustee agreement, meaning, the holder of the shares, do not own the account, but, that the money in the account, belongs to the people of Bougainville.

In his response to questions about why ABG did not build bridges, he reaffirmed that the construction of bridges is the responsibility of the National Government.

He also reassured that referendum is not deferred and that no government is delaying the process. He reminded the people the date to hold referendum is the decision of the government to make and decide on.

Other concerns highlighted by Hon Nisira were the Weapons Disposal and how weapons were still used to threaten democracy of the people. He also assured the people that the mining act was not delayed but following processes.

Hon Nisira also disputed the questions of the people who opposed bringing foreign advisors to the region. He said that any government couldn’t operate alone and become isolated from advisors abroad. That is inevitable.

“Maybe it is our fault – that we as the government, ex combatants and churches have decided that there should not be an opposition in the government… maybe we should re visit that option and make changes where necessary,” Hon Nisira said.

Ends

Tomorrow we bring to you the wrap up of the forum.