17 Jun 2011

Bougainville's Me'ekamui says no progress until human rights issues dealt with

1:57 pm on 17 June 2011

A dissident group in the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville says until a memorial is constructed and human rights issues addressed no progress will be made on the formerly war torn island.

The Me'ekamui Tribal Nation claims to represent 26 tribes on Bougainville and it disputes the legitimacy of the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

The group has this week called a meeting in Cairns and invited the PNG government, the ABG government and the developers of the huge Panguna mine, Bougainville Copper Ltd, to settle all unresolved issues.

None of the groups have turned up but the Me'ekamui Tribal Nation's treasurer, Peter Nerau, says key issues need to be dealt with, including a memorial to the more than 15 thousand dead, before the province can progress.

"The physical monument with names and also to light a candle and a fire as is customary obligation in Bougainville to appease the spirits so that they can rest. Secondly is to pursue the human rights issues and also to register our human rights declarations for the Me'ekamui government in the United Nations."

The Me'ekamui Tribal Nation's Peter Nerau.