Bougainville independence struggle|
Date: Tue, 08 Sep 1998 22:30:02 +0200
From: Norbert BRAumann <N.BRAumann@tu-bs.de>
Organization: Technical University Braunschweig (Germany)
Subject: [BougI-xL Guardian] Bougainville Independence Day celebration
Bougainville Independence Day
From The Guardian, (Australia)
9 September 1998
On September 1, 1975, the people of Bougainville raised the flag and
declared independence as the Republic of the North Solomons. Papua New
Guinea gained its independence on September 16, but with Australia's
assistance, refused to recognise Bougainville's independence. Twenty-three
years later, after a long struggle, the people of Bougainville are in the
midst of a peace process and preparing for self-determination.
"We have a peace process in place, peace monitors from Australia, New
Zealand, Fiji and Vanuatu. We also now have the UN on Bougainville. By the
end of the year we will form a Reconciliation Government and from our point
of view the Reconciliation Government will virtually be the mechanism by
which our people will enter into a process of self-determination to
independence", Moses Havini told an Independence Celebration in Sydney on
Around 70 people enjoyed a night of great music by indigenous and non-
indigenous performers, good food, short speeches and a flag raising
ceremony. The celebration was organised by the Bougainville Freedom
Movement, and was compared by Vikki Johns.
Marilyn Havini explained the Upe and other unique symbols of Bougainville
that have been incorporated in the design of the flag.
Mr Havini, the Bougainville Interim Government representative in Australia,
had just returned from the Parallel NGO Forum in Micronesia and lobbying
heads of governments at the South Pacific Forum.
He reported on the peace process on Bougainville and put it into the
Pacific context of colonialist occupation. New Zealand and France still
possess territories within the Pacific and Papua New Guinea clings to
"There is now a process of decolonisation. The UN has given the target that
by the year 2000 the remaining territories under colonisation must be given
their independence by the year 2000."
Colonialism is an outdated concept, it was outlawed by the United Nations
after the Second World War, "and yet we have countries in the Pacific that
still hang on to this old concept of still trying to have a people pinned
under their sovereignty", said Mr Havini.
"Now the process on Bougainville, if it goes as planned, will set a process
of self-determination within the Pacific.
"We are hoping that on Bougainville by the end of this year, next year, we
will have actually short-circuited the process of self- determination and
achieved a precedent by which decolonisation can be hastened in the
"We are hoping that before the year 2000 that Bougainville will actually
set a new political order within the present political structure, within
the world today.
"We hope that in three years time we will be able to have something that we
can tell the world: 'Look, we have done it. Follow us'".
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