Leonard Fong Roka
What game is Anthony Reagan playing on Bougainville for Bougainvilleans?
When the Panguna people fought against the brutal exploitation of Bougainville wealth to built Australia’s buffer state of Papua New Guinea that hosted a people that were not ethnically and geographically relatives of Bougainvilleans, Australia was up against the Solomon Island people of Bougainville and supported the PNG people.
Bougainvilleans stood up to shut the Panguna mine that was building PNG and not Bougainville. The analogy is that Bougainville was rich in the media and the few urban centers but in reality, Bougainville was the poorest island with no infrastructure, proper government system to sustain progress. Bougainville was marching to its grave yard festooned beautiful flowers.
Australia and PNG loved the pre-crisis Bougainville direction of development that was based on exploitation that was sustained by institutional indoctrination to subject the Bougainville nation into a field of genocide.
The pair proofed it when the Bougainville people revolted since 1988.
Australia and PNG had the dream to eradicate the people of Bougainville in their 10 year total blockade on Bougainville to take control of the massive seven mines that Bougainville is sitting on. Since Panguna mine was the financial river of PNG, it indicated that the next 6 mines were as positive in terms of profiteering for Australia and PNG.
But Bougainvilleans stood to the harsh Australia and PNG rage against them.
Thus reaching a moment in the life of Bougainvilleans that their tiny island states like Solomon Islands, Vanuatu with the backing of only one responsible state in the Pacific, New Zealand; other humanitarian organizations like churches and individuals of the Pacific and the international community began advocating for peace in the midst of the divided Bougainville people that were fighting each other whilst the Australia armed PNG army turned into a sitting logistical provider.
Peace did not suffer resistance for the island since Bougainville was a nation that people knew and accepted each other. So when Bougainville kept their guns away and peace slowly wrapped the island making Australia thinking.
Australia is a hegemonic state in the South Pacific. It cannot let go its status that easily to another rival state, for example, China and be seen as a bystander in its own doorsteps from exploiting the tiny Pacific island states.
Thus Australia dived into the peace effort on Bougainville under a new skin of friendship for the post-conflict Bougainville population to welcome it as a big brother. Of course, it is the regions big brother, but no state or person enters into a partnership without its interest to get its slice of the cake.
With all care, Australia helps Bougainville create the Bougainville Peace Agreement (2001); Australia support Bougainville creates it autonomous government system and so on. But as it stands behind Bougainville, Australia is seeing that Bougainvilleans turn to built laws that will deter or narrow its interest on Bougainville.
To this, an academically well versed Anthony Reagan comes into play.
Consider this and look at Mr. Reagan and the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) of the day: ‘Experts at the banks will come after you. It’s their job to punch holes in your forecasts—that’s what they’re paid to do. Making you look bad makes them look good.’ Confessions of the Economic Hit Man by John Perkins (2004: Page 17).
Anthony Reagan is punching holes in Bougainvillean psyche and achievements making the ABG look bad and making outside interest and directive look beautiful thus ABG is backing outside interest and not a Bougainville oriented approach to development of Bougainville.
Such a trend paves way for exploitation. That is Bougainvilleans still will not own the land they died for since ABG is vowing to foreign interests that the very good examples on the ground are Anthony Reagan and Lindsay Semple.
Recently in Bougainville Forum (Facebook) Anthony Reagan preached all his credentials of working on Bougainville and admitted that, ‘It’s true that AusAID has paid for my work in Bougainville.’
In this day and age, political leaders are puppets and the real decision makers in politics are the financial institutions, multinational corporations, and so on. So we have to ask as Bougainvilleans how many financial tentacles has AusAID has? BCL and Rio Tinto are both Australian multinational corporations!
So nothing is hidden when Anthony Reagan is struggling hard to influence and mould the outcome of the Bougainville mining bill.
Panguna Mine Affected Landowners Association (PMALA) chairman, Lawrence Daveona, emailed his executives that, ‘we must collectively defend the "Stolen Rights" for our people. We must remember that Blood has been spilled in our struggle for Land rights. You all know the rest of the story. It is now or never as long as people like Mr. Tony Regan and Professor Cieran who are on the payroll of AUSAID as advisors to ABG keep carrying on their misguided information to us under the cover of "Workshops" for us the Landowners.’
People are seeing and feeling the whole problem Bougainville is now faced with: the reckless roaming of an economic hit man to kill Bougainville ownership of the land and its livelihood. They are here to put foreign interest ahead of Bougainville’s loss of 15 to 20 000 of its innocent people that perish under Australian support of its friend, PNG and its brutality on the island.
Another American sympathetic to Bougainvilleans, Dr. David E. Martin of the University of Virginia wrote in Inverted Alchemy blog that, ‘In an elaborate scheme reminiscent of the first theft of Bougainville’s assets, Mr. Regan has complied with the wishes of his paymasters and drafted a new mining bill that preserves nearly all the abuses embodied in the 1967 Act. To add insult to injury, his proposed bill reinforces the corruption quotient by burying in Clause 26 the nullification of the over 200 provisions with the simple empowerment of the Autonomous Bougainville Government to act unilaterally and without consideration of any law as it wishes. Using his “constitutional” expertise, he’s taken to the U.S. government’s definition of Constitutional Law – if it is expedient, do it and tread on the Constitution to get what you want.’
The ABG’s mining minister, Michael Oni from Panguna, is now a puppet in the House of Representatives. He has no ownership of the bill played around by Anthony Reagan. It was not Michael Oni that presented the bill in parliament but Anthony Reagan.
In such a rush Anthony Reagan also abused the Bougainville Constitution twice but nothing has being done by the ABG.
The Bougainville Copper Agreement 1967 that allowed the exploitation, indoctrination and genocide of the Bougainville people is now trying to come back with the blessing of the ABG and the economic and political hit man Anthony Reagan.