CALL FOR AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND TO SUSPEND BOUGAINVILLE PROJECTS

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PORT MORESBY (March 11, 1999 – Radio Australia)---The Papua New Guinea Opposition says it will ask Australia and New Zealand to suspend their reconstruction projects on Bougainville.

Radio Australia correspondent Richard Dinnen reports the Opposition says Australia and New Zealand are cooperating with an illegal administration on the island:

"Australia and New Zealand are playing a major role in rebuilding Bougainville after ten years of war. That effort is now being used as a weapon in domestic political battles.

"The PNG Opposition has been fighting a Cabinet decision in January to suspend the Bougainville Provincial Government and says the current administration on Bougainville is illegal. Shadow Foreign Minister Andrew Baing says Australia and New Zealand are breaking the laws of Papua New Guinea by cooperating with that administration.

"Australia says it does not deal with any provincial Government, only with the national Government of Papua New Guinea.

"Australian High Commissioner David Irvine will meet Andrew Baing tomorrow in efforts to resolve the issue.

"Richard Dinnen, Port Moresby."

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