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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (February 10, 2000 – The Independent)---Bougainville is 20 years behind with its population data and urgently needs an update.

This was revealed by Bougainville Provincial Census Coordinator, Mrs. Hajily Kele.

She said the latest population data is from the 1980 National Population Census. Bougainville missed out on the 1990 national census, the second national census since independence, because of the 10-year secessionist crisis on the island.

Because of that, Mrs. Kele said the 2000 National Population Census is especially important for Bougainville, as the province is currently in the process of rebuilding itself.

She said the province needs the latest population data so that it can be used to make informed planning.

Mrs. Kele has urged everyone in Bougainville to support the 2000 National Population Census so that all persons in the provinces are counted.

She said she was happy with the support and encouragement she has received so far, and thanked the Bougainville Provincial Administration for their assistance.

She added that everyone in the province had to realize that the census is for their benefit.

Meanwhile the preparatory activities for the census are progressing well despite communication and logistical problems.

Mrs. Kele said the Census Units Updates in all the districts, with the exception of Arawa, had been completed and entered into the registry.

Listings of households are now taking place in the Buka, Nissan and Attols districts. There are 12 districts in the province, and the others will do their listings when they have done their second level training for listers and listing supervisors.

Similar activities, monitored by the National Statistical Office, are currently running across PNG in preparation for the actual census in July this year.

The date for the census is yet to be endorsed by the National Executive Council.

For additional reports from The Independent, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Independent (Papua New Guinea).



PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Feb. 14, 2000 – Post-Courier)---The Bougainville Peoples Congress Vice President, James Tanis, has urged the Government to facilitate a political solution on Bougainville immediately.

This is despite being assured of the Government's commitment to the coming peace talks.

He warned the Government to take the call seriously or the people on the island would take the matter into their own hands.

He said: "If the Government fails to facilitate a political solution, then the people themselves will choose to settle the matter.

"They may settle it in a way that will not please the Government. That could lead to a more serious problem."

Mr. Tanis said that the Government's failure to amend the Bougainville Reconciliation Government in the first place should be a lesson to learn from.

Mr. Tanis led a 14-member delegation to Port Moresby to conduct an awareness plan on Bougainville's firm position and reasons on autonomy and referendum on the island.

He said that he was pleased with the way the Government and the Bougainville MPs responded.

He was relieved that members had finally come to realize the needs of the people and accepted the way people want the situation addressed.

"The steer of the peace process must be the people's will and the laws should be flexible enough to accommodate lasting peace for the people on the island," he said.

"This clearly shows that the Government is now ready for negotiations."

The next round of peace talks will be held on February 27 in Arawa, Central Bougainville.

The main issues on the agenda are autonomy and a referendum.

For additional reports from the Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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