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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Apr. 11) – Bougainville Deputy Governor Gerard Sinato has claimed that Australian nationals are trying to destroy the peace process on Bougainville by creating political instability with Francis Ona and his so-called Mekamui government in the newly-autonomous Papua New Guinea province.

"There are signs of some Australian nationals heavily involved in influencing Ona in spreading false prophecy to the people of Bougainville," Sinato said. "There are expatriates contributing to the disunity among the factions involved in the Bougainville peace process," he said in a statement.

Sinato said despite an incident that had taken place last year where an aircraft owned by an Australian company was impound by Civil Aviation Authorities for landing at the decommissioned Aropa Airport, Australian nationals were continuously sneaking into Bougainville with ulterior motives.

"We are quite disappointed that the Australian government has been tight-lipped about last year’s incident and the current events, where Australian men travel in and out the No-Go-Zone area," he said. "Though the Australian Federal police are aware of the situation they have done nothing."

Appealing on behalf of the combined leadership in the province the deputy governor also called on the Australian citizens who have interest of any kind in Bougainville to respect the legitimate authority and follow the right channel.

"Do not take us for a ride. I kindly ask the authorities in Port Moresby and the Australian Government to take appropriate measures to ensure that Australian citizens or other immigrants with infidel motives to refrain from entering Bougainville and at the same time must be discouraged from involving themselves in any illegal activities," he added.

April 12, 2005

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