PNG Prime Minister: Bougainville Better With PNG, Not Independent

O’Neill says government already helping ABG rebuild infrastructure

By Clifford Faiparik

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, August 24, 2016) – Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says Bougainville does not need independence but more Government support to rebuild its infrastructure.

“This Government is already doing that,” he told Parliament yesterday.

“They must have confidence in our Government.

“We have up to 2019 to tell our people on Bougainville that they are better off being part of PNG than alone.

“You see many countries with a population of 200,000, the likelihood of them surviving is very limited because they don’t have the economy strong enough to survive.

“Bougainville people are better off being part of PNG. That is what they have to know and the only way for us to win their confidence is by making sure that we deliver on what we say we deliver. Not letting them down. We have been letting them down for 20 years since the peace agreement.”

O’Neill was taking part in the debate on the review of the National Coordination Office of Bougainville Affairs.

“We put services like banking, telecommunication, restored the sea ports (Kieta wharf) and airport (Aropa airport), post office,” he said.

“The hospitals and schools are functioning. The District Service Improvement Programmes and Provincial Service Improvement Programmes are working.

“Most of the roads from Buka (North Bougainville) down to Buin (South Bougainville) are improving – in fact they are been sealed.”

He said bridges destroyed during the crisis were been rebuilt with the help of the Japanese Government.

The National
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Comments

The future for Bougainvilleans lie with the lasting peace for Papua New Guineans, Bougainvilleans and Pacific Islanders. Bougainvilleans are intellectuals like any other human beings, that exist on this earth.They know what is good and right place to decide for themselves.Therefore can the leadership and authority of Papua New Guinea make that deciding moment available right up in the front?

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