ABG condemns killing of geologist

President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Grand Chief Dr John Momis, today condemned the killing of the Kalia geologist, late Terry Win Kilya, by criminal thugs claiming to be landowners in the Melelup area in North Bougainville.

On behalf of the Bougainville Executive Government and its people, President Momis expressed sorrow for the loss of a very talented and experienced geologist from Enga Province.

“It is deeply regrettable that this experienced geologist came here to share his skills and expertise with Bougainville and to lose his life this way is totally unacceptable and the people of Bougainville are truly very sorry for this unfortunate incident,” he said.

“Bougainvilleans have spoken in the referendum vote that we want to be liberated and free to charter our new path ahead, but this sort of unnecessary incident is disheartening.

“In our Melanesian way and culture, we want to truly say sorry to the people of Enga and the family of the late Terry Win Kilya by extending our ‘bel kol’ assistance to late Terry’s family of K100,000 to ensure your son, Mr. Kilya, is given the graceful rest he deserves.”

The President has also expressed disgust and disappointment at the company, Kalia/Toremana Joint Venture Limited, for allowing its employees into this area knowing full well that there is criminal resistance for exploration there.

The President said this same group has been causing problems for land access to exploration sites in the Melelup area in the recent past.

“It is unbearable to know that the company has insisted to push on with its exploration work on the eve of the referendum period without due respect for this process. The company has miserably failed to address its social issues and to fulfill its corporate social responsibility as a client of the ABG,” he said.

President Momis announced that as of today, the Bougainville Executive Council (BEC) has decided to suspend all exploration activities of the company in its tenement areas of EL03/EL04 until further notice.

The BEC has also summoned Kalia/Toremana to explain why such an avoidable incident was allowed to happen in the first instance.

The BEC has directed the Deputy Commissioner of the Bougainville Police Service to immediately investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice without delay.

Given the recent incident, the President has further announced that the BEC has undertaken to suspend all exploration activities in Isina and Kokoda until further notice, to allow the ABG and the people of Bougainville to focus on completing the referendum process in accordance with the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

The late Kilya has been described by relatives as “Wapenamanda’s pioneer geologist”.

(Late Terry Win Kilya – Picture: Justine Jonah Isaiah Emecka Facebook page)

Press release