Panguna LOs Challenged

President Ishmael Toroama, has challenged Panguna landowners to work with the Autonomous Bougainville Government to guarantee independence for Bougainville politically and economically.

President Toroama made this statement when addressing the Panguna Chief Summit yesterday at Tunuru Catholic Parish in Central Bougainville.

President Toroama told the Summit that it is time for Bougainvilleans to reset themselves and align with the independence timeline.

He challenged the five Panguna clan groups to resolve and agree to an outcome that will facilitate and support the 97.7 percent vote for political independence.

While the government has progressed much in declaring Bougainville’s firm position for independence in the last three Joint Government Consultation meetings with the National Government, it needs a strong backing to ensure that Bougainville’s political aspirations are well supported with a vibrant economic foundation.

“If we are talking about a new Bougainville, we must reset and refocus our priorities,” he stressed.

The Paguna Dialogue Chief Summit is an activity under the Panguna Mine Dialogue project, sanctioned by the Bougainville Executive Council in 2021, as a strategic mechanism to solve outstanding issues of the Panguna Mine using a bottom-up approach.

The process is being guided by the theme “Local Problem, Local Knowledge, Local Solution”.

The five Panguna landowner groups, including Kurabang, Barapang, Bakoringu, Basikang and Mantaa, are expected to sign a joint resolution by the end of the Summit which will trigger the next steps towards the possible reopening of the renowned Panguna Mine. 

Press Release