Go Pinis

Go Pinis

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


My flatmate discovered an old weekly newsletter published in Bougainville back in the 90s. Produced and printed by the Division of Information, the VillePress serves as an interesting insight into Bougainville's history. Reading through the articles I found myself experiencing a sense of déjà vu…

The front page of issue 15, Friday 5 September 1998, is titled:

Resistance to disarm before BRG is formed

The article was drafted soon after the peace initiatives lead by New Zealand with the parties to the conflict. The article centres on an interview with a Resistance leader (one of the armed factions at the time), who is quoted as saying the following:

"We have come a long way from Burnham to Buin and we feel a lot better after the Pan Bougainville Congress.

However, we can't get things right until those arms and ammunition leave our hands.

We had been preparing a paper for PPCC's deliberation this month and we're really serious about this disarmament thing. It must begin at once. Really there is no longer any need for Bougainvilleans to be armed."

It is now over ten years since those words were spoken, but sadly disarmament is still an issue in Bougainville. How much progress have we really made?

Half a Century

Apparently I have drafted 50 posts for this blog. I actually don't believe it!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


So I have to go to higher ground because of a tsunami threat. The last one didn't eventuate but better safe than sorry.

Ok we are safe and sound, the warning was cancelled. That was exciting. At first no-one seemed to be responding, but then word went out on the radio and all of sudden everyone was piling into PMVs (public motor vehicles) and heading for the hills. Fortunately those are only 10 minutes from town.

Quite a gathering at my house. Binoculars were out, photo and video cameras were on stand by and Jane was serving drinks.

I've heard that a wave did hit the south east coast of Bougainville, as far north as Kieta and some parts of Arawa beach. However, I can't confirm those reports (not that anyone is actually reading this right now).

The response amongst the locals was good, but there were still many in town. You always get skeptics, and to be fair there simply isn't enough transportation for everyone, so that was sad to see. I hope the real thing doesn't arrive because many will be at risk.

At it seems the false warning (no evidence yet) has upset some people. I passed a friend of mine on my way out - he asked me "how serious are you." I considered the fact that he had children and replied "very serious." Yes these events can cause a lot of panic, but I would hate for them to play it conservatively and lose lives as a result.

Thursday, October 1, 2009