Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sir Michael commits to rebuilding B'ville

PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare yesterday reassured Bougainville President John Momis that the national government was committed to rebuilding and reconstructing the autonomous region, The National reports.

Landowners’ uprising, which led to the Bougainville conflict over 15 years, resulted in the destruction of many infrastructures.

Momis met with Sir Michael yesterday after arriving in the capital last Friday after he was sworn in as new Bougainville president, replacing James Tanis.

In yesterday’s meeting, both leaders agreed that several areas in the restoration process should be addressed and given special attention.

Momis was accompanied to Morauta Haus by several members of his cabinet.

Before leaving for Bougainville tomorrow, they are also expected to call on several diplomatic corps.

However, Momis, in his inauguration speech at the University of PNG at the weekend, said the people of Bouginville were frustrated about things like the transfer of few powers, the failure of national government to pay the full restoration and development grants for 2010 and the slow progress in appointment of a chief administrator to fill the gap created over three years ago.

After meeting Sir Michael yesterday, Momis paid a courtesy call on the Solomon Islands and the Australian high commissioners.

Today, he would meet with the Chinese and the Japanese ambassadors.

Momis is also expected to meet with the managing director of Rio Tinto to discuss the possibility of re-opening the Paguna mine.

However, he told reporters in Port Moresby last Friday that re-opening the mine would depend on dialogue between the landowners and leaders of Bougainville.


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