Home > mining, Papua New Guinea > Bougainville Consultancies earn controversial Australian advisor a small fortune

Bougainville Consultancies earn controversial Australian advisor a small fortune

Former BRA Commander, Sam Koana, and Bougainvillean activist, Simon Ekanda, recently raised concerns over the involvement of Australian National University academic, Anthony Regan, in the drafting of Bougainville’s mining policy.

According to Ekanda:

“Bougainville mining policy does not belong to Regan, BCL (Bougainville Copper Ltd) or the Australians, it belongs to the resource owners and the people of Bougainville”.

The policy being drafted by Regan, it is feared, will pave the way for the return of Bougainville Copper Limited, following a decade long war to shut the Panguna mine down.

If Regan’s involvement gets some Bougainvilleans hot under the collar, wait till they hear about the amount he is being paid by AUSAID out of PNG’s aid budget; often referred to as boomerang aid (you can see why below).

While transparency data is difficult to locate, snippets of information acquired from AUSAID and the Austender database, suggest large payments are being made to Regan.

Project Date Amount (AUD) Source
Provincial Government Reform

30/04/1997 – 31/7/1997

(3 months)

$75,000 http://www.ausaid.gov.au/Publications/Documents/business/participation9697.pdf
Assistance to the Department of Provincial and Local Affairs

27/11/1997 – 30/4/1998

(5 months)

$60,875 http://www.ausaid.gov.au/Publications/Documents/business/bpp.pdf
Technical Assistance – Bougainville Transitional Government

18/5/1998 – 30/6/1999

(13 months)

$170,000 http://www.ausaid.gov.au/Publications/Documents/business/Business-part-2.pdf
Legal Services

21/10/07 – 30/11/07

(1 month)

$41,951.25 https://www.tenders.gov.au/?event=public.cn.view&CNUUID=2A74AB2A-F43E-91FD-ADC820055036060C

Given that the final payment listed here mirrors Regan’s current duties as legal advisor to the Autonomous Bougainville Government, it might be reasonably estimated that over a 12 month period Regan could be earning somewhere in the vicinity of $500,000 or K1.1 million for his legal services. This is presumably in addition to his annual salary at ANU.

Over to you Sam.

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  1. Liam Fox
    March 1, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Just wondering if you’re aware of Tony Regan’s long, long history of working with Bougainvilleans and that he’s widely admired and respected in Bougainville for that work?

    Questions about salaries being paid out of aid money are always legitimate but to paint Mr Regan as a stooge of BCL and/or the Australian government is ridiculous in my opinion.

    And Simon Ekanda is not a Bougainvillean activist, he’s a highlander.

    Also not sure if you’re aware that Sam Kouna has links to Canadian company called Morumbi Resources whose CEO is Lindsay Semple, formerly of Invincible Resources. Invincible Resources was the company that controversially paid former Bougainville president Joseph Kabui $8 million for 70% of the island’s mineral resources.

    If you’re not aware there’s a good background here … http://asopa.typepad.com/asopa_people/2012/08/simple-for-lindsay-as-morumbi-moves-on-bville-resources.html

    Morumbi’s been touting MOUs it’s singed with landowner companies despite the fact there’s a moratorium on mining in Bougainville.

    It’s always worth getting the whole story before picking sides.

  2. March 1, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Read the real truth about Sam Kauona here: http://www.bougainville-copper.eu/the-civelli-clan.html ! Felon Sam Kauona exposed by the ESBC !

  3. Liam Fox
    March 4, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Just wondering if and when you’ll be publishing my comment.

  4. YL
    March 5, 2013 at 11:29 am

    As a proud bougainvillian i am appauled with what has been written about this mr reagan as i have did a bit of reserching on mr reagan and found that he has indepth knowledge on bougainville and his views have been well recieved but a lot of common folk and influential people i have spoken too.
    it saddens me that indivduals mentioned of whom i have idolised over the years because of their tireless efforts in giving a voice to the majority of thier populated area, to distrupte the progress of bougainville because of a few individuals who have had their feathers ruffled.
    i close my brief comment with a phrase “the promise of grandure by individuals always has strings attached to it with the intent of malice.”

    YL
    BOUGAINVILLE PRIDE

    • March 11, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      Yes YL I just got back from your Mekamui home and learnt alot that is ignored by the mr regan types. in fact despite this fellows involvement in the peace process I met nobody who liked or trusted the man (maybe momis is the only one). From my impression of what’s happening on the ground I don’t think the strategic occupation of mr regan and the like will do anything good for people in relation to deals with BCL Rio Tinto or other miners, an industry responsible for theft, bagurap environments and war. I think AU Gov should say sorry and stay out of Bougainville affairs considering the history.

  5. Kristian Lasslett
    March 5, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    Good point Liam on the Kaona front!

    But I would hesitate to say things are so black and white with Regan. There is no doubt he is a celebrated Bougainvillean scholar; but at the same time some of his analysis has raised more than one or two eyebrows on Bougainville.

    To cite two examples.

    1. In May 1990 the PNG government placed a blockade around Bougainville; not even humanitarian aid was allowed in (though efforts in this direction were being implemented as early as December 1989). Matthew Spriggs (ANU) condemned it as worse than the embargo placed on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. In 1991 Community Aid Abroad humanitarian worker Lissa Evans obtained data from Doctors on the ground. The findings were pretty horrific.

    “Since January 1990 malaria has killed 200 people, representing a 189 per cent increase over 1989. Many of these are children and pregnant women … The incidence of tuberculosis and leprosy has also increased particularly among the 10 to 20 years age group. Because of the protracted course of supervised therapy required (a maximum of six months for TB and two years for leprosy), these diseases are being virtually unchecked. Yaws and tropical ulcers are increasingly in evidence because of a lack of penicillin, soaps and detergent. In the past year 70-80 per cent of outpatients have been children under five years of whom 50 per cent are suffering from gastroenteritis, while over 70 per cent of deaths are due to respiratory-related diseases. In addition those people with drug dependencies for illnesses such as diabetes and asthma are dying from lack of medication”.

    Evans thus concludes:

    “After two years experience working for Community Aid Abroad’s Disaster Response Desk, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region, it is my firm opinion that the total lack of medical supplies to Bougainville between May 1990 and February 1991 has created an emergency situation. Bougainvillean doctors who have remained on Bougainville throughout the conflict estimate that over 3,000 people have died as a direct consequence of the blockade and that many thousands more are suffering unnecessarily because of a lack of medicines, soaps, detergents and dressings”.

    This view was supported by Médecins Sans Frontières in 1992.

    Yet in a 1999 Australian Senate inquiry into the Bougainvillean peace process Regan – who contests estimates over the death toll – seems to suggest the blockade may have produced an ‘alive rate':

    “Undoubtedly, the most difficult category to assess will be … untreated illness or injury – where separating deaths that could have been expected to happen anyway from those really attributable to the blockade will be problematic. Further, there is some evidence that deaths from untreated illness or injury may well have been offset to a significant degree – or even outweighed – by the improved general health of the population in areas under blockade. There are numerous reports from people who lived in such areas to the effect that improved general health standards were related to two main factors. The first was a diet far more healthy than before the conflict. It was free from most processed foods, fats, high salt and sugar contents, and without alcohol. The second was much increased physical exercise than prior to the conflict. This was due to such things as the need for subsistence gardening and increased walking due to lack of motor vehicles” (note the “even outweighed”).

    I have never come across a social scientist who would count forced exercise, forced work, and forced diet, against mothers, children etc who died from a lack of access to medicines and surgical equipment.

    To my knowledge few in the scholarly community support this approach; though it was an argument that DFAT put out in a bid to shield criticism of the blockade, which Australia was strongly supporting. So for example in 1991 Michael Thawley, an Assistant Secretary in Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade argued:

    “It is very difficult for anyone to put precise figures on that but I think it is fair to say that the impression we have had from people who have visited Bougainville – some of them, of course, are medically qualified and have been able to travel around a bit – and from people who have left Bougainville is that basic nutrition at that sort of general level is good and that in some respects health conditions at a general level are really quite okay”.

    So some Bougainvilleans I have spoken to have felt Regan’s argument gave these sort of indefensible statements an air of authority. Maybe their wrong, but its not a “ridiculous” view in light of the evidence.

    Then of course there is Regan’s position on BCL.

    In a 2003 article Regan opined: “When the conflict began, BCL initially welcomed the security forces for protection it needed to continue its mining operations, and provided some material support. Despite some claims to the contrary, there is as yet no credible evidence that BCL took any direct part in the operations against the BRA”.

    In a footnote that follows this last sentence Regan adds: “For example, in the claims made in a class action launched in 2000 in a U.S. court by some Bougainvilleans against BCL. See Alexis Holyweek Sarei et al. v. Rio Tinto plc and Rio Tinto et al., U.S. District Court, Central District of California, Western Division, no. 00-11695 MMM AIJx”.

    Given Regan is a leading authority on Bougainville, this statement holds considerable weight. However, dare I say a cursory inquiry into HBSS’ case – the lawyers for the Bougainvillean litigants – would have revealed their legal argument is grounded in a shed-load of empirical evidence. Indeed, not only do HBSS possess damning testimony from towering figures in PNG’s political landscape, including Michael Somare (former Prime Minister), John Momis (former Minister, current ABG President) and Jerry Singirok (former Commander of the PNGDF), they also possess a cache of internal BCL records that corroborates this evidence. These affidavits and records reveal that not only did BCL feed, house, and provide the troops with access to trucks, fuel, storage and secretarial services; they also regularly met with PNGDF commanders to discuss military operations, and key offensive targets.

    From my experience HBSS has been transparent in the evidence they possess (which is not an endorsement for the action, it is simply my experience); indeed they opened their entire case file to me when I requested. So for Regan to support BCL’s denials, without consulting the evidence is not a great move, in my opinion.

    While Regan is without doubt a prolific Bougainville scholar, these types of statements might rightly give people cause to pause and think. There is indeed considerable greyness here.

  6. feekay
    March 6, 2013 at 3:15 am

    All services provided to Bougainville by Tony is legitimate and above board – all at the request, often behest, of ABG. Tony has a long association predating ABG when his legal/technical advice was also sought by Bougainville Premiers and Governors. In the time of ABG, this has included and involved all three Presidents: late Kabui, Tanis and now Momis.
    The value of advice and assistance to Bougainville by individuals like Tony cannot just be simply measured in dollars and cents, or kina and toea. It is invaluable and Sam and his dicey cohorts cannot just simply throw up oppostion by producing a table or matrix of figures to argue that foreign consultants are earning a lot of money. Tony’s heart is in the right place and Bougainvillean leadership recognises this and so does AusAID. He is more genuine and committed and objective in his dealings with the political leadersip and authorities than you can ever say for Sam Kauona. The best response from Tony is no response at all but to keep providing the services ABG requires and continues to request him to provide until his services may no longer be needed. Sam has very little believability with many Bouganvilleans including ex-combatants, the political leadership and the landowners. Sam’s following can be summed up in three or four names: Semple, Lari, Ekanda and the hangers-on around him that are waiting for foreigners that are illegally in Bougainville to deliver millions of kina from the dubious schemes perpetrated by these foreigners. You can fool some of your people some of the time but you cannot and must never try to fool all of your people all of the time. Because you’ll be found wanting like an aimless, lying, deceiving misfit hanging on the coat tails of foreign carpetbaggers.

  7. Benji Alegra
    March 6, 2013 at 8:20 am

    I think we’re missing – in some cases deliberately so – that in the controversy about the mine – Tony Regan has supported the miners and BCL full stop. And that he is being paid large amounts of money by the Australian government to do so. Again full stop.

    Now I note that Mr. Regan staying out of this debate is being touted as a good thing. I tend to agree, but I can’t help wondering if some of the responses are from mates for Mr. Regan, which again is fine. Mr. Fox – who ends his missive trying to let us know he’s a newsman who gets his facts straight – unlike you unprofessional folks at PNG Exposed. But Mr. Fox you shared nothing new. It is all common knowledge to anyone that follows the B’ville situation.

    The majority of comments about Kouna, Semple, Kabui, Invincible are not new, they are not revelations. We know the parasites involved. But the story to me was about Tony Regan and to Mr. Fox and others in the debate about the mine he has taken FROM THE BEGINNING the side of BCL and he still does. Does that make him a stooge for the mine. Your call. I say yes. Oh an Mr. Fox come to B’ville and do more research – he is not WIDELY admired. By some yes – but widely – not so.

    • March 11, 2013 at 6:40 pm

      Yes Benji Tony Regan is not liked at all and by my friends and others I met. PNG exposed as unprofessional as you say are way ahead of Ausaid in providing transparency and information to community while Sam and Mekamui (although not great capitalists) are simply defending their land from sleazy foreign incursions (especially foreign governments) and doing a good job I must say.

  8. f-kay
    March 6, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Quote:
    “Undoubtedly, the most difficult category to assess will be … untreated illness or injury – where separating deaths that could have been expected to happen anyway from those really attributable to the blockade will be problematic. Further, there is some evidence that deaths from untreated illness or injury may well have been offset to a significant degree – or even outweighed – by the improved general health of the population in areas under blockade. There are numerous reports from people who lived in such areas to the effect that improved general health standards were related to two main factors. The first was a diet far more healthy than before the conflict. It was free from most processed foods, fats, high salt and sugar contents, and without alcohol. The second was much increased physical exercise than prior to the conflict. This was due to such things as the need for subsistence gardening and increased walking due to lack of motor vehicles” (note the “even outweighed”).

    Kristian, with reference to the above quote, if you were in Bougainville during the blockade, after the blockade, and go there today this is what you would have heard and what you will still hear from many, many B’villeans including women. Regan was simply reporting what many Bougainvilleans told him first hand. These were not just utterances about circumstances brought on by the blockade that stopped processed western foods getting into B’ville. People actually, really, observed a real change in their general health and came to appreciate that fresh, natural garden foods and walking and toiling the body about as opposed to sedentary life did see improvements in people’s physical and spiritual health and well-being. No one, including the B’villean population, is denying that there were preventable deaths from malaria and during births. BUT you cannot blame Regan for this.

    The difference between Regan and the spat that we are now getting from Kristian is that Regan has been doing and contributing something very real and quantifiable to give practical effect to the political dreams and objectives of Bougainville. This is why successive Bougainville leaders and the people have sought and will keep seeking his input into shaping and re-birthing Bougainville. In comparison, Kristian’s is largely an intellectual discussion and discourse that most academics can’t get away from in their view and analysis of how they want the world to be.

    Bougainvilleans will acknowledge theirs is a difficult recent history some of which is nothing to be proud of. That is why the efforts of B’villeans is not to dwell in the difficult past but to take all steps possible, both in cultural and modern ways, through peace and reconciliation and move on. People like Regan are contributing very meaningfully to these local, regional and international efforts – all for the future of Bougainville.

    Kristian’s views are interesting reading but they belong to academics that write and make history sound either interesting or appalling without caring or suggesting practical resolutions for the people affected. The Bougainville population is more interested in people helping in real and practical ways than with someone that is posting and dispensing very subjective, almost prescriptive, views as an academic (or scholarly) pastime.

    With regard to the class action in the U.S. there is growing realization that Bougainville would stand to benefit much more and more readily by seeking arrangements and agreements with Rio/BCL for reparation and compensation than what the litigants may achieve in a highly litigious jurisdiction like the U.S. Discussions with the people and Rio regarding reparation and compensation, etc do not have to be adjudicated by wigged and robed old men sitting on elevated benches in a confined court room space. The Melanesian approach in reaching agreements is not adversarial or litigious but is a down-to-earth inclusive egalitarian, equitable approach from and by all sides. This is how the Bougainville Peace Process succeeded. We do not have people pontificating from a pulpit, or handing down bellicose decisions from the bench, or uniformed men hanging around to swoop with hand-cuffs to arraign any guilty party. When I have heard Regan explain this case, it has not been to criticize the actions of Sarei and others but respond to questions such as how long the US courts will take to make a decision on the substantive issues, or how much landowners will get and the US lawyers will stack away, or whether if it is possible at all to bring the case before PNG courts, etc.

    Bougainvilleans that Regan has worked with do not regard him and call him a scholar. This is a word Kristian uses without knowing how Regan works with Bougainvilleans for Bougainville. He (Regan) does not have a scholarly or scholastic TOR. H receives his instructions, briefs and directions from ABG in how he is required to help.

    I get the impression that Kristian is walking around with a glass test tube in his/her pocket in which he/she puts in a sampling of people or ideas he/she wants to know about or investigate and relies on his/her own acid test from the test tube to arrive at conclusions. Well, the real world is not like that. B’ville is a real world, a real place, populated by real people. Your (Kristian’s) casual swabs, samplings and pokes in a test tube will confuse you and fool you.

  9. Vikki
    March 6, 2013 at 11:46 am

    The topic is about Tony Regan an academic who works at the ANU who is also earning a fortune as an Australian consultant thanks to AusAid.

    Yesterday’s windfall from AusAid to Tony is $613,267.00 to be shared between Tony and another academic to document illegal mining issues on Bougainville.

    “AusAID has awarded the Professor of Politics and Public Policy at the School of Government and International Relations $613,267.00 to carry out the three-year project with his colleague Anthony Regan from the Australian National University.

    The project, which is funded as part of the AusAID Development Research Awards Scheme, will document the economic, social and environmental impacts of illegal mining.”

    http://app.griffith.edu.au/news/2013/03/05/digging-the-dirt-on-illegal-mining/

    This raises legitimate questions about his dual capacities as an academic and as a consultant.

    • March 11, 2013 at 6:47 pm

      thanks Vikki at least you can provide details of Regan’s capacity of interest that which Ausaid so illegitimately conceals from Bougainvilleans and the public.

    • Wesely
      March 13, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      ..really
      What legitimate questions
      Dr Kristian Lasslett gets paid to minvestigate and make allegations of state crimes committed by RioTitno.
      That’s what’s paying his mortgage.
      This too rises legitimate questions about his duel capacities as an academic and a what?
      Prosecutor?
      ……………….balh bah blah blah
      It goes on forever and is a pointless exercise.
      Just put a prosecutorial brief together and take Chan to the International Court in the Netherlands
      Get it over and done with and stop this endless yap yap yapping……..

  10. Vikki
    March 6, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    I also forgot to mention that this is a great little earner for Tony Regan and his academic colleague from the Australian tax payers.

    Also, the illegal miners are not doing anywhere near the damage done as a result of the Panguna mine by Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL).

  11. March 6, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    F-Kay, I don’t respond to people who hide behind ‘aliases’ or ‘nicknames’, when they critique my work. As you will see Liam Fox and Axel Sturm offer their opinion, with their name and affiliation clearly attached. I would appreciate it if you would do likewise so readers are properly informed.

    However, that said, lets make an exception in this instance. And my apologies, this comment is written on the fly.

    I actually find it quite difficult to respond to your comments in a civil manner; I have met Bougainvilleans who lost loves ones during the crisis owing to the blockade, their faces and tears remain with me to this day.

    Nevertheless, lets give it a bash.

    You defend Regan’s methodology for balancing deaths caused by the blockade against its positive health outcomes, stating: “These were not just utterances about circumstances brought on by the blockade that stopped processed western foods getting into B’ville. People actually, really, observed a real change in their general health and came to appreciate that fresh, natural garden foods and walking and toiling the body about as opposed to sedentary life did see improvements in people’s physical and spiritual health and well-being”.

    I am sure people did; but once again – and sorry to get the test tubes out – when attempting to estimate the human consequences of the blockade you cannot say the women and children who died from lack of medicines and surgical equipment, was cancelled out by those who experienced health improvements. Not only is this a callous rebuff to those who died (i.e. your death doesn’t matter, because my health improved), it is a nonsensical methodology.

    Moreover, you seem to set aside the concrete data collected by Bougainvillean doctors, and international humanitarian observers. Here are some more comments from the ground in Bougainville:

    1. The MP for north Bougainville, Michael Ogio, reported to parliament in May 1991 the suffering he had witnessed first hand following the blockade’s formal implementation:
    “The first three months of the embargo was hell and the people faced the most brutal kind of hardship that can only be equated to a war situation … Because the fighting between the Security Forces and the BRA during 1989 and the early part of 1990 had prevented the people from making good gardens, during the first three months of the embargo food shortages was very acute, trade store goods ran out and everybody had to survive on Tapioka and coconuts. Malnutrition claimed the lives of infants and it was now survival of the fittest. We all had to revert back to the bush for food and within these three months of hardship everybody made good gardens to serve themselves. At the same time medical supplies ran out forcing the closure of Arawa Hospital, all health centres and the aid posts. Malaria and other communicable diseases increased claiming the lives of many, while malnutrition and the lack of immunisation programmes affected infants. The lack of medicine was probably the biggest threat to the population. Many pregnant mothers experiencing problems during child birth due to the closure of health centres, aid posts and the Arawa General Hospital, died. I witnessed many such sad situations. It was either the life of the mother or the new born baby or both. It was indeed a terrible situation … It is estimated that up to 8 000 babies have been born and are in need of immunisation. These must be attended to”.

    2. Here is an account of a Bougainvillean journalist from the Arawa Bulletin who attempted to break the blockade.

    “We were in the Solomon Sea … The security forces intercepted our boat and they gave us a chase … They opened fire on us … When the first victim was shot, he fell back into the boat, and the rest of us, when we saw that our companion died, we jumped into the sea … We asked for mercy. We told them that we surrendered … They started picking us one by one … They were just blasting the heads off … One of them aimed at my head to blast my head off but somehow the bullet went through my shoulder … I was sinking, and then, from deep inside the sea, my mind came back to semi-consciousness, and I realised I was under water. I struggled back up. When I poked my head up I saw them leaving, the security forces … On the PNG news, on the radio, they said we were carrying arms. That was lies, bullshit”. (Islands Business Pacific, 4/1993)

    3. I wont cite Sister Ruby Mirinka’s report from 1994 in full, but in short she provided first-hand accounts of children decimated by malnutrition, an infant dying from sepsis, girls using dirty rags as menstruation pads, women unable to have their uterus cleared following a miscarriage and more general accounts of untreated cases of asthma, pneumonia, high blood pressure, gastro-enteritis and dysentery.

    So F-Kay to me this sounds a horrendous situation that is being written out of the historical record; and true I was not on Bougainville during the blockade, but thankfully so, I would never want to have to watch my baby die from an infection that could be easily treated with antibiotics. And I believe those victims, who no longer have a voice, deserve advocacy.

    You also argue: “No one, including the B’villean population, is denying that there were preventable deaths from malaria and during births. BUT you cannot blame Regan for this.”

    Did I blame Regan? Of course not, responsibility for the blockade lies with the Namaliu government, the Australian government and of course BCL, who allegedly gave the embargo their moral support.

    Then you claim: “When I have heard Regan explain this case, it has not been to criticize the actions of Sarei and others but respond to questions such as how long the US courts will take to make a decision on the substantive issues, or how much landowners will get and the US lawyers will stack away, or whether if it is possible at all to bring the case before PNG courts, etc.”

    Once again – I clearly stated I have no opinion on the case as an approach to achieving justice. What I pointed out was, there IS plenty of credible evidence to support accusations of BCL complicity in war crimes. Evidence, which I said, Regan ignored.

    Finally you argue: “I get the impression that Kristian is walking around with a glass test tube in his/her pocket in which he/she puts in a sampling of people or ideas he/she wants to know about or investigate and relies on his/her own acid test from the test tube to arrive at conclusions”.

    Well lets see, my criteria is basic human rights standards, which all people deserve to have respected, and my acid test is over fifty interviews with senior officials from Australia, PNG and BCL, corroborated by thousands of documentary records. This I would say is a fairly rigorous sample of data. Show me one author writing on the Bougainville conflict who has come close to this sort of rigor when discussing the conduct of BCL, Australia and PNG? But you seem to be fairly dismissive of rigor, as it simply does not support your position; my apologies for that.

    Oh and one last thing, you argue: “Kristian’s views are interesting reading but they belong to academics that write and make history sound either interesting or appalling without caring or suggesting practical resolutions for the people affected”.

    Firstly, I have worked with, and alongside people on the ground all over PNG; when their cries for justice are ignored or maligned, I have been with people on Bouganville, Port Moresby and the Southern Highlands – so put a sock in it F-Kay.

    And for doing this I have had legal threats, physical threats, and plenty of petty personal attacks like your own. And lets be clear I don’t make a penny out of this; I refuse to take money for consultancies … Why should I personally profit from the suffering of others, or the data people on the ground, in their generosity, give me. Moreover, I like my independence.

    My work, when funded, is provided by independent research councils through a review process – where the design, methodology and ethics of my approach, are closely scrutinised by my peers; and it covers my expenses only, in fact I have spent thousands out of my own pocket working in PNG. When in the field I regularly help people with medicines, food, phonecards, etc, as I travel about; and these are things you cant reclaim. So I resent the suggestion I am some sort of arm-chair academic.

    As a criminologist here are some of my concrete ‘solutions’ for the problem:

    • Petition the International Criminal Court prosecutor to consider a case against senior officials within the PNG and Australian government directly responsibility for organising the crimes against humanity on Bougainville.

    • Look if criminal prosecutions could be launched against BCL.

    • Give grieving families and victims a full account of the illicit activities committed by the above actors.

    • And definitely, leave it up to the people of Bougainville how they choose to respond.

    Of course, the powerful will scream this incredulous; they always do when the criminal law is applied to them.

    One last thing – no scholar, and yes, Regan is a scholar last time I checked, is above critique. I have received some serious critiques of my work over the years; some comments were well grounded and right; others were wrong or missed the point. Regan is prolific, I acknowledged that, but not without flaws. And yes I too make mistakes, and deserve to have them pointed out. But lets avoid the personal attacks, ay.

    I look forward F-Kay to finding out your full name and affiliation!

  12. Peter Kareona.
    March 7, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    With due respect Kristian, yours sounds very much like a criminologist’s panacea: that in one fell swoop of the law involving an army of criminologists and academics from far and wide, including the ICC, Bougainville might somehow or other be cleansed of its past.

    You know, there is literature out of B’ville’s experience on the why and how Bougainville Peace Process succeeded and how and why the process of normalcy was brought back slowly but painfully among families, into communities and between different clans in a relatively short time as oppossed to, for instance, the conflict over many decades in Northern Ireland. The three religions in the Middle Eas/ the Holy Land all worship one God but peace is still as elusive as ever and there are religious leaders and criminologists galore offering solutions but to little avail.

    The people of Bougainville were very decisive in letting it be known after the conflict that they chose their tried and tested kastom, local laws, ways and precepts of restorative justice over adversarial approach which perpetuates ill-feelings, even revenge killings. It is not something we’d expect you to completely understand or appreciate as someone schooled to think like a criminologist. Bougainvilleans took ownership and precided and resolved the conflict in ways that is probably still raising bristles in many peoples’ eyebrows. The healing process is still going on. It’ll still take the combined efforts of many Bougainvilleans to get there.

    WE know also there will be time, place and space when Bougainville leaders with the people will make peace with PNG, Australia, BCL, etc. Our time and effort is first best spent dealing with our own healing, reconciliation and peace process.

    I am not at all surprised about the legal threats, physical threats, and personal attacks against you that you mention. Is it not annoying when someone turns up from somewhere and begins advocating or implying that they know better and that as they can prescribe a one-size-fits-all cover across all Lands.

    Personally, I would never approve of the threats you say you were subjected to. They do not belong in a civil society. However, I would make it my business to find out the underlying reasons for such threats. I say underlying because in a society other than one’s own it may not be easy to comprehend why or how people may react to provocations.

    For example, if you came and tried to impose or prescribe or suggest some or all of the concrete “solutions” as a criminologist at the time when Bougainville decided they would own up and take charge and find a way out of a very hurtful and precarious situation, it might have been quite insulting. I mean, on the Bougainville side, can you imagine all the factional commanders and leaders and their army of men (BRA, BRF, BLF, HomeGuard, etc) being arraigned to wither in PNG gaols and how the PNG Security Forces would have mutineered against PNG leaders as they did against Sandline if criminologists had their way and threw the law at everybody. OMG!

    The South Africans found a way in their truth and reconciliation commission. Bougainville chiefs, elders, women, politicians and Ex-combatants resorted to what and how they knew best through an all-encompassing restorative peace process grounded in and propped by kastom in more ways than one. Those that assisted like Regan, Prentice and others on the Bougainville side and Professor Ted Wolfers on the PNG side had to be advised and take advice from B’ville leaders, not impose their will. That is ABG’s position with Regan today. Read what President Momis says.

    If someone says they are a reknown criminologist and stands firm on their advice, whether it is sound or not in the local circumstances, the best solution is to provide them a canoe and tell them to take a walk down to the Ocean and just paddle away.

    If some of the ways I have expressed sound like personal attacks, it is never my intention to do so. English is not my mother toungue.

    Iam independent and have no affiliations of the kind you might be imagining but I am acutely aware that we are living and dying in a world that has unavoidably become interdependent. I also come from a society where you are never born alone or can never die alone.

    I look forward to finding out what your real beef is with Regan and Bougainville.

    • March 9, 2013 at 5:03 am

      Nice to meet you Peter.

      Just to clarify you write: “I am not at all surprised about the legal threats, physical threats, and personal attacks against you that you mention. Is it not annoying when someone turns up from somewhere and begins advocating or implying that they know better and that as they can prescribe a one-size-fits-all cover across all Land”.

      Sorry you completely misinterpreted what I said; not one Bougainvillean, let alone Papua New Guinean has ever threatened me, in any way. To the contrary, I have only ever been shown kindness and hospitality. In fact, up until I met you here on this forum, I have only ever received encouragement from Bougainville, and PNG more widely. The threats have come from Australia and Europe; mostly from investors – I have a fair idea why they have threatened me, not too much need for introspection here.

      And I have never once imposed my view on Bougainvilleans; nice attempt to wedge me though.

      In fact, all I have done is surgically gathered evidence on elite responsibility for war crimes on Bougainville and laid it out in research findings; and my apologies for the criminological lens here. Perhaps crime is the wrong word?

      Now in the above post I did make suggestions, but you asked me too?!?! You said: “Kristian’s views are interesting reading but they belong to academics that write and make history sound either interesting or appalling without caring or suggesting practical resolutions for the people affected”.

      So I offered a solution when asked.

      And no is talking about throwing the law at combatants; they were following orders. Its the senior officials from the state-corporate sphere we are talking about, the ones who gave the orders.

      I know the restorative process Bougainville went through; it was a painful, difficult process where people owned up to what they did and asked for foregiveness. But I missed something here … when did BCL or the Australian government own up and ask forgiveness? As far as I know combatants have done the right and honourable thing; BCL and Australia, not so much.

      And I agree Bougainvilleans should decide for themselves how they respond, and in what way to ‘crimes’ against them. However, at the same time, BCL and the Australian government are foreign organisations, and surely there is a burden on international society also to stop these powerful entities bullying or harming people, whether they are on Bougainville or elsewhere.

  13. Peter Kareona.
    March 7, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    I can’t understand why it is that some people can never get over other people’s capacity to earn or how much they earn. Or who pays them and where and how their spend their earnings. Or how and why they cannot hold down more than one role in what they best do particularly if there is consent by their employers. Vikki John is particularly troubled by this. Is it a case of tall poppies or just being negative for the sake of opposing others.

    • philip staley
      May 6, 2013 at 7:36 am

      Maybe he could just put his personal funds back into the projects like i do , I to earned triple what he does once as a CEO , But i realised our finances are only on loan anyway . Its better to give than receive …….lets put our money were our mouths are .

  14. feekay
    March 8, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Moderator,
    I made some comments and observations yesterday to Kristian Lassett’s response yesterday to my earlier comments. If you are not going to publish them, please email my comments back to me.
    Thank you kindly. Peter Kareona

  15. philip staley
    May 6, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Totally agree with simon, I have just returned and do private work with water in 3rd world countries , As a business man i stay clear and invest my own funds into areas like Bougainville , Gee do they need help there , I have just committed personally 500kina there sinking water wells around the country . People need a heart and to see the gold is in the people .

  1. March 7, 2013 at 7:43 am
  2. March 13, 2013 at 11:00 am
  3. April 23, 2013 at 11:43 pm
  4. April 24, 2013 at 5:06 am

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