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Bougainville's haste to pass mining bill alarms MP

Staff Reporter | 9:52 PM | |
CENTRAL Bougainville MP Jimmy Miringtoro says he is concerned at the desperation shown to push through the Mining Bill before the Bougainville elections.
Writs for the elections will be issued on Friday.
Miringtoro claimed Bougainville President John Momis’ move to deal with the bill before the elections was a sign of desperation to pass the laws regardless of the outcome of the elections.
He said that he had repeatedly warned the Bougainville Government against passing a bill without thorough consultations with the wider population. “I am against this bill because it is not in the best interest of the people.
“To be fair, ABG (Autonomous Bougainville Government) should tell the people both sides of the story, including the impact of mining on their land, environment, local economy and social aspect of lives of the people of Bougainville,” Miringtoro said.
He said the Mining Bill was written by Adam Smith International, a neo-liberal organisation aligned with the World Bank and responsible for controversial development policies and programmes in the Third World.
“Which has drawn wider criticism from mining activists and NGOs (non-governmental organisations).
“It does not give landowners independent access to legal advice, thereby denying them the right of “free prior informed consent” stipulated by the United Nations,” Miringtoro said.
He claimed that the real authority over land and mineral resources was ceded to the ABG in the new Mining Bill, leaving people vulnerable.
 “Civil war began because people’s rights were suppressed,” he said.