PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH’S Alistar Kata has just filed an interesting report about the virtual “shut out” of no-mining critics in Bougainville in the lead-up to the elections next month. The report was about a head-to-head interview with the Bougainville Freedom Movement’s long-time campaigner Vikki John and New Dawn FM broadcaster Aloysius Laukai, both past award winners for their contrasting roles.
John claimed the “ownership” of news websites was hampering opposition news, saying this was another form of “brainwashing” by the company that is angling for resumption of copper mining at Panguna, the mine which triggered the 10-year Bougainville civil war. However, Laukai was at great pains to reject any alleged links to the powerful Bougainville Copper Limited mining lobby.
Last month’s new mining law passed by the Autonomous Bougainville Government’s legislature last month has paved the way to make reopening of the mine possible.
“No, we have no links and that’s why we have put up heaps of stories and cover events such as the mining forums,” Laukai told Kata. “There must be some confusion with us and another Bougainville news website.”
He was probably referring to Bougainville24 news website, which is produced by Bougainville Copper Ltd. But that isn’t the end of the story.
According to the European Shareholders of BCL, they have been backing New Dawn FM and have promoted an appeal to channel funds to the community broadcaster, founded with UNESCO support in 2008.
A link to this was revealed in a posting on the Pacific Media Centre website today, which referred to ABG and Bougainville Copper Foundation funding for New Dawn. The European Shareholders webpage goes like this:
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