Bougainville Presidential Count Update Feedback: © Site Copyright 2019 - Multimedia Investments Ltd. More than 98% of voters supported independence in the non-binding referendum, but that independence now needs to be negotiated with a central PNG government reluctant to lose the resource-rich province. CANBERRA, Australia, Sep 29 2020 (IPS) - Ishmael Toroama, a former revolutionary leader and fighter during the decade long civil war which engulfed the remote islands of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the 1990s, has been elected the autonomous region’s new President ahead of high-level talks about its political future. Later, in 2001, he became a signatory of the Bougainville Peace Agreement under the auspices of which last year’s referendum on Bougainville independence recorded a huge vote in favour of the province’s separation from PNG. Echoes of the Rainbow Warrior – have the lessons been learned? He began his PNG Attitude blog in 2006. Bougainville's new President, Ishmael Toroama, says establishing law and order is essential if the autonomous region in Papua New Guinea is to prosper. Memo NZ: ‘Get on the right side of history’ over West... Police, TNI raid Papuan secretariat in Merauke – 14 activists arrested, Pacific Media Centre founder takes on new social justice journalism role. ‘Oh yes.’ ‘How many?’ ‘Twelve.’ ‘Twelve! Starygin writes that during the disarmament process endorsed by the peace agreement, “Toroama presented himself as an agent of peace”. The death of up to 20,000 people on Bougainville caused by Rio Tinto and BCL as well as the hiring of mercenaries from Sandline Inertnational who were stopped in March 1997, just shows the disgusting, greedy , racist behaviour that the Rio Tinto and BCL mining companies are all about. SYDNEY (Reuters) - Former rebel military commander Ishmael Toroama has been elected president of Bougainville, an autonomous part of Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific, electoral officials said on Wednesday, and is set to lead talks seeking independence. Elections for the first autonomous government were held in May and June 2005; Joseph Kabui, an independence leader, was elected President. Inside his house a picture of Rambo is now dwarfed by a flock of evangelical posters. In his campaign, Toroama stressed the restoration of law and order was a priority, and said the province’s independence question needed to be resolved swiftly. There are no half-measures here.”. Toroama told ABC radio’s Pacific Beat how honoured he was to be elected as the new President of Bougainville: "We have to fulfill the dreams and the vision of why we fought. Momis had sought a third term – in defiance of Bougainville’s constitution which limits presidents to two – but lost a challenge before the supreme court. Encouraged by his numbers and undeterred by defeat Toroama has announced his candidacy for President of Bougainville for the 2015 election.”. He came to wider attention in the documentary film, The Coconut Revolution, which sought to portray the BRA as a band of convivial guerrillas in pursuit of self-reliance and a return to a traditional lifestyle. After interim elections to fill the remainder of his term, John Momis was elected as president in 2010 for a five-year term. In the war on Bougainville (1988–98) up to 20,000 people died. Parliamentary elections parallel to the presidential poll marked a significant shift from the status quo in Bougainville politics. CANBERRA, Australia, Sep 29 (IPS) - Ishmael Toroama, a former revolutionary leader and fighter during the decade long civil war which engulfed the remote islands of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the 1990s, has been elected the autonomous region's new President ahead of high-level talks about its political future. Mr. Toroama says that Bougainville’s dreams to one day chart its … Pacific Media Centre articles are republished with permission. Newly elected President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Ishmael Toroama, says that for the autonomous region to progress it is essential that law and order is established. That is an important consideration given that corruption in Bougainville, as it is in PNG, has been a problem of mounting concern. Bougainville Elects Ishmael Toroama President, Eyes Set on Independence By Grant Wyeth. Still stealing the generations – the abduction of Indigenous Australian children... 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Former rebel commander says law and order a priority, and says issue of PNG independence needs swift resolution, Last modified on Wed 23 Sep 2020 02.46 EDT. Marape has said his government is willing to talk to Bougainville’s leaders, but has framed discussions around self-determination and “economic independence”, while carefully avoiding commitments to political independence. Toroama will be sworn into office Friday. Sadly Rio Tinto and BCL retaliated by sending in the PNG Defence Forces, supported by Australia and Australian tax payer dollars. VICTORY TO THE BRA. Read full article. He tells us how Jesus appeared to him after he was wounded. This role, Starygin says, “went beyond the use of his celebrity to bring disputants together and grew to include event management by Toroama’s gang and those businesses in which Toroama ‘had an interest’ which, in turn, became the main conduits for AusAid and UNDP’s reconciliation dollars.”. A freedom fighter of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) who stopped Rio Tinto and its subsidiary Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL) by blowing up the electric pylons at the Panguna mine in 1988. Keith Jackson is a retired educator, school publications editor and communications lecturer and consultant in Papua New Guinea who has managed radio stations in Rabaul and Bougainville and was head of policy and planning in the National Broadcasting Commission at independence in 1975. Bougainville, a group of lush, mineral-rich islands in the South Pacific, has undergone little development since the end of a decade-long civil war that claimed the lives of 20,000 people in 1998. The conflict and subsequent military blockade – provoked by the the environmental damage wrought by the Rio Tinto’s massive Panguna copper mine, as well as disputes over the limited share of mine profits going to the island’s inhabitants – led to the deaths up to 20,000 people between 1988 and 1998. They, Rio Tinto and BCL have been exposed. We can only surmise from his background that he is well experienced and that he is a formidable man. Later, as he accelerates his battered 4×4 Hi-lux truck along a track more hole than road, he admits that on these training exercises he attacks his men with live ammunition. After he was killed my dad’s brother Justine Kokiai joined the BRA and became a platoon commander of the BRA in central Bougainville but specifically in Manetai, Vito Village, Torau Constituency. Ishmael Toroama has been elected Bougainville president and will lead independence talks with Papua New Guinea [File: Ness Kerton/AFP] Former rebel military commander Ishmael Toroama … He has also worked in development and communication roles for UNESCO in Fiji, Indonesia, India, Maldives and the Philippines. In a journal article ‘The Gangs of Bougainville’ by Stan Starygin, Toroama was portrayed as a ‘Rambo’ . Closures, cuts, revival and rebirth – how covid reshaped NZ media... CIVICUS criticises Pacific countries over use of covid to curb freedoms, Northern Marianas gets vaccine freezers for covid-19 treatment. Bougainville president, and former rebel military commander, Ishmael Toroama, wants a swift resolution to independence talks with Papua New Guinea. Toroama, whose body bears the scars of many hard fought battles, joined the BRA in its early days and according to one story was the first BRA guerrilla to obtain an automatic weapon from the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF). The new president of Bougainville will be Ishmael Toroama, a former commander in the Bougainville Revolutionary Army, and one of the key players … President Toroama highlighted the importance of Innovative Leadership of the Administration stating he will be reviewing and making changes if necessary. The change people want, the change people can see and feel, the change people have been crying for, the change people expect to see and the change that has never happened during the course of the first three parliaments of Bougainville”. I’d like to share my story but I don’t know whom to contact. President’s Ishmael Toroma’s mission to increase appreciation and recognition of the dynamic role of women have in Bougainville society. During this post-war period, Toroama and his group not only expanded their activities by dismantling and selling scrap metal from Panguna but by offering ‘protection services’ to local businesses and visitors. Wounded by a rocket-propelled grenade in 1997, Toroama later laid down his arms to help broker the Bougainville Peace Agreement that was eventually signed in 2001, and was a key advocate in the disarmament process before returning to his land in central Bougainville to grow cocoa. The big man is ‘no longer proud to be a fighter’. Ishmael Toroama – fighter, rebel leader, peace broker, scrap metal dealer, security boss and coca farmer – now seems likely to be fifth president of Bougainville. Former Rebel Leader Is Elected President of Bougainville Ishmael Toroama is expected to lead talks in the South Pacific autonomous region’s effort to … And now he stands on the threshold of becoming the next president of Bougainville. First Toroama helped negotiate the peace agreement, then took the lead in subsequent reconciliations, next benefited greatly from selling scrap mine equipment from Panguna and later returned to the family tradition of cocoa farming. Congratulations to Ishmael Toroama the new President of Bougainville. As journalist Dominic Rotheroe wrote in an article in The Independent (The Green Guerrillas, 13 September 1998) Toroama is nothing if not a very strong and intimidating man: “Ten minutes further into this training patrol, a mock ambush is launched and Ishmael Toroama hurtles into the bush, M-16 blazing, while his soldiers blast the jungle with a mix of captured M-l6s, rejuvenated Second World World War guns, and home-made rifles. Distant second Renowned for his role as a commander in the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA), Tororama was at the forefront of much of the BRA’s decade-long civil war against the PNG government. Toroama’s role was accepted by the international peace brokers who worked with him on the disarmament process and he acquired status by tapping the largesse they brought to Bougainville, becoming the virtual master of ceremonies at peace and reconciliation events. “We conducted a clean campaign, we did not give money to the voters and we did not intimidate any voters: people have used their God-given wisdom to vote for the right candidate,” Toroama said after his victory was announced. 20,953 – Peter Tsiamalili 40 luxury Maseratis for PNG, but little effort put into climate... Tukuitonga goes into battle on behalf of Pacific for WHO position. But the tear gas is purely for us, a short sharp dose of Bougainville reality. President-elect Ishmael Toroama after being declared the winner of the #Bougainville Presidential #election . But we don’t yet know how this personal history will transition into how he will perform in the role of a significant Melanesian political leader. Toroama ran second to Momis in the previous election. “[And] to the people of Bougainville, thank you for your peace and serenity as you decided on your government. Looking forward to work with your leaders including the president.”. Ishmael Toroama built his reputation as a bold fighter and later a commander in the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) in its struggle to close the Panguna copper and gold mine and gain independence for Bougainville from Papua New Guinea in the 10-year civil war of the 1990s. What we do suspect is that, although Ishmael Toroama has shown himself to be a shrewd operator, there is no proof of any illegality or corruption in his varied and volatile career. Seriously injured?’ ‘Er, one yes, very.’ It is training like this that has turned the BRA into such an effective fighting force. BUKA – Bougainville’s president Ishmael Toroama has vowed to continue to protect landowner rights as the region embarks on an energetic program of economic development. Former rebel military commander Ishmael Toroama has been elected president of Bougainville, an autonomous part of Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific, electoral officials said on Wednesday, and is set to lead talks seeking independence. They are corporate thugs who were stopped thanks to the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA). Toroama has not won an election yet but it is not for want of trying. Fiji to set up relocation trust fund for villages hit by... Banabans climate change student documentary chosen for third festival, Banabans of Rabi student doco given Tongan film festival premiere, Banabans of Rabi short climate change documentary chosen for Nuku’alofa, Pacific storytelling with a focus on the ignored and ‘untold’ issues, While PNG promotes APEC big money, youth are building grassroots resilience. Of the referendum overwhelmingly for independence, because that is an important given... Multimedia Investments Ltd is the key issue on Bougainville. is an important given! 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