If anyone is interested in my story please contact me on this email address: [email protected], or search my name on Facebook: Nigel Matte (Nai) and Linkedin: Nigel Matte. 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. Updated Updated 23/09/2020. "On my side, we will push hard for independence, because that is the key issue on Bougainville." Ishmael Toroama has been declared the president-elect in Bougainville following an election process that began in the autonomous Papua New Guinea region, six weeks ago. President-elect Ishmael Toroama after being declared the winner of the #Bougainville Presidential #election . They are corporate thugs who were stopped thanks to the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA). President Toroama highlighted the importance of Innovative Leadership of the Administration stating he will be reviewing and making changes if necessary. President Hon. And now he stands on the threshold of becoming the next president of Bougainville. Rio Tinto and BCL turned the island of Bougainville into a sea of blood by imposing a military blockade using Australian helicopters decked out as gunships to strafe villages on Bougainville, navy boats supplied by Australia to keep journalists and human rights workers out so no medicines or medical teams could enter Bougainville in order to keep Rio Tinto and BCL’s filth from being exposed. His victory marks a break from the current administration, led by President John Momis, after the government’s candidate was earlier eliminated in the region’s preferential voting system. Echoes of the Rainbow Warrior – have the lessons been learned? Feedback: © Site Copyright 2019 - Multimedia Investments Ltd. A big #Bougainville clap to acknowledge the victory of Ishmael Toroama as new president. 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. “I will stand up for independence in Bougainville… it is now time to work together.”. “‘Ever hit any?’ I ask. Looking forward to work with your leaders including the president.”. googletag.pubads().definePassback('/9201682/APAC_Standard_Sidebar2', [[300, 250], [300, 600]]).display(); Duty editor of the Asia Pacific Report/Evening Report collaboration or the Pacific Media Centre at the Auckland University of Technology. 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. SYDNEY (Reuters) - Former rebel military commander Ishmael Toroama has been elected as president of Bougainville, an autonomous region in … Fiji declares state of disaster as TC Yasa wreaks havoc in... Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, Click here for the PMC's terms of use and disclaimer. Toroama was a commander in the secessionist Bougainville Revolutionary Army, and later worked on the peace and disarmament process. Toroama did not take long to become a prominent ‘field commander’ in the BRA and later succeeded the BRA’s first ‘chief of defence’, Sam Kauona, who happens to be an eliminated candidate in the current election. October 2, 2020 Two female members have been name in the full cabinet of the Bougainville Executive Council. 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. 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. 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. Many long-term members of the province’s house of representatives lost their seats to young, millennial generation leaders, such as Theonila Matbob, born during the civil war, and elected to the constituency of Ioro, home to the disused Panguna mine. He has proposed a timeline of two to three years. 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. 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. That is an important consideration given that corruption in Bougainville, as it is in PNG, has been a problem of mounting concern. After interim elections to fill the remainder of his term, John Momis was elected as president in 2010 for a five-year term. He tells us how Jesus appeared to him after he was wounded. He supports autonomy within a relationship with the national government of Papua New Guinea. Bougainville, a group of islands in PNG’s east that has close relations with neighbouring Solomon Islands, has been hampered post-conflict by years of poor economic progress, despite its abundance of natural resources. New Bougainille President, Ismael Toroama Photo: ABG. Ishmael Toroama Photo: Facebook. He finished a distant second to John Momis (who in that election received more than 51,000 votes to Toroama’s 18,466) but now, five years on, it seems that his political ambition is about to be fulfilled. My dad was also a civilian killed in the Bougainville Crisis by PNGDF, his name is Kevin Lalai Kokiai, I found records of him recorded on Amnesty Internationals Data Base Online. 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. Inside his house a picture of Rambo is now dwarfed by a flock of evangelical posters. Seriously injured?’ ‘Er, one yes, very.’ It is training like this that has turned the BRA into such an effective fighting force. Toroama ran second to Momis in the previous election. In a journal article ‘The Gangs of Bougainville’ by Stan Starygin, Toroama was portrayed as a ‘Rambo’ . Elections for the first autonomous government were held in May and June 2005; Joseph Kabui, an independence leader, was elected President. Return to Rabi on the horizon for Ossies climate doco crew? 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). President’s Ishmael Toroma’s mission to increase appreciation and recognition of the dynamic role of women have in Bougainville society. ‘He said to me, you are an inch from death now. He will now lead the talks with the PNG government on the terms of the island’s independence. 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. PNG prime minister James Marape offered his congratulations on Toroama’s “conclusive” victory. 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. 20,107 – Thomas Raivet. 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. Bougainville's new President, Ishmael Toroama, says establishing law and order is essential if the autonomous region in Papua New Guinea is to prosper. It formally ends the 10 year long tenure of John Momis. The new president of Bougainville will be Ishmael Toroama, a former commander in the Bougainville Revolutionary Army, and one of the key players … Bougainville has a new president, former rebel leader Ishmael Toroama, who will lead talks for the island territory's independence from Papua New Guinea. Ishmael Toroama – fighter, rebel leader, peace broker, scrap metal dealer, security boss and coca farmer – now seems likely to be fifth president of Bougainville. Thirty years ago, Ishmael Toroama was leading troops in a rebel army during a bloody conflict in Bougainville. Bougainville Elects Ishmael Toroama President, Eyes Set on Independence By Grant Wyeth. Starygin writes that during the disarmament process endorsed by the peace agreement, “Toroama presented himself as an agent of peace”. Bougainville president, and former rebel military commander, Ishmael Toroama, wants a swift resolution to independence talks with Papua New Guinea. 47,145 – Ishmael Toroama Rio Tinto accused of violating human rights in Bougainville for not cleaning up Panguna mine, Bougainville referendum: voting begins amid scenes of jubilation. 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.”. They, Rio Tinto and BCL have been exposed. John Momis serving as the President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville of Papua New Guinea since 2010 has made a historic comment after a Referendum that saw the Bougainville vote overwhelmingly for independence from Papua New Guinea. 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. “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. But Marape’s government has been careful not to commit to granting Bougainville independence in the wake of the referendum. The new President of Bougainville, Ishmael Toroama, has been sworn in by Papua New Guinea Supreme Court Justice, Sir Kina Bona, in Buka. 21st Elimination – Tuesday afternoon 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. 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. 29,896 – Simon Duraminu Rio Tinto and BCL were making mega bucks without any regard for the environment or the people of Bougainville. The Autonomous Region of Bougainville Declare New President - Ishmael Toroama. 40 luxury Maseratis for PNG, but little effort put into climate... Tukuitonga goes into battle on behalf of Pacific for WHO position. 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. Pacific Media Centre articles are republished with permission. Any re-opening of the Panguna mine – which would be intensely controversial in the province – was a decision for the owners of that land, Toroama has said. 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He has also worked in development and communication roles for UNESCO in Fiji, Indonesia, India, Maldives and the Philippines. Parliamentary elections parallel to the presidential poll marked a significant shift from the status quo in Bougainville politics. 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. Toroama defeated 24 other candidates for the presidency, seeking to replace the retiring John Momis who has dominated Bougainvillean politics, as governor and president, for decades. 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. President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville - Wikipedia “Toroama’s BRA-days notoriety, his role in the peace process, the magnitude of his post-crisis ‘economic activity’ and the possession of weapons and loyalty of the men who carry them have made Toroama a viable political force in Central Bougainville. 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. “I offer my support to work with you to deliver on my commitments to Bougainville,” he said. Sadly Rio Tinto and BCL retaliated by sending in the PNG Defence Forces, supported by Australia and Australian tax payer dollars. Ishmael Toroama – fighter, rebel leader, peace broker, scrap metal dealer, security boss and coca farmer – now seems likely to be fifth president of Bougainville. This may be to keep the ‘boys’, as everyone calls the BRA, on their toes. Still stealing the generations – the abduction of Indigenous Australian children... Gordon Campbell: Media collusion with National’s attack lines the real disgrace, Deported Freedom Flotilla activist Mike Treen arrives back in NZ, Chinese diplomatic gatecrash incident alleged at Taiwan event in Suva, The Taiwan ‘prize’ and the US-China rivalry in the Pacific. VICTORY TO THE BRA. Bougainville president, and former rebel military commander, Ishmael Toroama, wants a swift resolution to independence talks with Papua New Guinea. 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. And president of bougainville he is a formidable man standing on the election trail the. 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