Bougainville should not break away from PNG: Somare

FOUNDING father Sir Michael Somare says Bougainville should not break away from PNG. Sir Michael still believes that Bougainville is very much a part of Papua New Guinea, a country he led into independence.
 The Grand Chief, who was instrumental in what is now Bougainville’s journey, was asked to give his thoughts and views on Bougainville now that he was retiring from politics. Bougainville leaders, like the late Sir Paul Lapun, late Donatus Mola and now President John Momis, late Sir Alexis Sarei including Leo Hannett, all played a significant role under the leadership of Sir Michael in taking Bougainville this far. But Sir Michael said at the NBC Press Club interview when asked that Bougainville should have been given the delegated powers or transfer of powers – autonomy –so they could stop asking for independence.

“If that is the type of government they want, allow them, then give it to them, I am talking about autonomy,” Sir Michael said. “There are two types of powers, delegated powers and transfer of powers – in Bougainville, if the transfer of powers were given to them, I don’t think they will be talking about independence today,” he said. “For independence, I still believe when Bougainville goes to elections, you should get a piece of paper and mark my name, I tell you, when you go to the next elections, they will be voting for Papua New Guinea,” he said. Post Courier/ ONE PNG
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