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Polye assures Independence for Bougainville

Opposition Leader Don Polye has assured Bougainvilleans that should he form the next goverment after the election, he would facilitate their struggle for independence.

Speaking to the people of Central and South Bougainville at Arawa and Buin respectively, Mr Polye said their aspiration for being politically independent themselves had been developed by their forefathers well before PNG gained its independence in 1975.
He said the Bougainville crisis had not been instigated by the landowners pushing for a fairer stake in the copper mine.

"It started because of their quest to fulfill their dream of being independent. I understand your issues better than the Prime Minister and other MPs or even your own local MPs," he said.
Polye stated that he wanted to empower them economically first with economic recovery packages to prepare them well for the referendum in 2019.
He added that the region had untapped huge potential in tourism which, if invested adequately, would sustain the region's revenue to fund other basic services like health and education.
He further said the next government, which he was confident of leading, would invest K200 million each in coconut (copra) and cocoa industries.
Another K50 million each, he said, for the establishment of their stabilisation funds.
"We will respect the clauses in the peace agreements as they were put together during the toughest and saddest times. If you (people) want referendum and eventually independence, you will get it as wished," hr said.

Amnesty and Pardon exercise, he said, will be extended.
Arms disposal, he added, in the region will be regarded as another law and order issue like, for instance, in PNG's Hela province where soldiers were deployed for arms surrender and disposal.
When asked what was his alternative government's policy on those who had lost their properties during the crisis, he said he would not directly deal with them.
"If you have a genuine case, your Autonomous Government will handle and settle your damages. Our government will only facilitate and transfer funds from Waigani to ABG. We will not duplicate your government's roles and functions in Waigani unlike today," he said.
Meanwhile, he called on the Bouganvilleans to be united in the lead up to the referendum.
Polye also called on them to vote for his THE party candidates-Herman Liamo for South Bougainville and Justin Borgia for Central Bougainville
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