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Source: Agenzia Fides – MIL OSI

Headline: OCEANIA/PAPUA NEW GUINEA – “Let us remain united as one people”: referendum on Bougainville

Bougainville – After twenty years of bloody civil war, which claimed 15 thousand victims, the referendum for the independence of the island of Bougainville from Papua New Guinea was launched. The referendum, which takes place between November 23 and December 7, 2019, provides for a consultation that will last two weeks. However, the Catholic Professionals Society of Papua New Guinea, a body of Catholic professionals, are worried about some comments where there are doubts regarding the validity of the Constitution of Bougainville. “Freedom of speech is a guaranteed right of every citizen, including those of Bougainville, but caution is needed on the dissemination of opinions regarding the referendum currently underway”, reads a note from the organization, sent to Agenzia Fides. “We want to warn those who publicly comment on the referendum. We are not aware of the constitutional legal basis for such comments. However, we believe that all the actions taken so far are conducted in line with the national Constitution”, emphasizes President Paul Harricknen.

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