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Reconciliation ceremony

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    IN the early hours of February 5, 2015, a very significant event took place in the jungle of the Crown Prince Ranges in Bougainville.

    The occasion marked the exhuming, the bringing home and the burial at Guava-Ositeka Village, the bones of Mathew Kove, the first victim of the Panguna landowner conflict in 1989.

    He was killed by his own nephew, Mathew Miringtoro, whose remains were also brought home on the same day from Koromira Catholic Mission cemetery and buried alongside him.

    Mathew Miringtoro was killed by security forces soon after he killed his uncle as a result of the militant’s Supreme Commander’s Francis Ona order.

    After 27 years, this important event in the history of the Bougainville crisis was put to rest as a result of a long and protracted reconciliation effort by the chiefs of Guava Emai families’ reconciliation committee that began in October 2009.

    The chairman of Panguna Mine SML Osikaiang Landowners Association, Lawrence Daveona, who spearheaded the Guava Emai families funding efforts through the association in 2013, was a relieved man after the conclusion of the above event.

    During the burial and reconciliation ceremony in a small chapel at Guava Village, Mr Daveona and his elder brother Bernard Devata were in tears, seeing that their immediate uncle, late Kove’s bones and also their cousin Miringtoro’s were finally brought home from where they were buried and finally laid to rest.

    Mr Daveona expressed his appreciation for the support given to him and the Guava Emai families’ Kove reconciliation committee by the ABG Mining Department and the ABG reconciliation office through the acting chief secretary, Chris Siriosi, Paul Coleman of BCL and his Panguna mine SML Landowner association executives.

    He extended his gratitude to the executive manager of Panguna District Administration, Otto Noruka and Minister Jimmy Miringtoro, who were both instrumental in channelling funds for the cause.

    some monies from our Central Bougainville National Member’s DSIP funding towards this reconciliation.​
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