PNG 'plan to kidnap Miriori'

Issue 

By Norm Dixon

The Bougainville Revolutionary Army has claimed it has uncovered a Papua New Guinea Defence Force plot to kidnap the Bougainville Interim Government's representative in the Solomon Islands, Martin Miriori. Miriori has been the Bougainville people's link with the outside world.

At noon on October 26, the Solomon Islands Field Force (police) stopped PNGDF commandos trying to cross illegally the sea border between PNG and the Solomons. The incident came a day after the BRA announced that its intelligence operatives had uncovered the plan to kidnap Miriori.

Miriori's ability to relay news from within Bougainville has enabled solidarity activists in Australia and other parts of the world to mobilise opinion against PNG military activities on the island and highlight the devastating effects of the blockade. In recent parliamentary debates, PNG politicians have called for Miriori to be hung or shot.

Meanwhile, the PNG occupation forces on Bougainville are reported to be in crisis. The BRA claims that PNG soldiers have run out of rations due to lack of funds and are now being fed together with refugees at PNG government "care centres".

Radio Free Bougainville has reported that people at the centres are unhappy because the soldiers are eating their already inadequate food supplies.

On October 28, BRA intelligence reported that two of the Australian-supplied Iroquois combat helicopters were grounded at Wakunai due to lack of fuel, spare parts and experts to service them.> n