Papua New Guinea. The provincial government in East New Britain announced at the beginning of the year that it plans to relocate some 25,000 residents from some islands that are about to become uninhabitable due to rising sea levels.
In March, an agreement was signed between the Papua New Guinea government and the Bougainville People’s Congress on autonomous governance on the island. Under the agreement, a people-elected autonomy government will gradually take over responsibility for a number of social areas within the framework of Papua New Guinea’s constitution and legislation. A referendum on independence will be held after the establishment of the autonomy government.
Local residents in western Papua New Guinea opened a lawsuit in April against the Australian mining company BHP claiming compensation for extensive environmental degradation from the large copper and gold mine in Ok Tedi. In May it was announced that BHP had decided to close the mine.
Tribal battles have become a serious social and economic burden for Papua New Guinea, and in April Parliament tightened legislation on tribal battles with accompanying compensation.
In November, the government decided to leave Parliament home between December 2000 and July 2001. This enabled the government to get past the time limit laid down in the Constitution, when a vote of no confidence can be placed.
At the end of November, the area east of Papua New Guinea was shaken by several earthquakes, which were followed by heavy tides. Thousands of people became homeless as homes were washed away from coastal villages on several islands. Some people were reported to have been killed.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Offers three letter and two letter abbreviations for the country of Papua New Guinea. Also covers country profile such as geography, society and economy.
Minister warns of corrupt and brutal police force
Papua New Guinea’s minister responsible for police affairs, Brian Kramer, tells the British newspaper The Guardian that the police are the country’s most corrupt authority and accuse the police force of poor discipline and brutality. Kramer says Papua New Guinea is “on the verge of collapse” due to systematic corruption.
Former guerrilla commander becomes president of Bougainville
The presidential and parliamentary elections in Bougainville will end after 12 August. The election was supposed to have taken place already in May but has had to be postponed twice due to the corona pandemic. The election campaign is described as calm, but accusations of vote-buying occur. Ishmael Toroama, former commander of the armed separatist group Bougainville’s Revolutionary Army (BRA), wins the presidential election with 61.4 percent of the vote, compared to 38.6 percent for second-in-command, pastor and former MP Simon Dumarinu. In the parliamentary elections, a generational change takes place when young politicians replace veteran politicians in many of the 40 seats. The main task of the newly elected parliament will be to negotiate independence with Papua New Guinea in accordance with the 2019 referendum. Toroama has proposed a two to three year negotiation period during the election campaign. with the aim of declaring independence in five years. Most observers think that plan is too optimistic as opposition in Papua New Guinea is strong.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of Papua New Guinea in 2000 was 5,847,475, ranking number 102 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.430% yearly, and the population density was 12.9126 people per km2.