12 Nov 2012

Bougainville not ready for independence referendum, says nun

1:43 pm on 12 November 2012

There is a claim that the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville is not ready for a vote on possible independence.

A nun, Sister Lorraine Garasu, who has been running a centre caring for victims of domestic violence in the province for more than 10 years, says more education is needed.

As part of the peace agreement ending the civil war, Bougainvilleans are to vote in a referendum after 2015 on whether to have full independence.

Sister Garasu says it is a road Bougainville can walk but first what the people want is for the provincial government to show what can be achieved through the autonomy status in place since 2005.

"So that is what the people want. And also the problem that I see in Bougainville today is the people have not been educated enough about autonomy, referendum. Also the government in Bougainville, I don't think they are ready fo referendum because they don't have the means - there's no economic means to sustain what they need to do."

Sister Lorraine Garasu from the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville