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BOUGAINVILLE: Ships set alight in suspected sabotage


The boats burn off the coast of Buka. Photo: New Dawn on Bougainville

Monday, March 19, 2012

Item: 7862

Aloysius Laukai

BUKA (Radio New Dawn On Bougainville / Pacific Media Watch): Three Starship's ships owned by Peter Sharp - Solomon Queen, Kopra 1 and Kopra 4 - were set on fire on the early hours of today, New Dawn on Bougainville community radio reported.

A fire was lit on the Solomon Queen which was tied to the two other ships. They were then released from mooring at the Buka wharf.

The three ships then drifted with the tide towards Sohano island.

The incident occured around 1am and by 9am the fire had spread to the two other ships.

Due to the change in sea current, the three burning boats could return towards Buka town posing a risky situation in town.

It is believed the people in possession of the ships burnt them over frustration that Peter Sharp had allegedly not meet their demands to compensate relatives of those who perished in the MV Rabaul Queen disaster in the Morobe waters on February 2.

The Autonomous Bougainville Government has since dissassociated itself from the problem.

Its lawyer Chris Siriosi earlier claimed this was the work of relatives of those who died on the MV Rabaul Queen.

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Pacific Media Watch

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Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators.
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