By Serah Aupong – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Much has been written about the Bougainville Crisis, but little of it being from a Bougainvillean who lived through it.
A veteran journalist is adding to that small pile of literature by sharing her experience in a book that was recently published.
As a survivor and someone who covered the crisis during her long career, Veronica Hatutasi, a first time published author, offers her book, Behind the Blockade, as an important historical literature on Bougainville, PNG and Pacific history.
“I felt like there was a need for the story to be told. You know what people heard is something on the surface, but they didn’t really know how it was like, especially for the people who were caught in the crisis, innocent people like mothers, children, elderly, you know the peace loving, those people who were not involved. By involved I mean who did not take up arms,” she said.
Behind the Blockade begins in 1989 when the blockade was placed on Bougainville and for Veronica it was when she was living with her young family in Toniva near Kieta. It follows her return home to Siwai and an event she describes as the Siwai Sub Crisis.
“Three whole villages were taken as hostages by the BRA, some from our place (South Bougainville) and some from central Bougainville.”
The book is published by her employer Word Publishing, an employer she has been with for over 20 years as a journalist with their various papers. Another significant partner in her book was the Divine Word Missionaries, SVD.
While the book is already on sale for K66, the official launching will be on the 26th of this month here in Port Moresby. Those interested to purchase copies can contact the author via email: firstname.lastname@example.org