My name is Jethro Tulin and I hold a proxy from Mr. David Wurfel.
Mr. Munk, I am an indigenous Ipili from the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. I have traveled half way across the world to speak out against the grave human rights and environmental conditions my people face because of your Porgera mine. I came to this meeting last year as well, telling your shareholders and Barrick's Board of Directors about the situation in Porgera, but all questions from shareholders were censored from Barrick's webcast of the meeting.
Since I spoke at this meeting last year, there have been 5 more killings of indigenous community members by your security guards and more women have been raped by your security guards. These issues are now being investigated by the Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial killings at the United Nations.
The toxic waste you continue to dump into our 800 kilometer long river system (which would be illegal in Canada) has caused the Norwegian Government to divest its pension fund from more than 230 million Canadian dollars worth of shares in Barrick Gold and to report that its decision was based on its “assessment that investing in the company entails an unacceptable risk of the Fund contributing to serious environmental damage.”
Now, under the influence of your company, the Papua New Guinea government has imposed a virtual State of Emergency in Porgera. When I came to Canada last week I received reports from Porgera that landowners who have spoken out against your mine are now being targeted. This week, and while I am standing here before you, their houses are being burnt down and they are fleeing for fear of their life.
Days after your Annual Meeting last year I met with your Senior executives Peter Sinclair and Vince Borg, and a commitment was made to establish dialogue and find a way to address the issues. But this dialogue has never taken place. Instead the human rights and environmental abuses we have been suffering for many years have continued.
Mr. Munk, your mine has destroyed our land, our water, our safety and our ability to feed ourselves. We know that we can no longer live on our ancestral land. We know that we must leave our place so that our children can have a future. But rather than offer us fair terms for our relocation you are calling for military action and our houses and lands are being torched.
My questions for you, Mr. Munk, are on behalf of the Porgera Alliance, a coalition of human rights activists and Porgera landowners:
1. Will Barrick immediately call on the government of Papua New Guinea to stop the burning of houses and the threats against landowners being perpetrated by its mobile forces and platoons against Porgerans on your mine’s Special Mine Lease Area?
2. Will Barrick agree to move the more than 5,000 families who live within your mine lease area in a way that is fair and will provide us an opportunity to be healthy, to feed our families, and to educate our children?
3. Will Barrick finally pay fair compensation to the families who have lost their loved ones to the guns of your security forces, to the rape victims, to the families who have lost members in your open pit and in the waste dumps and who have drowned in your river of tailings?
4. Will Barrick finally carry out the recommendations of the 1996 CSIRO report and stop dumping mine waste into our river?