Unfortunately Jethro Tulin from Porgera, Papua New Guinea was held up due to plane delays to be able to get to the Barrick Gold shareholders meeting. There were also doubts that they would have let him in as his name was on a special list along with Protest Barrick co-editor and Friends of the earth campaigner, Natalie Lowrey.
Barrick Annual General Meeting April 27, 2011
My name is Jethro Tulin. I hold a proxy from Dr. David Wurfel.
Once again, I have made the long trip from my home in Porgera, in Papua New Guinea to stand before this board and you shareholders. I have with me Mark Ekepa, the chairman of the indigenous landowners, on whose land the Porgera Joint Venture mine is located.
Each year since 2008 we have stood here and told you about the abuses our people suffer at the hands of Barrick’s security forces - beatings, shootings, rapes and gang rapes. At past AGM meetings this board has assured you shareholders that our words are not true. This year our words have been confirmed in a report by Human Rights Watch. But we were shocked to hear the response of Chairman Peter Munk in the Globe and Mail . He said, that in Papua New Guinea and I am now quoting -- “gang rape is a cultural habit” Barrick must stop blaming us, the messengers, or blaming our people, the victims
Question - When will Barrick remedy the harm that has been done by paying compensation to the victims of violence by your security guards?
This year we also want to call attention to the fact that Barrick is continuing to house, feed and provide fuel to Mobile Units of the Papua New Guinea state who are responsible for burning down local landowners’ houses in 2009, and who continue to carry out beatings, rapes and house burnings around the mine. We told you shareholders about the house burnings when we stood before you in 2009. Barrick is complicit in these ongoing abuses of the State forces.
Questions - When will Barrick stop its complicity in these human rights abuses by cutting financial ties to the Mobile Units? When will Barrick call for an investigation of the house burnings of 2009 and provide compensation to the victims?
Finally, we again call attention to two more things, the need to relocate all the indigenous landowners who live in untenable conditions in the Special Mine Area, and the need to stop the mine’s disposal of toxic waste into our 800 km long river system.
Questions – When will Barrick relocate all the landowners and their families in the Special Mine Lease areas and when will Barrick stop using our rivers as a water dump?