Veronica Hatutasi: A journalist’s insights into the Bougainville war

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Veronica Hatutasi on difficulties facing authors in Papua New Guinea in an EMTV interview.

By Adam Elliott

Journalist Veronica Hatutasi has recently launched her new book on the Bougainville crisis, Behind the Blockade, in Papua New Guinea.

Based in Port Moresby, she has worked for a long time as senior a reporter for Word Publishing’s Wantok newspaper and is now chief reporter.

The book starts in Toniva, just south of Kieta, as the conflict builds and follows Hatutasi’s story from there back to Monoitu in the Siwai District of south Bougainville.

Here Veronica stayed with her family until late 1992 when, in August of that year, she was able to get herself and her family to Port Moresby.

The book focuses on her personal experiences in the village as the crisis played out and then, from 1993, on her role as a journalist covering the Bougainville story from Port Moresby.

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Hatutasi gained many insights into the conflict and how it affected the Bougainville people from repeated trips back to the island over the years and her book covers the restoration, reconstruction, reconciliation and peace processes.

Behind the Blockade is entirely Hatutasi’s initiative.

I worked with her through the late 1990s when I was based at Aitape after the tsunami, then for a few more years when based in Madang.

The book is 233 pages long and published by Word Publishing (ISBN 978 9980 89 024 5). It is available from Veronica Hatutasi and you can email her for further information.

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