Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart

Stories From Kiribati


Stories Post New Entry

Banaban lssue against BPC and British Government

Posted by Amota Eromanga on July 31, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Banaban Issue

The Banaban issue started off as an appeal in the British High Court by the Banabans against the British Phosphate Commission (BPC) and the British Government in regards to the mining of and Compensation for phosphate on Banaba Island. Later, it developed into a secession issue when the Banabans wanted independence from Kiribati.

The 1972 Banabans appeal against the British Phosphate Commission was for mining their land and for giving very little royalties and compensation of about 0.5% of profit it received. The company also failed to replant the land it had ruined with trees as written in the Contract of 1913. Banabans demanded $11 million.

The British Government was accused for the unfair amount of taxes and royalties given to the people of Banaba. For this they demanded $38.5 million.

Hence at the end of the hearing, BPC was made to pay only $11,000 for replanting Banaba. As for the other defendant, the British Government, only criticism was made upon its Colonial Office but made to pay not even a cent. The ruling was indeed very unsatisfactory to the Banabans.

However, the British Government offered $10 million as a gesture of moral obligation from herself and the two other commissioners - Australia and New Zealand. This ex gratia payment was to raise the issue of Secession.

Secession Issue

The Banabans who had been living in Rabi, Fiji, had all been made Fiji citizens. The Banabans refused to take the ex gratia offered by the British Government, unless Banaba was taken away from the Gilberts and made part of Fiji. But the Gilbertese leaders argued that the issue between the Banabans and the BPC and the British Government had nothing to do with them. In regards to the Secession, the Gilbertese strongly pointed out that Banabans are Gilbertese by genes, origins and culture. In addition the Gilberts did not encourage the idea of the ex gratia given to the Banabans as they saw it to be the cut in the future aid of the British to the Gilbert Islands.

Thus, British Government granted Gilberts her internal self- government in January 1977 and full Independence in 1979. Banabans remained stand by their conviction that Banaba was not part of the Independence State of Kiribati. Their two seats in the Kiribati House of Assembly remained unoccupied until 1987 when their seats were first filled by Tarieta. T. Headstrom and Nenem Kourabi for the Rabi council.


Categories: News & Information

Post a Comment


Oops, you forgot something.


The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

You must be a member to comment on this page. Sign In or Register