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War With No Guns Extract Previews A Blueprint for Peace - How Bouganville Mothers Stopped 10-Year Civil War -

• Women Peace-Brokers Are Untapped World Resource
• 2nd April 7pm - Ministry for Peace Meeting, London – all welcome
• ‘War With No Guns’ footage describes women’s role ending civil war & creating lasting peace

31st March 2008, London – From 7pm On Wednesday 2nd April 2008, at the ministry for peace meeting in Parliament (Portcullis House), London, a short film will be shown outlining how women from all warring parties on an island 300km off Papua New Guinea, ended a vicious 10 year civil war. 20% of the population was dead and all infrastructure had been destroyed. There has now been ten years of peace and Wednesday’s film previews the role of women on the road to peace, which is part of the meeting’s wider theme entitled ‘Peace-Building – Can Women Reach the Parts That Men Can’t?!’ All welcome. For details contact Diana.basterfield@ministryforpeace.org

Brigadier Roger Mortlock (now an OBE) was head of a South Pacific peace-keeping force sent to establish peace after 14 failed peace agreements. He used some unusual ‘soft power’ techniques including sending his troops into the lion's den completely unarmed, with guitars instead of guns and using the Maori Haka and Honghi. He understood the matriarchal culture and empowered the women so they persuaded their freedom fighter husbands and sons to lay down their guns - just 24 hours after the peace-keepers landed on the island!

The Brigadier had no doubt that women had a vital role in creating a lasting peace. As head of the independence women’s movement, the Rebel General’s wife Jossie Kauona put her differences aside and joined with Theresa Jaintong, leader of the Government’s side women’s movement. The two women had priority use of the Brigadier’s helicopters, along with Lt Col Janet Castell from New Zealand and they visited many key population centres to motivate women to reclaim their traditional authority. They promoted women’s intervention in the peace process at all levels - in the home through to the political level.

At a critical moment, Jossie intervened directly with military and political chiefs, so that more pro-peace process women delegates were included in the Lincoln Talks held in New Zealand. The Brigadier believes this superb piece of persuasion tipped the balance and made the hope of peace more achievable because women were the voice of reason. Women saw peace and stability as more important than independence but it meant a great deal of compromise.

The women’s involvement was only one of the critical "moving parts" that made up the peace process, but it was vitally important. The Brigadier is a seasoned veteran of war campaigns in Vietnam and Angola. Recently when he saw clips from the film he was visibly moved because of the bravery of these women risking their lives to create peace from a sea of hostility.

The film is being shown courtesy of film director William Watson of TMI Pictures, New Zealand (www.tmipictures.co.nz). Will Watson gave up his day job to film the story and so far, has funded the filming himself because he believes so strongly that the wider world should know the story. He has 70% of material for the full documentary and now needs investors to raise up to £200,000 to help him complete the work to international film festival standards.

Will Watson commented ‘In preparing this short film for the ministry for peace, I think we have uncovered an enormous issue. The role of women in peace-keeping wasn’t a huge feature in the story before because I had my own agenda, but now I think it’s a glaringly obvious main theme. Men will go on fighting forever. When the women built up trust, it eased everything. There were 40 people dying a week and with all the other war areas round the world, we could so easily bring war to its knees if we learned from the story of Bouganville.’ See http://www.swindonweb.com/office/?m=580&s=596&ss=0&c=1954 for a trailer for the full documentary ‘War With No Guns’.

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Weblinks:

http://www.tmipictures.co.nz/about.html
www.ministryforpeace.org

Trailer for documentary: http://www.swindonweb.com/office/?m=580&s=596&ss=0&c=1954
Earlier news story
http://www.blueclickpr.com/news/news.php?story=384772

To arrange interviews, jpegs and further details, contact:

Rhona Jack MCIPR
Blue Click PR Ltd.
Tel +44 (0) 1793 441414
Mobile +44 (0) 7866 546221
Email: rhona@blueclickpr.com

Will Watson
TMI Pictures
Email: willw@ihug.co.nz
Mobile +34 95 25 22186

NOTE TO EDITORS

For journalists wishing to attend the meeting, please let Rhona Jack know - thanks

Brigadier Roger Mortlock OBE and Director Will Watson are both happy to speak to the media, however they in New Zealand and Spain so interviews will need to be arranged to account for any time differences.

Brigadier Roger Mortlock OBE now lectures in the art of warfare at a University in New Zealand. He is well-versed in the art of warfare having served in the line of fire in Vietnam and Angola. He has been in Europe in 2008 visiting D-Day landing sites as research for a course.

A book called ‘Mr.Pip’ by Lloyd Jones covered his childhood experience of Bouganville’s civil war and it was shortlisted for the 2007 Man BOOKER PRIZE.



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