Herman Wainggai – My View on MSG Summit in Honiara July 2016 (PNG Tok Pijin)
The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) will meet in Honiara, Solomon Islands, this week to discuss various issues. Members will also deliberate on the future of West Papua and Indonesia as members of the organization. I had the opportunity to discuss with Herman Wainggai about his views on the MSG agenda.
Jaytee – Next week will be the Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting in Honiara, Solomon Islands. What are you views about the upcoming MSG summit ?
Herman Wainggai – Yeah, before I share my views about the upcoming MSG meetings, I just want to say “Thank you” to the current prime minister of Solomon Islands, Sogavare. He leads MSG last year and MSG will again meeting in Honiara under his leadership. We West Papuans want to thank him and acknowledge his wonderful leadership. He has a big heart; I can say – he has a golden heart. It’s a blessing that he continues to highlight the issues in West Papua – the Human Rights abuses still continue there. The prime minister of SI highlighted this, not just in Solomon Islands which he leads, but he also highlighted the issues of West Papua at the UN level. It’s a huge thing to us West Papuans. And we also like to thank to our brothers and sisters in Solomon Islands for their support and for understanding and feeling our situations which we had been experiencing for many years. Now it’s a huge time for us, and we want to see changes in West Papua through the leadership of the MSG.
Jaytee – So next week, they (MSG) will meet and deliberate on the West Papuan and Indonesian applications to be permanent member, We know that West Papua is an observer of the MSG, and next week, they’ll deliberate on these applications. You know, PNG and Fiji are likely to support Indonesia, while FLNKS, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands will support West Papua. So what are your thoughts about these issues ?
Herman Wainggai – The MSG meetings in Honiara this year, they’ll deliberate on these issues. MSG had acknowledged Indonesia as the country that controls West Papua (Indonesia). And West Papua doesn’t have a voice to express their grief which Indonesia also acknowledges, and human rights violation continues. So we talk about government, Indonesia must acknowledge this too – the role of the MSG. If Indonesia is an associate member of MSG, it must play leadership role, not to ignore what Melanesian groups requested since last year that is for Indonesia to have a dialogue with West Papuan political leaders, under United Liberation Movement for West Papua. We West Papuans are watching this. So when they (MSG) deliberate or decide on these two applications, they must also consider our fight to be recognized as “Melanesians” because we’ve been asking for recognition for a long time. Indonesia must also respect or recognize West Papua as an observer and I think Indonesia should support this. So long term conflicts such as West Papua and Indonesia needs mediation by the international community. The MSG is a body that comes under UN body of regional organization and it is the right organization to do such mediation. And the fact that West Papua and Indonesia are both members of the organization and should come together to discuss the issues facing West Papua; this is my personal view, that is to force Indonesia to be serious.
Jaytee – So you think Indonesia should be a permanent member of MSG ?
Herman Wainggai – Whether Indonesia is a permanent member or not, that’s a decision MSG will have to make, but to me – the leaders of Wes Papua and Indonesia must down and talk. We need a third party to act as the mediator. MSG plays a vital part in this under UN protocol. So MSG under Sogavare, they recognize Indonesia and they and under MSG protocols, members must have dialogue, but Indonesia refused to meet with the head of MSG. So that shows the international body that Indonesia is not serious.
Jaytee – Indonesia claims that the issue of West Papua is an internal issue, but according to UN Charter, if Indonesia killed more innocent people, it becomes and international issue. So if PNG backed Indonesia and rejects West Papua, will that hurt the relationship between PNG and West Papua, I mean – you think it is in the interest of PNG to back West Papua ?
Herman Wainggai – PNG and West Papua is one people – they are one.