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MSG to Determine Status for West Papua Free Movement

July 13, 2016

MSG to Determine Status for West Papua Free Movement

By : Edo Karensa | on 1:23 PM July 13, 2016

Jakarta. The Melanesian Spearhead Group, or MSG, will stage a leadership summit in Honiara on Thursday (14/07) to determine if it will grant full membership status to the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, better-known as ULMWP, or maintain the current observer status.

ULMWP was granted observer status by MSG in June last year, noted as the first diplomatic recognition since 1963. The status followed over 150,000 signatures of West Papuan to request full membership status from MSG.

Representatives from Solomon Islands and Vanuatu recently stated support of granting full membership for ULMWP, while Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front of New Caledonia remain undecided.

Ahead of the MSG summit, ULMWP staged peaceful rallies across West Papua to call for full membership for the free West Papua movement.

Mecky Yeimo, an activist of West Papua National Committee (KNPB), an arm of ULMWP, said authorities have detained around 200 people in Timika during the preparation of peaceful rally.

“The activists were detained, including chairman of KNPB’s Timika chapter, Yanto Awerkion, and secretary Semuel Ukago,” Mecky said on Tuesday (12/07).

However, the police have yet to confirm the incident.

Indonesia, which was granted associate status last year, has sent the Foreign Ministry’s director general of Asia Pacific and Africa Desra Percaya to the MSG summit.

Indonesia stated that ULMWP is a separatist movement which has no legitimacy and does not represent the people of West Papua.

2) WJEC16: Oceania Interrupted give journalism educators a taste of Papua
By Husain Malvi
July 13, 2016

The Oceania Interrupted cultural empowerment group at Auckland University of Technology last night. Image: Ami Dhabuwala/PMC

The first event of the 4th World Journalism Education Congress conference 2016 got under way at the JERAA and Pacific preconference last night with an inspirational korero from Oceania Interrupted about “Free West Papua”.

Sharing the issue of “freedom” for West Papua, which has remained under conflict for more than 50 years, the all-women Pacific cultural activist group facilitated by Leilani Salesa of Samoa gave a challenge for community groups and citizen media.

Speaking to media educators and journalists from Australia and the Pacific at Auckland University of Technology, the group outlined the “kaupapa” of the stunning actions they have been taking to make people aware of the atrocities faced by indigenous people of the region.

Oceania Interrupted began on December 1, 2013, to raise awareness about the Morning Star flag-raising issue – the traditional flag of liberation is banned in Indonesia — among the people of New Zealand and across the Pacific.

Salesa said Oceania Interrupted was seen as having a key role in bringing West Papua to the Pacific community and many of their actions were achievements because they got support at grassroots level.

Oceania Interrupted plans to take up other actions in future.

Leilani’s brother, Toeolesulusulu Associate Professor Damon Salesa, director of the NZ Institute of Pacific Research, will open the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia (JERAA) and the Pacific at AUT today.

The WJEC participants will be welcomed at a powhiri this evening.

Te Rito Peyroux of the Cook Islands described how art and solidarity campaigns were communicating to ordinary people.

Downplayed in mainstream
The group criticised how the New Zealand government had downplayed the issue with mainstream media because of trade ties with the Indonesian government.

They also spoke about a petition that has been launched in New Zealand in support of the Papuans.

“Empowering collective action is important and all of us play a part in this freedom for West Papua,” said Salesa.

“Sharing the message for us is the key part of what we do within our own communities.

“West Papuans are Pacific people and are our brothers and sisters. We try to use art forms to share the message and we stand in solidarity for the people.

Kalisiana Buliruarua, of Fiji, said: “A lot of us have committed a big part of our lives to this cause because we believe that one day the people of West Papua would become free.

“It takes the efforts of all of us to do this but we are all dedicated towards this,”she said.

Anua Henry recited a poem about the issue.

The Oceania Interrupted group then joined the media educators and journalists at AUT’s Pacific Media Centre for a traditional Fiji lovo, or Filipino lechon welcome meal.

Husain Malvi is an international communication student from Unitec. He, Kendall Hutt, Ami Dhabuwala and TJ Aumua of AUT are covering WJEC16 for Asia Pacific Report.


1) West Papua moving away from advocacy to nation-building

Published: 13 July 2016

Visiting General Secretary of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua, Octovinius Mote has told Solomon Islands Prime Minister in Honiara that his movement is moving away from advocacy to nation-building.

Mr Mote said for West Papuans to gain international support for their push for self-rule, they must be seen as nation builders.

He said they must take part in building the economy, capacity building in nurse and doctor training and must prepare for adverse effects of climate change.

He said as a big island, West Papua must prepare to help people from smaller island states whose homes may be destroyed by rising sea levels as a direct result of climate change.

Mr Mote said the offer of help will be promoted in the smaller island states in the Caribbean and the Pacific of the ACP Group, of which MSG members countries are part of.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare described West Papua’s move as a very interesting twist.

Mr Sogavare said the twist is a positive move because it could convince Jakarta that West Papuans are serious about looking after themselves and developing their vast natural resources.

He said as a firm believer in MSG solidarity, West Papua cannot go wrong if it harmonises its politics and economics.

Meanwhile, the Solomon Islands Prime Minister said the MSG Leaders’ Summit will consider the application for full membership by the United Liberation Movement of West Papua to take to new heights their disagreement with Indonesia for its continuous human-rights abuses in West Papua.

Mr Sogavare said the international concern about human-rights abuses in West Papua is also shared by Australia, New Zealand, PNG and Fiji as well as NGOs and is getting the momentum.

OMPC Press Secretariat


2) West Papua hopeful for full membership

Published: 13 July 2016

Indonesian province of West Papua is hopeful to see their full membership plea in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), advance during this 4th Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) summit hosted in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

Speaking to the media yesterday spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Paupua (ULMWP) Benny Wenda said they are optimistic to see the struggle of their people advance to the next level, within the MSG.

He said their ongoing campaign and struggle for support from the Melanesian countries and the pacific will help them advance their membership status in the MSG, which is fundamental to their wish to become an independent state.

ULMWP acquired their observer status in MSG last year during the MSG meeting held in Honiara, thus they are hopeful to see their status in this sub-regional organisation advanced to full membership.

Wenda stressed their struggle is not for them but for the future generation of West Papua, who will be free from brutality and bloodshed continued to be suffered on the hands of the Indonesian military.



3) Strong Fiji backing for West Papua – Ro Teimumu

11:38 am today

Fiji’s Opposition Leader said giving the United Liberation Movement of West Papua membership to the Melanesian Spearhead Group was the most responsible action any Melanesian Leader can do.

Ro Teimumu Kepa said Indonesia sought membership of the regional bloc only to protect its own interest and has shown great disrespect for the concerns of Melanesians who feel that a genocide is underway in West Papua.

Ro Teimumu has declared her full support for the Movement which has applied for full membership at the MSG meeting in Honiara.

She said Indonesia had no desire to engage in dialogue about human rights issues and they have shown this many times in their re-framing of attacks on ‘freedom fighters’ and their suppression self-determination activities.

Ro Teimumu said she joins thousands of Fijians who feel strongly about the country changing its position and calls for freedom and for an independent West Papua.

She says by granting full membership, the leaders of Melanesia will directly respond to the desire of people who want an end to the violence ULMWP member’s face.

The MSG leadership is this week meeting in Honiara in Solomon Islands.

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