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Letter to PIF leaders from West Papua Action Auckland

August 27, 2018

Letter to PIF leaders from West Papua Action Auckland

A congratulatory letter has been sent to Vanuatu Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai and to Vanuatu’s special envoy on decolonisation for West Papua, Lora Lina

West Papua Action Auckland
PO Box 68419
Auckland, New Zealand
25 August 2018

Dear Prime Minister/ President,

We understand the issue of West Papua will come before the 49th Pacific Island Forum in Nauru. We strongly urge you to support Vanuatu’s proposed draft resolution intended for the United Nations General Assembly in 2019. This resolution ‘Realisation of the right of Papuan people to self-determination in the former colony of the Netherlands New Guinea (West New Guinea)’ was tabled by Foreign Minister of Vanuatu Mr Ralph Regenvanu at the recent meeting of Pacific Forum foreign ministers and Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai intends to discuss this at the September Forum meeting.

The denial of the right of self-determination to the West Papuan people in the 1960s set the scene for decades of state-sanctioned violence against the indigenous population. The people of West Papua were never given an opportunity to determine their own political destiny. The 1962 New York Agreement brokered by the United States delivered West Papua to Indonesian control without any consultation with West Papuan representatives. As Papuan leader Markus Kaisiepo described the situation, they “were traded as goats by the Americans”. The so-called ‘Act of Free Choice’ of 1969, mandated by the New York Agreement, was a fraudulent exercise carried out under extreme duress. As human rights lawyer Julian Aguon has pointed out, “in no universe was the infamous 1969 plebiscite a valid exercise of self-determination.”

As you know, Vanuatu’s latest initiative builds on the advocacy work undertaken by Vanuatu and several other Pacific nations in the UN General Assembly and at the UN Human Rights Council. This high-level lobbying reflects the burgeoning support for West Papuan rights among the peoples of the Pacific, including Aotearoa. It also reflects the growing strength of West Papuan resistance which is united under the umbrella of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP). We note that a number of MPs in this country have called for the issue of West Papua to go back before the UN Decolonisation Committee.

This issue is extremely urgent. There is much evidence that the people of West Papua are experiencing slow genocide due to ongoing human rights abuses and the harmful conditions of life experienced by so many Papuans. The Genocide Convention says that “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part” meets the definition of genocide.

The recent Amnesty International report Don’t bother just let him die: killing with impunity in Papua documented 95 extrajudicial killings at the hands of the Indonesian security forces in a ten-year period. Not a single perpetrator was brought before a civilian court. This report is the latest in a long list of authoritative human rights reports documenting the routine use of torture and killings as well as the denial of fundamental rights such as the right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. The indigenous population is also subject to ongoing suffering because of Indonesia’s gross neglect of basic health services in rural areas. An outbreak of measles which came to attention early this year claimed the lives of dozens of malnourished Asmat children.

It must also be noted that the proportion of indigenous Papuan people as a percentage of the total population continues to decline as a result of migration from other parts of Indonesia. This inward migration poses a huge threat to the well-being of the people who live in areas targeted for exploitation of minerals and forests, or for the expansion of palm oil and other lucrative agri-business projects.

We strongly urge you to support Vanuatu and its plan to take the issue of the right to self-determination of the West Papuan people to the UN General Assembly.
Yours sincerely
Maire Leadbea

For West Papua Action Auckland.


2) Fiji opposition leader says govt betraying West Papua
3:18 pm today

The Fiji opposition leder, Ro Teimumu Kepa, says the government has to stop its betrayal of the people of West Papua.


Ro Teimumu Kepa (centre) with staff flying the West Papua flag. Photo: supplied

She is urging the government to strongly support the inclusion of the territory on the United Nations’ decolonisation list.
Ro Teimumu said Vanuatu had taken a courageous decision to seek freedom for the West Papuans through the UN and Fiji and other regional governments should demonstrate solidarity with this cause.
She said she saluted Vanuatu prime minister, Charlot Salwai, for showing real leadership, and for being a true Melanesian brother to the West Papuan people.
Ro Teimumu said a SODELPA-led government would put its weight behind West Papua.
She said Fiji’s leader Frank Bainimarama was an outspoken advocate for Melanesian unity but he is stabbing the indigenous Melanesian people of West Papua in the back by refusing to support their quest for independence.


3) Opposition leader calls on Fiji to end ‘betrayal’ of West Papuans
By PMC Editor
August 27, 2018

Pacific Media Centre Newsdesk

Fiji’s Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa has called on the government of Fiji to “stop its betrayal” of the people of West Papua.

She said the government should strongly support the inclusion of the territory in the United Nation’s Decolonisation List at next year’s UN General Assembly.

“Vanuatu has taken a courageous decision to seek freedom for the West Papuans through the UN,” Ro Teimumu added in a media statement.

READ MORE: Fiji opposition leader calls for regional solidarity and support for West Papua

Vanuatu is pushing for support from the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) which is meeting in Nauru next week.

Fiji’s official stance over the region has been to regard the future of the twin Melanesian provinces of Papua and West Papua as an internal matter for the Indonesian government.

Indonesia invaded the former Dutch colony in 1962 and established rule by a controversial UN-sanctioned “Act of Free Choice” in 1969 that has been widely criticised as a flawed process and achieved by coercion.

West Papuans have continued to struggle for self-determination since then.

“I call on Fiji and other regional governments to demonstrate solidarity with this cause. It is time to stand up and be counted, ” Ro Teimumu said.

‘True Melanesian brother’
“I thank and salute Prime Minister Charlot Salwai of Vanuatu for showing real leadership, and for being a true Melanesian brother to the West Papuan people. The SODELPA opposition in Fiji is behind him in his mission.

“A SODELPA-led government will put its weight behind West Papua.”

Fiji is due to have an election this year but the date has not yet been called.

Ro Teimumu said Fiji’s government and its Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama were outspoken advocates for Melanesian unity.

“Despite this they have stabbed the indigenous Melanesian people of West Papua in the back by refusing to support their quest to be released from the colonial control of their homeland by Indonesia,” she said.

“Their behaviour towards the oppressed West Papuans is shameful.

“How dare the Prime Minister speak so glowingly of Melanesian brotherhood when he and his government have completely sold out their West Papuan kin to Indonesia?

‘Afraid to challenge’
“The truth is that they are afraid to challenge Indonesia’s sham claim to sovereignty over West Papua. They should have the courage to follow Vanuatu’s example.

“The West Papuan struggle is known here at home, throughout the region and around the globe – our silence and that of our neighbours is deafening.

“For more than 50 years, the indigenous people of West Papua have struggled for self-determination.

“It is immoral for the region and international community to look the other way and deny the people of West Papua the liberty to decide for themselves how they wish to be governed.

“There is little that we can do to reverse our past failure to support the people of West Papua; however we can do something now and in the future to make amends for our past failures.”

Fiji is due to hold elections this year – but a date has not yet been set – and West Papua is expected to be an issue.


4) A total of 133,025 children in Papua vaccinated of Measles and Rubella

Wamena, Jubi – Since it has been launched in the early August this year, measles and rubella immunisation already give to 133,025 children throughout Papua. The Head of Prevention and Control (P2P) Department of Papua Provincial Health Office Aaron Rumainum states it is still beyond the target of around 1 million children.

Therefore, he asks all parties to support this program. “This is in line with the commitment of the provincial government to reach 100 per cent of the target during the campaign from August to September 2018,” he told reporters on Wednesday (08/14/2018) in Wamena.

According to him, this program is very important considering the number of measles cases that occurred in Papua, including 66 cases in Asmat, 38 cases in Nduga, 40 cases in Deiyai, 3 cases in Pegunungan Bintang, 3 cases in Boven Digoel and 1 case in Merauke.

Meanwhile, he takes an example of rubella case in Jayapura Municipality, Jayapura District, Keerom, Biak Numfor and Mimika whose cases reached 9 cases based on the laboratory results in Surabaya. This information is based on the data from Papua Provincial Health Office 2017.

“We must remember that the immunisation can protect children from measles, rubella and polio. These three diseases are very threatening to the future generations of Papua because they can cause disability or even death. We don’t want the special case in Asmat reoccur and take the life of children away,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Head of Papua Health Office Aloysius Giay reveals that despite the incidents in Jayawijaya, the office would continue their program to provide immunisation to the entire regions of Papua. “We want all children in Papua to be immunized properly, and reach the target until September as planned,” he said. (*)

Reporter: Islami Adisubrata

Editor: Pipit Maizier


5) 3.7-magnitude earthquake hits Jayapura district
Reporter: Antara 17 hours ago

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News)- A 3.7-magnitude earthquake rocked Jayapura District in the Indonesian province of Papua on Sunday at 06.40 pm local time but there were no reports on casualties in the aftermath of the quake.

The Jayapura Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) reported that the epicenter of the earthquake was located around 11 kilometers away from northwest of Jayapura District at a depth of nine kilometers.

Due to the fact that it lies on Pacific ring of fire, Indonesia is prone to natural disasters, including earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Over the past four weeks, the Indonesian resort island of Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara Province has been under the spotlight for a string of strong earthquakes that hit it since since July 29.

As a result, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), as of August 23, the strong earthquakes, including the 7.0-magnitude quake that shook Lombok Island on August 5, have killed at least 555 people and caused injuries to 829 others.

The majority of the fatalities were residents of North Lombok District areas, due to their close proximity to the strong earthquake`s epicenter. The repeated earthquakes have also damaged 23,098 houses and forced 134,236 people to be displaced.

Reporting by Musa Abubar
Editing by Rahmad Nasution

Editor: Otniel Tamindael

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