Indonesia Rejects Statement of Solomon Islands PM on MSG – West Papua No.1 News Portal
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Indonesia Rejects Statement of Solomon Islands PM on MSG

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Prime Minister Sogavare (left) and Prime Minister O'Neill (right) - Suplied

Prime Minister Sogavare (left) and Prime Minister O’Neill (right) – Suplied

Jakarta, Jubi/Antara – The Indonesian government has refuted the statement of Solomon Islands prime minister that the country has joined the Melanesian Spearhead Group merely to protect its own interests.

“We firmly reject the statement of the Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, that appeared on the website of the prime ministers press secretariat on May 17, 2016,” the Indonesian foreign affairs ministrys director general for Asia Pacific and Africa, Desra Percaya, stated in a press statement received here on Saturday.

The prime minister of Solomon Islands, in the statement on the aforesaid website, had posited, “The extension of full membership status to the United Liberation for West Papua (ULMWP) in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) could be justified because Indonesia has also sought to seek a membership status in the regional grouping to protect its own interest rather than seeking to be involved in a dialogue about serious human rights issues in West Papua.”

Responding to Prime Minister Sogavares statement, Desra Percaya made it clear that the statement was against the basic principles of sovereignty and non-interference as included in the agreement for the establishment of MSG in 2007.

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Desra underlined that the worlds third biggest democracy, Indonesia considers respect for human rights an important principle.

In view of that, he recalled, Indonesia has ratified eight out of nine of the main human rights instruments of the UN and cooperates in various human rights mechanisms.

“Indonesia hails the concept of human rights and is ready to share its experience with regard to promoting and protecting human rights with other countries, including Solomon Islands. That is why Indonesia has always welcomed the participation of Solomon Islands in the Bali Democracy Forum,” he elaborated.

Desra reiterated that Indonesia has long been committed to overcoming the issue of human rights violations through the establishment of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) representative office in Papua.

He reminded that Komnas HAM offices at the national and regional level have continued to work to resolve any alleged cases of human rights violations in Papua.

As part of the Pacific region, Indonesia has also partnered with several key countries in the region to forge strong and productive bilateral relations, he added.

It has also actively participated in various regional groupings, such as the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) since 1980 and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum since 1989. Also, it has been active in the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) since 2001 and the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PDIF) since 2014.

“So, it is rather myopic for Prime Minister Sogavare to speculate that Indonesias agenda in the Pacific, moreover regarding MSG, is solely Papua-centric,” he argued.

He maintained that Indonesia remained committed to contributing to the MSG, further solidifying the relations between the governments, communities and peoples in the region.

Indonesia is also committed to strengthening cooperation, jointly overcoming the challenges, deepening the economic relations and development related cooperation for the welfare and future of the nations in the MSG region.

“These facts must awaken Sogavare prime minister to understand clearly the reality and the truth,” he concluded. (*)

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West Papuans rally calling Australia stands against human rights violations in West Papua

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Melbourne West Papua community photographed in Federation Square after the solidarity rally. -Jubi

Melbourne, Jubi – Dozens of people stands in solidarity with West Papuans in front of the State Library Victoria on Saturday (14/09/2019) for calling the Australian Government to against human rights violations occurred in West Papua.

Further, the Melbourne West Papua Community is also asking the Australian Government to urges the Indonesian Government to allow the UN Right Commissioner Michele Bachelet to conduct a fact finding mission into human rights violations.

Mr. Novenus Obamak, the Chairman of the Melbourne West Papua Community, through a press release told Ms Bachelet has been trying to gain access to West Papua since 2018, but until now she has been refused to entry by the Government of Indonesia. “Contrary to claims made in Australia that the Indonesian Government is facilitating Ms Bachelet’s visit to West Papua, the Indonesian Government has been blocking her access,” said Obamak.

He also urged the Indonesian Government to restore the internet access in West Papua and allow international journalists free access to West Papua. “On behalf of the Melbourne West Papua community and our brothers and sisters in West Papua, I strongly urge Indonesia to withdraw its more than 6000 non-local military forces from West Papua to allow the situation there to stabilize,” said Mr. Obamak.

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He also said, “We need to see the end of the criminalization of human rights defenders and students in West Papua. Human rights defenders and concerned students should be supported from their stand against lawlessness rather than being made out to be the criminals.”

Meanwhile, the solidarity rally was opened with speeches from speakers representing the Australian first nation, local councilors, West Papuan leaders and students. Speakers called the Australian Government to pay more attention to what have been happening and West Papua and to take action to end oppression and human rights violations against West Papuans.

Moreland Councillor Sue Bolton said in her speech that Australia could do a lot to stop the oppressions and violations in West Papua. “What Australia does will going have to impact to West Papua. Australia through different government has tragically supported the Indonesian Government to violate West Papuans through training Indonesian military forces, mining companies that contribute to the killing and torture of many West Papuans. Meanwhile, Darebin Councillor Mark Riley in his speech emphasized the needs of open access for journalists to West Papua.

In the meantime, Papuan student Cyndi Makabori said as young West Papuan student who’s living in Australia, she is fortunate for not experiencing discrimination, torture, detention or mockery like other Papuan students in Indonesia. She also criticizes that during 57 years of integration, Indonesia has committed more than five hundred thousand of murders. It means Indonesia has failed to civilize and educate its citizens about the value of humanity and human rights. Finally, in her speech she thanks to non-Papuan supporters who stand in solidarity with West Papuans. She acknowledges the spokesperson of Free West Papua Surya Anta Ginting who’s the first Indonesian citizen arrested for treason.

After speeches, the crowd goes for a rally towards Federation Square. During the rally, they continuously chanted “Papua Merdeka,” “Free West Papua”, “Kami bukan merah putih” and “Indonesia Out”.
A supporter from Vanuatu who wish anonymous said she joined the rally to show her solidarity to West Papuans. “In solidarity as Pacific region. We are Melanesians; and all together we are strong. We support sovereignty as an obligation to the international laws.”

The West Papua solidarity rally in Melbourne marked a series of peaceful protests conducted in dispersed cities in Australia including Canberra, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns. (*)

 

Reporter: Pipit Maizier

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PNG governor wants West Papua referendum

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Powes Parkop, the governor of Papua New Guinea’s National Capital District. Photo: RNZ /Johnny Blades

Papua, Jubi – The governor of Papua New Guinea’s capital district wants Indonesia to allow West Papua to undertake an independence referendum.

In a statement, Powes Parkop also backed a call from Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers to raise the issue of human rights abuses in Papua at next week’s Forum leaders summit.

Mr Parkop said the crisis in Papua had escalated due to Pacific nations letting fear of Indonesia dictate their approach to it.

He said the Melanesian Spearhead Group should also accept an application for full membership by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.

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“Indonesia must realize that when it choose to restore the rights and dignity of the West Papuan people it will unleash great joy.”

Mr Parkop said he had delivered the same message on West Papua to PNG Prime Minister James Marape and Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogovare.

According to him, he planned to also deliver it to the governments of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the US, adding that he had requested a meeting with Indonesia’s government.

Jakarta says Papua’s incorporation into the Indonesian is final and non-negotiable.

Papuan Liberation Movement welcomes foreign ministers’ call

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua has welcomed a resolution by Pacific foreign ministers to push for a UN Human Rights office visit to Papua.

In January, the UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said Indonesia’s government agreed in principle for a team from her office to visit Papua.

However, Pacific Forum members are concerned that the invitation is not being honoured. Forum foreign ministers have called for the timing of the visit by to be finalised by both parties.

They also seek for a resulting report on the Papua situation to be presented before the next Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting in 2020.

The Liberation Movement’s chairman, Benny Wenda, urged Pacific Forum leaders to endorse this call when they meet for their annual summit in Tuvalu next week.

Mr Wenda said such a stand reflected the values at the heart of the Blue Pacific campaign to develop a region of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion and prosperity where all Pacific people can lead free healthy and productive lives.

Accordnig to him, Pacific civil society networks continue to provide support to Forum Leaders and Government regarding the human rights issues of West Papua. (*)

 

Source: RNZ

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Wales calls on PM to support West Papua agenda

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Mr. Wale calls on the Prime Minister to join the government of Vanuatu in championing the push at the regional level for the Pacific Island Forum to take a stronger stand on the issue against Indonesia.

Papua, Jubi – The Leader of the Official Opposition Mathew Wale has called on the Prime Minister to join the Government of Vanuatu in pushing for the review of the earlier resolution made by the Pacific Forum on the West Papua issue.

This call followed the leaders concluding remarks in Parliament on Friday during the wind down debate on the Speech from the Throne and the motion moved by the Prime Minister for a special adjournment to allow for the Prime Minister to attend the upcoming Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Tuvalu next week.

Mr. Wale calls on the Prime Minister to join the government of Vanuatu in championing the push at the regional level for the Pacific Island Forum to take a stronger stand on the issue against Indonesia.

This matter was voiced by the Foreign Affairs Minister for Vanuatu, who noted that human rights abuse in West Papua is once again escalating hence he is going to push to ensure that the existing resolution passed earlier by the Pacific Islands Forum is strengthened.

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“Just like Vanuatu, the struggles of the people of West Papua is one quite close to our hearts as Melanesians hence Solomon Islands cannot turn a blind eye to cries on human rights violation and their struggles for self-determination.

“There will be intense lobbying and promises of benefits around the fringes of the upcoming Forum meeting by Indonesia but the Prime Minister must know that what is really at stake is the cry of West Papuans to be given the right to rule themselves and the excessive use of force to suppress their cries,” the Opposition Leader stressed.

Wale adds that the Pacific Island Forum had officially resolved that it will seek constructive engagement with Indonesia over West Papua but that wording may need to be stronger now that there has been a surge in conflict there, and PM Sogavare can help Vanuatu by putting more emphasis on this at the meeting.

“This is one matter that the Prime Minister must look beyond the usual politicking and do the most decent thing that he should do,” the Opposition Leader points out.

He further added that Solomon Islands and others could play a part in putting pressure on Indonesia to allow transparent investigations into alleged human rights abuses in West Papua through the Pacific Islands Forum.

Solomon Islands is known for its strong advocacy on this issue in past governments under the leadership of current Prime Minister, both on regional and international levels, and the Opposition is hoping to see that energy reignited. (*)

 

Source: solomonstarnews.com

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