By Len Garae in Port Vila
Jayapura, Jubi – A West Papuan delegation has come to a regional civil society forum with a single goal in mind – full membership for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua in the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
Emele Duituturaga, executive director of the Pacific Islands Association of Non-Government Organisations (PIANGO), said this in an exclusive interview after launching the two-day forum yesterday, adding:”We hope that at the end of our forum, the meeting will endorse that and that will be our goal.”
The West Papua delegation also suggested that Indonesia should not be a member of the MSG. And so the issue of “who and what is a Melanesian” is being discussed amid reports of hundreds of Papuans being arrested in a mass Indonesian crackdown.
The theme of the forum is decolonisation.
“We see Indonesia as colonising West Papua in the same way that we are supporting the movement of Kanaky for independence [from France]. And so it is broadly self-determination and decolonisation,” she said.
The West Papuans insist that ULMWP are the rightful leaders of West Papua because of critical suggestions from some quarters that ULMWP are “external” and not representative of West Papua.
“But there is evidence [to the contrary] and this delegation here today actually came from inside West Papua and they’ve come to call for external international intervention, they’ve come to talk about the genocide that is happening in West Papua.
“We’re going to discuss what we are going to do about it,” Duituturaga said.
“When Vanuatu’s Special Envoy on West Papua, MP Johnny Koanapo, said West Papua was in the blood of the ni-Vanuatu when he launched our Civil Society Organisation Parallel Forum at Owen Hall at Independence Park yesterday, there was a feeling of elation, a real assurance of the leadership role that Vanuatu has been the beacon of hope, the symbol of independence (for West Papua).”
She said it was a joy for PIANGO to note that despite Vanuatu’s internal political challenges, the country’s focus on West Papua had not shifted as confirmed by MP Koanapo’s words.
The MP, who used to be director-general of Foreign Affairs, welcomed the involvement of the civil society forum on the call for West Papua to become a full member of MSG, saying the Vanuatu government also needed the support of civil society on West Papua.
Before he became MP, Koanapo was instrumental in writing the staunch speech of former Prime Minister Moana Carcasses at the UN General Assembly, condemning reports of human rights abuse against Melanesians by the Indonesian military in West Papua.
PIANGO as the umbrella organisation of 21 Pacific Island countries and territories, is at the forefront of West Papua becoming a full member of MSG, Duituturaga said.
In addition she said there was a march and a launch of the “shadow missionary report” in Suva, Fiji yesterday, which had been conducted by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace.
The same report would be launched in Port Vila today.
“It was launched in Brisbane last Sunday then Fiji and now Vanuatu,” she said.
“This is in direct response to the Pacific Islands Forum leaders’ decision to send a fact-finding mission to West Papua.
“But now it is heading for the middle of the year and the mission has not taken place because Indonesia has not responded.
“So civil society had committed that we would not wait for the government as this is the second report of human rights violations in West Papua and we want to bring it to the attention of our leaders.”
Len Garae is a senior journalist with the Vanuatu Daily Post.
The body of crashed MAF aircraft found 13 meters below water
Jayapura, Jubi – Roberth Tunyanan from KNKT (the National Transportation Safety Committee) Papua said the body of a pilot killed in the crashed aircraft was found in Lake Sentani on Tuesday morning.
“I received the report stating the Rescue Team had found the body of MAF pilot flying the aircraft PK-MEC in Lake Sentani,” Tunyanan as quoted by Antara News Agency on Tuesday morning (12/5/2020).
The report also revealed that her body found at a depth of 13 meters trapped in the cockpit.
The website maf.org acknowledges Joyce Lin as a pilot and IT specialist. As a pilot, she flew the aircraft to help people living in remote and isolated areas by providing medical evacuation service for saving a life. She also transported logistic supplies for community development, missionaries, teachers, and humanitarian workers to these remote locations. Meanwhile, as an IT specialist, Joyce work to set up and maintain the computer networks for missionaries and humanitarian workers to contact their communities and to access information on the Internet.
The aircraft controlled by Joyce Lin reportedly crashed around Lake Sentani that located between Jayapura Municipality and Jayapura Regency in Papua Province. The aeroplane took off at 6.27 a.m. local time and lost contact two minutes after take-off. (*)
Reporter: Victor Mambor
Editor: Pipit Maizier
West Papuans rally calling Australia stands against human rights violations in West Papua
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.
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
PNG governor wants West Papua referendum
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.
“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. (*)
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