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Senin, 24 Juni 2013

West Papuans welcome Malanesian support

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The Melanesian Spearhead Group says it "fully supports" the right of West Papuans to self determination.

Presenter: Geraldine Coutts

Speaker: Sean Dorney, Pacific correspondent for the Australia Network

Dr. John Otto Ondawame Wakil Ketua WPNCL saat menyampaikan pernyataan WPNCL dalam sesi pleno MSG Summit di Noumea (Jubi)
DORNEY: It said that they noted a road map in relation to the application for membership and that that road map should be based on clear and achievable time lines. There is no decision yet on this application, but the application is still alive as it were.

What was interesting, I think, is that the very first line of the decisions in relation to the membership was an endorsement that the Melanesian Spearhead Group fully supports the inalienable rights of the people of West Papua towards self-determination. They said this is provided for under the preamble of the MSG Constitution.

And the West Papuans were very happy with that commitment to supporting their rights for self-determination. The second point was that they endorsed the concerns of the Melanesian Spearhead Group regarding human rights violations and other forms of atrocities relating to the West Papuan people and that these be raised with the government of Indonesia bilaterally and as a group. That's another one that the West Papuans were very pleased to see. I think it's the first time that the word "atrocities" has appeared in an MSG communique in relation to West Papua.

But then it goes on to say that this Ministerial mission at the invitation of Indonesia is going to be going to Jakarta and West Papua sometime later this year and that it's going to be led by Fiji's Foreign Minister, Ratu Inoke Kumumbola and that the outcome of the West Papuan National Coalition for Liberation's application will be subject to a report of that Foreign Minister's mission.

So the West Papuans are fairly happy about that. They're concerned, they tell me, about this trip. They want it to be very open. They're also wanting journalists to be allowed to travel with the foreign ministers, to journalists from the Pacific, to travel with the ministers and when they get to West Papua, they not just go to Jayapura. They'd be allowed to travel around the two provinces there, Papua and West Papua.

COUTTS: How much support did that get having a media tag along Sean. We know that Fiji probably wouldn't be enamoured of that?

DORNEY: Well, I did have a quiet chat to Ratu Inoke, and he suggested that yes, he wouldn't be opposed to media going on that trip. It will be interesting to see how it pans out.

The Indonesian delegation, the spokesman in English for Indonesian delegation turned out to be Frans Albert Joku and Frans Albert is saying that this delegation will be taken to the province and see things.

He also said there were two very strong statements at the plenary session, a particularly strong statement from Vanuatu's Prime Minister, Moana Carcasses, but also Gordon Darcy Lilo was quite strong in his comments and what they said was in quite contrast to what Papua New Guinea's Deputy Prime Minister said where he apologised for the fact that Peter O'Neill had not turned up and then went on to say that the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister was not there, because he was in Indonesia.

And then later on in his address, he said that Papua New Guinea recognised that West Papua was an integral part of the nation of Indonesia. So Papua New Guinea didn't give the West Papuans much hope, but there were very strong statements as I say from Vanuatu and the Solomons in support of the West Papuans. And it's my understanding that these fairly strong words in the final communique came as a result of those two Prime Ministers wanting they're to be a major statement of support for the West Papuans in this final communique.

COUTTS: And is that the reason that the application for the MSG membership for West Papua was accepted before the delegation as was ....?

DORNEY: No, well that's, the Foreign Ministers had also agreed with that. The Foreign Ministers' decision was at the consideration of the application be deferred. The Foreign Ministers hadn't recommended that the application be thrown out. The Foreign Ministers had said let's have this visit that the Indonesians have invited us to, to West Papua, so I don't think the application was going to be rejected straight off anyway.
COUTTS: All right. Well, West Papua obviously dominated a lot of the proceedings. The chairmanship was handed over. But what other noticeable business took place?

DORNEY: Well, there were quite a number of other decisions made. But I suppose one of the more interesting things towards the end of the whole affair, the three day meeting, was that on Friday evening, at the centre, the leaders were to sign a re-endorsement of the support of the Melanesian Spearhead Group for the independence of the Kanak people of New Caledonia and surprisingly, although Sir Michael Somare was there, as one of the founding members of the leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group. Papua New Guinea did not turn up, did not sign that final endorsement of support for the FLNKS, which caused a bit of consternation.

Sir Michael Somare himself was quite furious that Papua New Guinea wasn't there. I understand Papua New Guinea's Deputy Prime Minister, Leo Dion, was ill and didn't turn up, but nobody else did as well. So that support for the FLNKS has been signed by all the other members, but not at that very crucial final meeting by Papua New Guinea.

And after that, the leaders went down to a social function, but at that social function, they had five cakes with five candles on each of the cakes to mark the 25th. anniversary of the formation of the MSG and because there was no representative of the Papua New Guinea government there, Sir Michael Somare actually lined up to blow out the candles on the cake for Papua New Guinea.

COUTTS: All right Sean. And, have we actually got travel dates yet for the Ministerial meeting?

DORNEY: No, the West Papuans were telling me yesterday, they did not want it to be at the same time as Indonesia's celebration of its independence anniversary, because they said West Papua would be covered in Indonesian flags at that time, that they didn't think that was an appropriate time for the delegation to go, but we do not have an exact time. No, the invitation is coming from the Indonesians and Ratu Anoke and the MSG Secretariat are waiting upon that invitation.

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