Academician: Vanuatu’s Journalists Keen to Visit Papua

 Pater Gregor Neonbasu, SVD (left) in Vanuatu – Loop Vanuatu
Pater Gregor Neonbasu, SVD (left) in Vanuatu – Loop Vanuatu

Jayapura, Jubi – Several journalists in Vanuatu have expressed interest to visit Papua and observe the current condition as they often received biased, unfair, and unbalanced news coverage of the Indonesian province, a noted academician stated.

“The journalists in Vanuatu seem to yearn to get firsthand information of the current situation in Papua as they have begun harboring doubts on the rampant and unfair coverage of information on Papua,” Pater Gregor Neonbasu, SVD, an anthropologist of the Widya Mandira Catholic University, noted here on Monday.

Speaking to Antara in connection with his recent visits to Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, and Fiji, Neonbasu revealed that the journalists had expressed their intent during a conversation with an Indonesian delegate and staff of the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra at a luncheon.

The Indonesian Embassy’s representatives hinted that they would immediately respond to the journalists’ wish to visit Vanutua, Neonbasu said, adding that he had visited the three South-Pacific countries in his capacity as a Melanesian figure.

“My trip to Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, and Fiji is also a gift for the publication of my book titled ‘The Image of Cultured People: A Monograph of Timor in Melanesian Perspective.’ This book is published by Antara,” he remarked.

Neonbasu said although the news coverage of the country’s media on human rights issues in Papua had a tendency to oppose Indonesia by favoring the Free Papua Movement (OPM), he, nonetheless, had got ample opportunities during his visit to interview several people from the print media as well as radio and television stations in Vanuatu.

Neonbasu said he had an interesting discussion with people from Vanuatu’s media outlets following the interviews. A different way of viewing the Papuan issue was found in Fiji. The people he had met there generally had an open outlook towards Indonesia.

Fiji has adopted a wary approach in believing that the black campaigns launched by the OPM were to corner Indonesia on the human rights issues in Papua, he added. (*)

Source : Antara/Republika