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I’m Committed to West Papua’s Plight : PM Sogavare

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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

Jayapura, Jubi/SIBC – Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare assures a visiting West Papuan delegation of his determination as Chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) to continue the push for West Papua’s freedom from all forms of human rights abuses and oppression in that region.

A government statement today says Mr Sogavare made the assurance during a courtesy meeting with a visiting eight-member West Papuan delegation in his capacity as Chair of the MSG.

Prime Minster Sogavare made the assurance to the delegation as MSG is founded on decisions and principles of tolerance and human rights.

Mr Sogavare assured them he will ensure the issue is dealt with properly during his Chairmanship as he is also aware many Melanesians have supported the West Papuan struggle against forced oppression.

Meanwhile in their response, the visiting delegation thanked the Prime Minister for his bold stand as a Melanesian leader to push for West Papua’s admission as an Observer of MSG during its meeting in June this year.

The members described Mr. Sogavare as a “shining” example of firm leadership not only in Melanesia but internationally, for his courageous decisions and ongoing support to ensure human rights abuses and the oppression of West Papuans is stopped.

The West Papuan delegation consists of representatives from the West Papuan political leadership, civil society, NGOs, churches and academics. (*)

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Mama Yosepha Met Pacific’s Catholic Church Leaders

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Mama Yosepha Alomang, Markus Haluk, and the interpreter were talking to Cardinal Ribat and Cardinal Mafi – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – After the closing of the Federation of Bishops’ Conferences of Oceania that held in Port Moresby from 12 to 16 April 2018, Mama Yosepha Alomang met two Pacific Catholic Church leaders: the Archbishop of Port Moresby Cardinal John Ribat, and the Archbishop of Tonga Cardinal Soane Patita Paini Mafi, on 17 April 2018. Mama Yosepha accompanied by a Papuan Catholic figure Markus Haluk during the meeting.

In the meeting, she gave the Cardinals two noken (Papua’s traditional bag) of the morning star and Papuan motives to express a message of natural resources deprivation that leads to the human rights violations and religious and moral degradation. She entrusted her message to both cardinals for the World’s Catholic Church Leader the Pope Francis in the Vatican.

“I am hanging these bones on the shoulders of Cardinal John and Cardinal Mafi who are the representatives of the Holy Father Pope Francis,” said Mama Yosepha while hanging the nokens to the necks of both cardinals.

She believed that the Catholic Church leaders, especially the Pope Francis, must speak about the death occurred in West Papuans due to the repression of the Indonesian Government. She told the Cardinals that the murders still continue to prevent self-determination as well as to exploit the natural resources. “They keep arresting and murdering us because of the picture of the morning star in this noken,” she said.

She further said the Catholic Church leaders in Pacific and the world should speak up to protect the life and nature of Papuans. Praying and doing a real action should be urgent for the church at the moment. “If the Pope does not pray for us, Papuans, we must be dead. The church is our support and last hope. You must take care of us,” she hoped.

Meanwhile, Markus Haluk, who accompanied Mama Yosepha and also the Head of the ULMWP Coordination Office in West Papua, said he appreciated her tireless spirit and struggle. “Mama Yosepha handed over the nokens and her message to Cardinal Mafi and Cardinal John with a stammered and teary voice,” he said.

In separated place, Dominikus Surabut, the chairman-elect of the Papuan Customary Council, said the Catholic Church should listen to the voice of Papuan people. Papuans have waited so long for a protective prophetic voice. Papuans have waited so long for a protective prophetic voice. “The church has long been silent. Therefore the Catholic Church in Pacific should open the silent door of the Catholic Church in Papua, Indonesia,” he told the reporter on Thursday (19/4/2018) in Expo Waena, Jayapura City Papua. (*)

 

Reporter: Benny Mawel

Editor: Pipit Maizier 

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Indigenous Peoples of Papua

West Papua Solidarity for PNG launched

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Candles Action and West Papua Solidarity for the victims of the earthquake in PNG launched in Lingkaran Abepura. – Jubi/Dok.

Jayapura, Jubi – West Papua Solidarity for the earthquake victims in Papua New Guinea has been launched on Monday, 12 March 2018 in Lingkaran Abepura, Jayapura City, Papua.

“Starting today, we are in solidarity,” the Coordinator of West Papua Solidarity Sem Awom read his statement in front of hundreds of students and youth activists in Abepura.

He said the act of solidarity is aimed to express sympathy for their brothers in PNG who were died, injured or traumatized in the recent earthquake. He also said the victims certainly need supports from the people of Papua, Melanesia and the world as well. “This solidarity has to break all boundaries,” said Awom.

Another Papuan activist Nelius Wenda said the earthquake that stroked Papua New Guinea has reminded him of the solidarity and ties of Papuan brotherhood. “We actually have a common ancestor, but separated by State border,” he said.

When the earthquake happened, he said, Papuans grieved for the victims who died and injured. “We will do our best,” said Wenda.

Separately, the Secretary of West Papua Solidarity Kristianus Dogopia said fund raising to help the victims would continue until the end of the month. “We will come to houses and student dormitories to collect the funds. We will also speak to the church leaders to get involved in this fund raising,” he said. (*)

 

Reporter: Benny Mawel

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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“I am West Papua. I am Papuan” : Anglican Archbishop of Oceania joint statement

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Archbishop of Oceania – Supplied

Jayapura, Jubi – The Anglican Archbishop of Oceania, who have been meeting in Australia, have warned of the threat to their region from climate change. In a joint statement, the five Archbishop said :

“We agreed that as whole nations of ocean people lose their island homes, climate justice advocacy and action must become the most urgent priority for Oceanic Anglicans.”

Archbishop Philip Freier, of Australia, Archbishop Clyde Igara, of Papua New Guinea, Archbishop Winston Halapua, and Archbishop Philip Richardson of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and Archbishop George Takeli of Melanesia met in Tweed Heads, in New South Wales. They noted that they were four Provinces covering many nations, more than 1000 languages, with rich and diverse cultures. They said they were united through the interweaving of history and long friendships, but were coming together against a backdrop of disharmony:

“We gather at a time when the rhetoric of nationalism, ridicule, fear-mongering, and hatred is so prevalent. In such a climate where “me first” or “we first” dominates, we affirm: “we together.”

They said they had heard “harrowing” stories of human rights violations in West Papua: “which were poignantly focussed for us by Archbishop Clyde Igara, who said: “I am West Papua. I am Papuan” – such is the arbitrariness of national boundaries and the historical circumstances that have defined them.”

The primates said they would be judged by their failure to support their weakest part: “We celebrate that what the world views as weak is in fact strength, what the world views as folly, is indeed wisdom. We rejoice at the fruits of the Spirit we see in each other, and we give thanks for the faithfulness of our forebears who sowed the seeds of the Gospel in our lands.”

They also addressed the challenges of seasonal workers and labour mobility across their Provinces and “how we could respond both pastorally and politically;” they also considered the way “our growing relationships with the Anglican Provinces across Asia could be deepened and looked forward to the meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion in October 2017.” (*)

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