Jayapura, Jubi – The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) was coy about Luhut Panjaitan’s plan to visit two Melanesian Spearhead Group country members, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
“Only these two countries can take Indonesia,” said ULMWP Secretary General Oktavinus Mote to Jubi on Tuesday (29/3/2016) by phone.
Because, according to him, PNG and Fiji are in trouble right now. Fiji was recently hit by Winston hurricane while PNG is facing an economic turmoil.
Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Human Rights Affairs Luhut Panjaitan said his visit to Fiji and PNG has no connection with the Papua issue in MSG forum or a strengthening the position of Indonesia in regional organization in the Pacific region.
“It is because of a movement to make Papua seems not part of Indonesia, such as in Melanesia. But East Nusa Tenggara, Ambon, those are anthropologically part of Melanesia as well. So, there is no reason about it,” said the minister.
However he acknowledged the Indonesian relationship with the countries in Pacific is less warm. “Why did it happen? We might be too busy with other business,” he added.
But the ULMWP Secretary General Octovianus Mote said the Melanesian leaders are among the world leaders who know the reality in Papua. Their credibility as leaders has been tested in the past, including when they decided to recognize and accept the ULMWP to resume as family member of Melanesian and South Pacific’s big family.
“At the moment, West Papua nation and people are not alone in their struggle anymore. Papua has become a member of Melanesian family since 2013 and strengthened by recognition as observer in Honiara last year,” continued Mote.
He added, the Indonesian effort to affect the Melanesian leaders would not succeed.
In the MSG Summit held in last June 2016, Fiji and PNG are the countries that supported the acceptance of Indonesia becoming the Associate Member in MSG. two other countries, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu didn’t give their supports. Both countries along with Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS) gave supports to ULMWP to become a member as observer in MSG. (Victor Mambor/rom)