ULMWP grieves over the death of Vanuatu President

The late Baldwin Lonsdale, President Vanuatu (1950 – 2017) – IST

Jayapura, Jubi – West Papua’s London-based Global campaigner Independence Leader for West Papua and Spokesman for the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP), Benny Wenda, has sent condolences on behalf of the people of West Papua to the Government and people of Vanuatu on the sudden passing of the President of Vanuatu, Baldwin ‘Womtelo’ Lonsdale, on June 17.

“On behalf of the people of West Papua and the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, I would like to pay our sincerest condolences and respects to a true Melanesian hero, the President of Vanuatu His Excellency Baldwin Lonsdale,” Wenda said.

According to him the President was and remains a true inspiration for the people of West Papua and did so much to help support us and our struggle for freedom. “People inside West Papua, in refugee camps and those living in exile will all remember him and his life’s message,”

Lonsdale was an outspoken supporter of Melanesian solidarity. In 2014, ULMWP wrote, he was key in helping the formation of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua. “President Lonsdale was also a renowned statesman, universally loved across Melanesia who took a firm stance against corruption and passionately advocated for human rights,” said Wenda.

“He will be dearly missed by all the people of West Papua who continue to suffer under illegal Indonesian occupation and genocide but do not suffer alone while we have such brave supporters like President Lonsdale,” said Wenda while encouraging other Melanesian and Pacific nations to follow Vanuatu’s example, and saying “It is a challenge for the Pacific, especially Melanesian brothers to stand united with them”.(*)