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YWPG Congratulates PM on West Papua Stand

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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 – Young Women’s Parliamentary Group (YWPG) congratulates the Honourable Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on his stand for West Papua’s human rights and sovereignty issues.

YWPG in their press release, Thursday (17/9/2015) is pleased that the Hon. PM has made a firm stand on West Papua’s plight for freedom and desire to be a sovereign nation as other Pacific Islands nations. The Group is also pleased that PM Sogavare has appointed a diplomatic envoy to West Papua Hon. Matthew Wale and congratulates Hon. Wale on his new appointment. YWPG is grateful that Solomon Islands Government and leaders now recognize the struggle of West Papuans.

The group understands that Solomon Islands as a nation is now standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Vanuatu and Samoa to support West Papua in its struggle.
YWPG has been a strong supporter of ending the violence done against the people of West Papua, and members within the group have been actively involved in pushing for Solomon Islands to stand with West Papua as a Melanesian nation.

In its support, YWPG marched to start its “Free West Papua” campaign early this year during the International Women’s Day on Tuesday 10th March 2015.
YWPG’s campaign was based on ending human rights violations against West Papuans, themed “Stop the Violence. Make it happen.”

YWPG applauds champion politicians such as Hon. Derrick Manu’ari, and now the Hon. Matthew Wale and PM Sogavare for bringing the concerns of West Papua’s struggle into the government’s diplomatic circle.

On this note, YWPG also applauds both civic and church leaders, groups such as Solomon Islands in Solidarity for West Papua, and the countless citizens who have made West Papua a household name in Solomon Islands. (*)

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Papuan Liberation Movement wants dialogue

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Members of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua at a Melanesian Spearhead Group summit in 2013: Paula Makabori, Dr John Ondawame, Rex Rumakiek. – RNZ / Johnny Blades

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua supports the idea of dialogue with Indonesia as long as it is mediated internationally, the movement’s secretary says.

Indonesia’s government of Joko Widodo has recently made overtures to West Papuan customary and civil society leaders for dialogue over a range of issues in Papua region.

Secretary Rex Rumakiek said the push for dialogue was not a bad thing.

“But dialogue internationally, not Indonesian type of dialogue that resulted in 1969’s Act of Free Choice. That’s the type of dialogue Indonesia wants. We are not going to go back to that approach,” Mr Rumakiek said.

“We want an international dialogue and the best place to dialogue is the United Nations general assembly. Let us vote on the issue.”

The movement hoped to have questions over the legitimacy of the self-determination act under which West Papua was incorporated into Indonesia debated by the UN General Assembly in the next year or two, Mr Rumakiek said.

Since being admitted to the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) in 2015 with observer status in the regional grouping, the movement has had more opportunities to engage with Indonesia, which enjoys associate member status in the MSG.

The dynamic between the two parties, however, is clearly strained, as Indonesia’s government has characterised the movement as a separatist group that does not represent Papuans.

The full MSG members – Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia’s Kanaks – have been working to facilitate dialogue between the movement and Indonesia

“We can talk direct to them with the MSG members as witnesses. That is what we call a third party” Mr Rumakiek explained.

“We cannot talk direct to Indonesia by ourselves, but with the MSG facilitating. We try to avoid other people speaking on our behalf. The MSG is trying to arrange for meetings (between the West Papuans and Indonesia’s government).”

Meanwhile, the Australia-based Mr Rumakiek said the movement was disturbed by the reports from Papua’s remote Nduga regency that Indonesian security forces and the West Papua National Liberation Army had exchanged gunfire in recent weeks.

Three people were killed in an attack on police at the local airport two weeks ago during regional elections. A faction of the Liberation Army – which is not directly linked to the United Liberation Movement for West Papua – claimed responsibility.

Following the attack, about a thousand extra police and military personnel deployed to Nduga as part of a joint operation.

They have been conducting an aerial campaign over the Alguru area in pursuit of the Liberation Army, with unconfirmed reports saying at least two Papuans have been shot dead and others injured in recent days.

The Indonesian aerial operations over Alguru echoed previous military operations in the area, which devastated the livelihoods of Papuan villagers, Mr Rumakiek said.

“They are applying the same strategy that they bomb villages and chasing the people who live in the bush, so the after effects are much more serious than the actual destruction itself,” he said.

“Those people, when they come back to their village there will be nothing left for them to return to because the schools and clinics are destroyed and the churches are destroyed.”

But in a statement, Indonesia’s military said reports that security forces were conducting airstrikes or dropping bombs in Nduga were a hoax.

Military forces were working with police in “law enforcement activities” in Alguru, it said. (*)

 

Source: radionz.co

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West Papua activists stopped by Solomons police

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Ben Didiomea displays the West Papuan flag as Indonesian staff try to usher him away. – Photo: Facebook/ Ben Didiomea

Solomon, Jubi – Solomon Islands police says they confiscated a West Papuan flag at the Melanesian Arts Festival to stop any provocation aimed at the Indonesian delegation.

Ben Didiomea had his flag taken by police over the weekend after he held it up in front of Indonesia’s festival stall to protest its inclusion at the event.

A video on Facebook shows Mr Didiomea – who was part of a group of demonstrators – holding up West Papua’s Morning Star flag as Indonesian officials tried to move him away from the stall.

He was then approached by Solomon Islands Police who confiscated the flag.

Mr Didiomea said he had been standing in solidarity with fellow Melanesian people of Indonesia’s Papua region, where the Morning Star is banned.

He said the Melanesian Arts Festival, which Honiara hosted over the last ten days, was not intended as an Asian festival.

Police issued a statement saying the flag was removed to prevent provocation of the Indonesians, reminding the demonstrators that it was not a political event.

Mr Didiomea, who along with two other demonstrators was questioned by police, said the inclusion of Indonesia at the Arts Festival was a political move by the Solomons government.

“Because it was a festival of Melanesia, Indonesia is not part of Melanesia. So why does it need an Indonesia stall at the arts festival? It’s a Melanesian festival, so what are Indonesia coming to arts festival?”

Changing relationship

According to Mr Didiomea, the police action was a sign that the country was forming a closer relationship with Indonesia.

The Solomon Islands government under prime minister Rick Hou has recently shown signs that it was pursuing a different policy regarding West Papua to that of the previous prime minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Mr Sogavare, who is now the deputy prime minister, campaigned internationally about West Papuan human rights issues. He was also supportive of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, and instrumental in its admission to the Melanesian Spearhead Group in 2015.

However after he was replaced by Mr Hou late last year, the Solomons government has been notably less vocal about West Papua human rights issues in international fora.

A visit in April by a Solomons delegation to Indonesia’s provinces of Papua and West Papua at the invitation of Jakarta was billed as having added “balance” to the government’s view on West Papuan issues.

The Solomons government told RNZ Pacific in May that it was consulting with the provinces as it formulated an official position on West Papuan human rights and self-determination issues. (*)

 

Source: radionz.co

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Malaita support for free West Papua intact Featured

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Illustration. – solomonstarnews.com

Solomon, Jubi – Malaita provincial government has maintained its support and stand for a free West Papua.

This was highlighted during a dialogue held in Auki last month between representatives from the national government, civil society, Indonesian government and Malaita provincial government.

The visiting team was led by Rence Sore of the Prime Minister’s office to discuss matters to revive Malaita province policy toward Indonesia for Malaita people to have right a perspective to Indonesia government and ways to create positive relationship with Malaita province government.

This is an effort to clarify past rumours and negative publications against the Indonesian government’s treatment to original West Papua people.

The Malaita provincial secretary Jackson Gege confirmed that they have met with the visiting team.

He said their visit mainly was to talk on reviving a Malaita province policy towards the Indonesian government purposely to understand Indonesia’s intentions well.

However, based on a conclusion passed by the Malaita provincial government, Mr Gege said Malaita will continue to support the free West Papua campaign.

“Malaita provincial government will continue to put its support behind the free West Papua campaign,” Mr Gege said.

It’s understood a similar dialogue has been conducted in other provinces. (*)

Source: solomonstarnews.com

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