Thursday, January 16, 2014

1) West Papua supporters say Indonesia dividing MSG members

1) West Papua supporters say Indonesia dividing MSG members
2) Vanuatu Boycotts Melanesian Nations’ Visit Over Papua Issue
3) MSG leaders confronted with protests over West Papua


1) West Papua supporters say Indonesia dividing MSG members

Updated at 2:27 pm today
The chairperson of the Vanuatu Free West Papua Association believes Indonesia is trying to divide members of the Melanesian Spearhead Group and weaken their stance on West Papua.
The Vanuatu government decided to boycott a foreign ministers delegation to Indonesia this week because the itinerary did not include any meetings with groups concerned about alleged human rights abuses in West Papua.
Pastor Alan Nafuki says the trip was meant to be a fact finding mission to discover more about the West Papuan National Coalition for Liberation, which wants to become a full member of the MSG.
He says other MSG countries should have followed Vanuatu's lead and stayed home.
"We want to see Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands to really talk with Vanuatu and New Caledonia, and at least appreciate what we Melanesians see for the betterment for our future, we do not depend on Indonesia, it's a powerful country, we should not affiliate with Indonesia."
Pastor Alan Nafuki says they will continue to support West Papuan people in their fight for independence.

2) Vanuatu Boycotts Melanesian Nations’ Visit Over Papua Issue
By Ezra Sihite on 8:46 am January 17, 2014.
Visiting foreign affairs ministers of Melanesian countries on Thursday pledged its support for Indonesia to keep Papua and West Papua as part of its territory.
However, the pledge by the regional grouping known as the Melanesian Spearhead Group, was boycotted by member nation Vanuatu — a country consistently supportive of the Papuans’ call for self determination.
“We respect Indonesia’s sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity as well as the non-intervention principle into a country’s domestic affairs as stated in the United Nation’s charter,” the ministers said in a joint statement issued after a meeting with Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa on Thursday.
Rimbink Pato, Papua New Guinea’s foreign affairs and immigration minister, said during a press conference that his country fully supported development in Indonesia including in Papua, West Papua and Maluku.
Pato said he assured President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of his country’s support for Indonesia during their meeting on Wednesday.
“As a fellow Pacific country we want to develop economic cooperation in various areas with Indonesia,” Pato said.
The MSG includes Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Vanuatu.
Pato and two other foreign ministers, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola of Fiji and Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Soalaoi Clay Forau visited Papua prior to their trip to Jakarta.
Indonesia said it would allow officials from Pacific countries to see for themselves development progress in its three provinces on the island, a move to quell accusation of human rights violations.
But Vanuatu’s Foreign Minister Edward Natapei refused not join the delegation.
He told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat that he believed the agenda for the foreign ministers’ meeting had been “hijacked” by Indonesia.
He added that Vanuatu would only participate if the delegation was given the opportunity to meet civil society groups, pro-independence groups, church leaders and other groups concerned with alleged human rights violations in West Papua.
But Pato alleged that Vanuatu’s decision to not join the delegation was made in the last minute, adding that the country initially indicated that it would be part of the delegation.
Yan Ciristian Warinusy, a human rights activist in Papua, said the ministers’ visit to Papua was in line with the preliminary agenda of the MSG summit held in Noumea, Kanaky-New Caledonia in June last year, according to a report in the Solomon Star News.
Marty said Indonesia has enhanced economic ties and people-to-people contact with the Melanesian countries.
Indonesia’s military and police have been accused of gross human rights violations in Papua, including extra-judicial killings of pro-independence activists.
Several videos circulating online show police torturing Papuans while foreign media outlets have reported on efforts to spy on Papua activists and limit their freedom.
Jakarta has maintained a massive military presence in Papua and implemented a tight screening process for foreigners wishing to enter the provinces.

3) MSG leaders confronted with protests over West Papua

Updated at 3:55 pm today
It has been reported that a group of Papuan students held up a delegation from the Melanesian Spearhead Group as it went to meet the President of Indonesia this week.
Vanuatu decided to boycott the foreign ministers delegation because the itinerary did not include any meetings with groups concerned about alleged human rights abuses in West Papua.
Video footage shows Papuan students blocking a convoy as MSG leaders tried to leave a hotel in Jakarta on Wednesday to meet the president.
The protesters eventually backed off and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono received the delegation.
In a joint statement Indonesia and the MSG say they support respective sovereignty and the principle of non-interference in each other's internal affairs.

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