Sunday, February 22, 2015

1) 'Sign West Papua petition'

2) Time to stand up
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1) 'Sign West Papua petition'
Siteri Sauvakacolo
Sunday, February 22, 2015
A PETITION for Fijians to stand in solidarity with the people of West Papua in their application to be full membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group will be delivered to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in late April.
All Fijians are now urged to sign the petition that was launched at Suva's Sukuna Park on Friday to show solidarity and support for their Melanesian brothers and sisters.
Ecumenical Centre for Research, Education and Advocacy (ECREA) director Sirino Rakabi said the people of West Papua needed Fiji's support.
"The people of West Papua now look to Fiji, being one of the influential countries in the region, to support and stand in solidarity with them in their bid to be full members of the MSG," Mr Rakabi said.
"Now is the time for us, the citizens of Fiji, to call on our government to officially and publicly express our support and solidarity with their wish to be full members of this Melanesian body, a body that should and ought to represent all Melanesians.
"Their full membership in the MSG will be a highly significant step towards realising their dream that one day soon, they will be free from oppression, fear and slavery, and to determine their own political future."
The petition cause, Mr Rakabi said had already been supported by the Fiji Council of Churches as well as national and regional civil society organisations and individuals.
People are requested to deliver their signed petition forms to the ECREA office at Knollys St in Suva.
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2) Time to stand up
Siteri Sauvakacolo
Saturday, February 21, 2015
"FOR too long, we have failed to speak out against Indonesia's brutal oppression of the West Papua people," says president of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma, Reverend Tevita Banivanua.
And the Fiji Council of Churches, the Pacific Conference of Churches, the Ecumenical Centre for Research, Education and Advocacy (ECREA) and other civil societies have taken the lead role in the fight against oppression in West Papua.
Yesterday marked a solemn occasion for these church groups, youths and individuals as they marched the streets of Suva to mark the World Social Justice Day celebration — a day dedicated solely to the sufferings of the West Papuan people.
Banners, posters and T-shirts together with the West Papua flag — the Rise Morning Star — coloured the streets as youths cheered and marched with courage showing fellow Fijians that as Melanesians, they had a role to play to end the oppression.
Mr Banivanua launched the Fiji Solidarity Movement for West Papua's Freedom petition signing at Sukuna Park after the march.
"We are here to speak out in love to our families, our community, our nation about the oppression of our brothers and sisters in West Papua and to call on all Fijians to join us in prayer and in solidarity," he said.
"To join us in speaking out about the tragic human rights abuses and violations committed against women, as well as men and children, simply because they live in a place coveted for its vast natural resources.
"And because they dare to dream and to cry out for the opportunity to determine their own future as people."

He said yesterday marked a new beginning in the movement of solidarity for West Papua, adding the movement could not be allowed to become stagnant.
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