Tuesday, April 21, 2015

1) RI steps up efforts to woo MSG members

2) Vanuatu PM clarifies foreign minister's comments on Jakarta embassy
3) Jakarta embassy no priority for Vanuatu
4) Ro Teimumu: Show support for West Papuans

5) Papua desperately in need  of mosquito nets to prevent  malaria


1) RI steps up efforts to  woo MSG members
Bagus BT Saragih, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | World | Tue, April 21 2015, 8:07 AM - 

Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi utilized the opening of the 60th Asian-African Conference Commemoration on Sunday to continue her diplomatic efforts toward Pacific nations, which will soon hold a high-ranking meeting to discuss a membership application of a West Papuan group.

Retno had bilateral meetings with her seven counterparts on Sunday, with four of them from members of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) who would attend the conference as observers.

The four Pacific ministers are Solomon Islands’ Foreign Minister Milner Tozaka, Fiji’s Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Vanuatu’s Sato Kilman and Papua New Guinea’s Rimbink Pato.

“The number of Melanesians in Indonesia is higher than all of the Melanesian population in the Pacific. If you talk about Melanesia, you talk about Indonesia. If you talk about Indonesia, you talk about Melanesia,” Retno said after her meeting with Kilman.

The Vanuatuan minister confirmed that the issue concerning the United Liberation Movement of West Papua’s (ULMWP) full membership application, which was submitted to MSG’s headquarters in Port Vila, Vanuatu, last month, had also been discussed.

 “Yes, I confirmed with her the application has come with the MSG,” Kilman told The Jakarta Post.

The ULMWP is a grouping of three West Papuan groups, namely the Federal Republic of West Papua, the West Papua National Parliament and the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL). The MSG Leaders’ Summit in Port Moresby last year rejected WPNCL’s membership application.

“Last year, MSG leaders made a decision on the first application which was seen that they were not united, so they first need unity. So, we asked them to reapply,” he added.

MSG leaders are expected to meet and discuss this new application in the Solomon Islands around July. Retno is expected to attend the MSG Summit as an observer.

Papua New Guinea’s Pato, however, suggested taking a different stance on the issue.

“On the application, the leaders of the MSG think that, should there be an application, they must represent all Melanesians living here in Indonesia. And the application must have the full endorsement of the government of Indonesia,” he said after his meeting with Retno, without elaborating.

Retno also extended invitations to all four Pacific ministers to take part in the Melanesian Art and Culture festival in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, scheduled for October.

The other three foreign ministers to have bilateral meetings with Retno were South Africa’s Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Iraq’s Ibrahim Abdulkarim Hamza Al-Jafari and Nepal’s Mahendra Bahadur Pandey.

Maite reiterated regret over South African President Jacob Zuma’s last-minute cancellation to attend the summit due to the spreading xenophobic attacks in the country’s two big cities, Johannesburg and Durban, in which six lives had been claimed. -



2) Vanuatu PM clarifies foreign minister's comments on Jakarta embassy 

Updated 21 April 2015, 16:25 AEST
In a media statement released earlier today, Vanuatu prime minister Joe Natuman said the establishment of an embassy in Indonesia was not priority.
Responding to media coverage, the prime ministerial statement said there is no such policy direction at present as far as his government is concerned.
Mr Natuman was responding to comments reportedly made by foreign minister Sato Kilman regarding the establishment of a Vanuatu embassy in Jakarta.
He pointed out that Vanuatu has more pressing issues to attend to right now in recovery efforts in the aftermath of Cyclone Pam, and added that given his firm position on West Papua and alleged human rights abuses there, Vanuatu needs to weigh up all options.
The chairman of the Vanuatu Free West Papua Association and West Papua Unification Committee, Pastor Alan Nafuki, says the action of Mr Kilman does not represent what majority of the people in Vanuatu want.
Presenter: Hilaire Bule
Speaker: Pastor Alan Nafuki, chairman of the Vanuatu Free West Papua Association and West Papua Unification Committee


3) Jakarta embassy no priority for Vanuatu

Updated at 2:36 pm today
Vanuatu's prime minister has downplayed the suggestion made by the foreign minister that it was poised to open an embassy in Indonesia.
Joe Natuman says there is no such policy direction at present as his government has more pressing issues to attend to right now.
The statement follows reports from Jakarta that the visiting foreign minister, Sato Kilman, indicated that Vanuatu wanted to open a mission as soon as possible to strengthen co-operation between the two countries.
But Mr Natuman says given Vanuatu's firm position on West Papua and its stance against alleged human rights abuses there, Vanuatu will need to weigh up all sides before taking its diplomatic relations with Indonesia to the next level.
Melanesian countries will consider a bid from West Papua to join the Melanesian Spearhead Group, when it meets in July.
Meanwhile, Fiji has invited the Indonesian foreign minister Retno Marsudi to the August summit of the Pacific Islands Development Forum in Fiji.
She last visited Fiji three months ago as part of a regional tour.

4) Ro Teimumu: Show support for West Papuans

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

OPPOSITION leader Ro Teimumu Kepa has called on all Fijians to show their support towards their Melanesian brothers and sisters from West Papua who have been suffering for the last 50 years.
The call came after the launch of a major campaign in the UK over the weekend where advocates called on all their Melanesian and Pan-Pacific brothers and sisters to unite hand in hand to bring West Papua back to the Pacific family.
The march was led by exiled West Papuan pro-independence leader Benny Wenda where they also launched the Free West Papua campaign protest.
"What we have been saying all along is that we support West Papua, we know the indigenous issues that they have to deal with in terms of a government that is not supportive of their cause," Ro Teimumu said.
"So we very much support them in this regard, we hope the MSG will try and be more proactive in terms of the assistance and the lobbying they can do with our brothers and sisters in West Papua.
"We ask all Fijians to keep them in their prayers because they really need our spiritual support since we cannot be there with them physically."
The official website of the Office of Benny Wenda stated that the West Papuans are calling on all their Melanesian and Pan-Pacific brothers and sisters to unite to bring West Papua back to the Pacific family.
"We as West Papuan Melanesians want to survive, to be safe and to be free in our own country and therefore, we cannot continue to live with Indonesia where we are not safe and where there is only killing and imprisonment for us," Mr Wenda said.
"We do not want us West Papuan Melanesians to be wiped out from the face of the earth. Therefore, now is the time to bring West Papua back home before it is too late, back to our roots and back to our family within the Melanesian Spearhead Group and as part of the wider Pacific family."
Foreign Affairs Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola did not respond to queries on the subject sent via email but he told Parliament last month he could not confirm Fiji's position on the issue.
Responding to questions raised by Opposition member Ratu Isoa Tikoca, Ratu Inoke said processes had to be followed before a decision could be made.
"The application will be considered by the senior officials of the MSG and then it goes up to the foreign ministers and then to the MSG leaders," he said.
"This meeting will take place in July in Honiara this year. So we have to follow that process. So madam speaker I cannot confirm if Fiji will support the application of West Papua."

5) Papua desperately in need  of mosquito nets to prevent  malaria
Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Tue, April 21 2015, 1:54 PM - 
Papua, Indonesia's most remote and underdeveloped province, has called on the public and the central government to provide it with 550,000 mosquito nets as it struggles with pervasive malaria.
The head of the malaria and AIDS unit at the Papua health agency, Ni Yoman Sri Antara, said on Tuesday that nets would be allocated to nine regencies that had not yet received assistance.
"We've proposed 550,000 nets, but the central government can only provide around 300,000. But the pledge has yet to arrive," Yoman said.
The agency distributed 1 million nets to 16 regencies last year with the help of Global Fund.
Papua has the highest rate of malaria cases in the archipelago, with 43 out of 100 people on average being infected with malaria last year. The national average was 27 of every 100 people in 2014.
Jayapura municipality and the regencies of Yahukimo, Keerom and Mimika have the highest malaria rates, according to Yoman. (ren)(++++)
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