Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says Fiji will stand with Indonesia on the West Papua issue.
“My stance on West Papua has never changed,” he said.
He said that West Papua was under the sovereignty of Indonesia.
“We feel for the sovereignty of the people of West Papua but we must also remember that it is under the sovereignty of Indonesia.”
West Papua will top the agenda when the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) meets in Honiara on Wednesday next week. The MSG will hear an application for membership from the West Papua separatist movement. A similar bid was knocked back at last year’s MSG leader’s summit in New Caledonia.
Mr Bainimarama said: “For West Papua to become an MSG member, it would depend on our meeting in Honiara.”
Separatist Papuan groups are hoping that the recognition of their identity would come from MSG and they will be accepted as a member. For decades, some have been fighting for independence from Indonesia.
Acting Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Esala Nayasi said from Honiara yesterday that West Papua was among the 19 regional issues that would be discussed. Other issues will include the future of the Pacific Islands Forum, the Pacific Islands Development Forum and climate change.
Mr Bainimarama will lead the Fijian delegation. He will be leaving Fiji next Tuesday.
Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, will leave for Honiara on Saturday.
2) Two Local Languages in Papua On the Brink of Extinction
Bengkulu, Jubi – Two Papuan indigenous languages, Saponi and Mapia, are among 14 Indonesian tongues that have gone extinct.
“There are 14 local languages that have already gone extinct because their speakers no longer exist,” said Aziz Qahar Mudzakkar, the Commission III member of Regional Representative Council of the House of Representative at Bengkulu Provincial Language Office in Kota Bengkulu on Tuesday (16/6/2015).
Others include 10 local languages of Maluku Province: Hoti, Hukumina, Hulung, Serua, Te’un, Palumata, Loun, Moksela, Naka’eka and Nila languages; and two local languages of North Maluku Province: Ternateno and Ibu languages.
According to UNESCO, there are more than 740 local languages in the Indonesian archipelago. However, 136 languages are in category of endangered. Aziz said there are 13 languages that are still being used by more than one million people: Acehnese, Batak, Malay, Minangkabau, Rejau, Lampung, Sunda, Java, Madura, Bali, Sasak, Makassar and Bugis.
The visit was to collect some data and documents concerning to the preparation of draft Law on Regional Language that would be endorsed by the Indonesian House of Representative as part of national legislation program in 2016. (*/rom)