2) Indonesian Defense Minister targets Vanuatu at press conference
1) VFWPA responds to Indonesian outburst
Pastor Allen Nafuki
Posted: Friday, January 1, 2016 12:00 am
“Christian churches are the conscience of the nation, and therefore have the duty to be the voice of the voiceless and must continue to stand in solidarity with our Melanesian brothers and sisters in West Papua who are still under oppression, and are still living in the current environment which can only be described as one of institutionalized enslavement and suppression of human rights.
“Indonesian Government must stop state killings and human rights abuses and brutality in West Papua,” said Pastor Allen Nafuki, who is the Chairman of Vanuatu Free West Papua Association (VFWPA) and Unification Committee.
He was responding to an article in the Daily Post on December 24, 2015 which the Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu targeted Vanuatu at a press conference in relation to the West Papua issue.
The 64-year-old retired army general, Ryacudu, reminded “other countries” to refrain from encouraging separatist movements in resource-rich Papua, hinting that serious consequences would entail if Indonesia’s position were ignored.
“For us, Papua is still part of the Unitary State of the Indonesian Republic. That’s non-negotiable. [The area] from Aceh to Papua is the jurisdiction of Indonesia. There’s no two ways about it. I hope that’s understood,” the Defense Minister said at a press briefing.
The Jakarta Post reported that during his stint as Army chief Ryacudu became notorious for cracking down on separatist movements in Aceh and Papua.
Ryacudu later said his remarks were directed at Vanuatu.
Meanwhile Nafuki stated: “The Office of the Vanuatu Free West Papua wishes to make these comments as a form of response on behalf of the Christian churches, the chiefs, women, youth, civil societies and the people of Vanuatu.
“Vanuatu foreign policy on self-determination for countries which are still colonized remained the same.
“In many ways our foreign policy continues to promote United Nation General Assembly Resolution as stipulated in Article 2 of 1514 Decolonization Resolution (XV) of 14th December 1960, which states clearly that: ‘Every nation has the right to determine their own fate, and based on this right they are free to choose their political status and also free to continue their development in the fields of economic, social and culture’.
“Therefore all the countries that are the members of the United Nations including the United Nations, especially the Decolonization Committee, are under the obligation to observe and strictly implement this resolution.
“For this reason the continued existence of any form of colonialism certainly impedes the social, cultural and economic development of dependent peoples, such as the West Papua and certainly militates against the United Nations’ ideal of universal peace.
“The Christian churches as the conscience of the nations, and therefore have the duty to be the voice of the voiceless, must continue to stand in solidarity with our Melanesian brothers and sisters in West Papua.
“Regardless of what the world may say about the West Papua issue, Vanuatu will continue to support the self-determination for West Papua, and through God’s power and wisdom, West Papua will become a free nation, because self-determination is a human rights issue,” a statement from Nafuki as Chairman Vanuatu Free West Papua Association and Unification Committee said.
Nafuki made the statement on December 30, 2015.
2) Indonesian Defense Minister targets Vanuatu at press conference
Posted: Friday, December 25, 2015 12:00 am
Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu surprised his Australian hosts — and his own colleagues — on Monday with a blunt warning against any attempts to support the Free Papua Movement (OPM) in the country’s easternmost territory.
The former Army chief issued the warning during a joint press conference alongside Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi and their respective Australian counterparts, Marise Payne and Julie Bishop.
Without entering into specifics, Ryamizard reminded “other countries” to refrain from encouraging separatist movements in resource-rich Papua, hinting that serious consequences would entail if Indonesia’s position were ignored.
The 64-year-old retired army general, who during his stint as Army chief became notorious for cracking down on separatist movements in Aceh and Papua, appeared to have weighed his comments carefully.
An Australian journalist attempted to ascertain whether Ryamizard was implying that Indonesia suspected its neighbor Australia of interference in Papua, but he would not be drawn. Members of the Australian Green Party, commonly known as the Greens, are vocal supporters of Papuan independence from Indonesia.
“I would like to close on this point. It is a point that is very troubling for Indonesia, because Indonesia never meddles in the affairs of other countries, and likewise, we don’t want others to meddle in ours, or try and divide us. With regard to Papua, certain countries are meddling, and we don’t like it,” Ryamizard told the press briefing.
“For us, Papua is still part of the Unitary State of the Indonesian Republic. That’s non-negotiable. [The area] from Aceh to Papua is the jurisdiction of Indonesia. There’s no two ways about it. I hope that’s understood,” he went on.
Bishop and Payne subsequently faced questions from reporters as to whether Papua had been a topic of discussion during their meeting with Ryamizard and Retno.
“On the issue of Papua, yes, that was part of our discussions. We had a general discussion about regional issues, about Pacific issues, and Australia restated, as we have done on many occasions, publicly and privately, our unconditional support and respect for Indonesia’s sovereignty in this regard,” Bishop said in her answer.
Retno, meanwhile, told the press briefing that the Indonesian government appreciated Australia’s “bold” and “strong” position on the issue of Papua.
“On Papua, we appreciate very much [the Australian stance]. The position is very bold and it is a strong position of Australia to unconditionally respect the territorial integrity of Indonesia,” Retno said in response to Bishop’s statement.
Later on Monday, Ryamizard clarified his comments, insisting he had not meant to attack Australia and pointing out that his counterpart Payne had emphasized Australia’s respect for Indonesia’s sovereignty.
His remarks, he said, had been an expression of regret directed at Vanuatu, a Pacific nation that openly supports Papuan separatist movements.
“Vanuatu persists in encouraging Melanesian people to reunite. That’s not right, and I disagree with it. This is a unitary nation,” the defense minister said.
The Jakarta Post