Saturday, February 27, 2016

1) Concern for human rights activists in West Papua

2) PNG supports special MSG leaders’ summit


Published: 28 February 2016
Australia West Papua Association (AWPA) has written to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop concerning the intimidation of West Papuan representatives from the United Liberation 
Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) and other activists who attended the opening of an office in the town of Wamena in the Papuan highlands on the 15 February.
The Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister, Luhut Pandjaitan has also told the ULMWP to leave the country as it could pose a threat to the country’s territorial integrity.
The Jayawijaya Resort Police have questioned a number of activists who attended the opening.  
The security forces are trying to tarnish the ULMWP representatives as separatists, which raise grave concerns for their security as human rights defenders, and peaceful activists are 
regularly arrested because of accusations that they are so-called separatists.
A Catholic priest Father John Djonga faces possible treason charges simply because he led a prayer service on the  15th  to inaugurate the office building of the Papuan Customary Council,
 where a banner of the ULMWP was unveiled.
Joe Collins of AWPA  said,  “we are urging the Foreign Minister to raise concerns about the threats by the security forces to representatives of the ULMWP with the Indonesian Government.  
“We also urge the Foreign Minister to encourage the Indonesian Government to respond favorably to the request by the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) leaders to allow a PIF fact-finding mission to investigate the human rights situation in the territory”.


2) PNG supports special MSG leaders’ summit

The Papua New Guinea Government has expressed its support for the convening of a special summit for the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) leaders in April.
Port Moresby’s support for the special summit to discuss issues affecting the MSG Secretariat was articulated in meetings between the MSG Chair, 
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill and Foreign Affairs Minister, Rimbink Pato in the PNG Capital.
The MSG chair said the poor financial situation warrants that MSG leaders’ convene for a special summit in Port Vila in April to chart the way forward.
Both the PNG Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister spoke in support of the special leaders’ summit and confirmed their country’s participation.

Vanuatu and the FLNKS have also expressed their support for the special summit and assured the MSG Chair of their participation.
The meetings were part of the round of talks the MSG Chair held with other MSG leaders during his tour of the Melanesian capitals.
Discussions during the MSG Chair’s tour were primarily focused on the poor financial position of the MSG Secretariat.
This situation has delayed the appointment of a new Director General and hampered the effective implementation of the organisation’s work programme.
Meanwhile, the MSG Chair and his delegation arrived back in Honiara Friday upon the conclusion of the final leg of their MSG capitals tour in Port Moresby.

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