Sunday, February 21, 2016

1) President Joko Widodo refused to meet Sogavare

2) Rescuers still searching for missing ship`s crew in Asmat water


1) President Joko Widodo refused to meet Sogavare

Indonesia snubs MSG chair


Indonesia president Joko Widodo has turned down Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s request for a meeting to discuss the West Papua issue.

Sogavare revealed this in Noumea, New Caledonia, Friday, during a meeting with officials of the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et Socialist (FLNKS).

The prime minister is on a 13-day tour of Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) capitals as chair of MSG. FLNKS is a member of MSG.

“My current trip to MSG capitals should have concluded in Jakarta,” Sogavare told his FLNKS counterparts.

This was to discuss the possibility of arranging a meeting between Indonesia and members of the United Liberation 
Movement of West Papua (ULMWP), who want independence for West Papua.

But Sogavare said:

“The Indonesian president has indicated he was not interested in discussing the issue of West Papua.

“The decision by the Indonesian president raises a lot of questions as to why it ever wanted to be an associated member of the MSG when he does not want to cooperate 
in addressing issues of concern to the MSG.

“Nevertheless, the Solomon Islands government under my leadership and the MSG under my chairmanship will continue pursuing the issue of West Papua.”

During the Noumea meet, FLNKS spokesman Victor Tutugoro told Sogavare the issue of West Papua is an agenda that must be pursued with vigor by the MSG.

“We are seeking your government to host a dialogue for the Indonesian Government and ULMWP so they can sit face-to-face and discuss the issue of West Papua,” Tutugoro told Sogavare.

“It is important that the ULMWP is provided with a platform to raise its issues directly to the Indonesian government,” he added.

Sogavare thanked Tutugoro for raising the issue with him, assuring him that it was his intention to bring Indonesia and ULMWP for dialogue. 

“The issue of West Papua is dear to the heart of the Solomon Islands government and people,” Sogavare said.

He thanked FLNKS for their support for the admission of the ULMWP into the MSG on Observer status at the MSG Leaders’ Summit in Honiara last year.

Sogavare said the significance of this issue to the Solomon Islands government is manifested in its appointment of a special envoy on West Papua last year.

However, he said the special envoy has crossed the floor to join the Independent Group in Parliament and the government is now in the process of appointing a replacement to advance the issue of West Papua and its pursuit for self-determination.



2) Rescuers still searching for missing ship`s crew in Asmat water

Timid (ANTARA News) - A joint rescue team is still on the lookout for 13 missing crew members of the motor vessel KM Azula, which beached in the shallow Asmat 
waters of Papua Province on Saturday night (February. 13).

The search operation on the day seven was now focused at the shore of Asmat District, Section Head of Search and Rescue Operation of Timika Hendra Salawane said here Saturday.

"This morning we have been combing the uncovered area along the coast. We will have an evaluation after the team returns in the evening," Salawane said.

The SAR team of Timika has deployed one boat RB 217 with 17 personnel assisted by six additional long boats of the local authorities for the search operation.

A helicopter from PT Freeport Indonesia is also assisting the rescuers during the search.

The KM Azula was found beached in the shallow waters of Muara Agats.

However, the ships crew members had abandoned the ship, and a lifeboat had been lowered and used.

The villagers found a lifeboat suspected to be of the ill-fated ship and some life jackets.

However the 13 crew members are still nowhere to be found.

The 13 missing crew members of KM Azula were Abdul Rachman Hakim (captain), Dimas Apriyona, Fasal, Agus Dwiuntoro, and Aris Untori, along with Dani Purba, 
Muhammad Muntoha, Ahmad Fausi, and Muhammad Aprisal. The other crew members are Samson Ambarita, Nuzakir, Anggit Restu Dianto, and Taufik Nur Hidayat.

(Reporting by Evarianus Supar/Uu.A059/INE/KR-BSR/O001)

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