Tuesday, May 3, 2016

1) Single goal for Vanuatu civil society summit – support West Papua

2) Report We Will Lose Everything.
3) No improvement in Papua human rights – UN must help, says report
4) Almost 1700 arrests in West Papua demos
5) New Zealand parliament blocks West Papua motion
6) West Papua: UN must supervise vote on independence, says coalition

1) Single goal for Vanuatu civil society summit – support West Papua
PIANGO executive director Emele Duituturaga (left) consulting with Vanuatu civil society representative Lai Sakita. Image: Len Garae/Vanuatu Daily Post
By Len Garae in Port Vila 
A West Papuan delegation has come to a regional civil society forum with a single goal in mind – full membership for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua in the Melanesian Spearhead Group. Emile Duituturaga, executive director of the Pacific Islands Association of Non-Government Organisations (PIANGO), said this in an exclusive interview after launching the two-day forum yesterday, adding:”We hope that at the end of our forum, the meeting will endorse that and that will be our goal.” The West Papua delegation also suggested that Indonesia should not be a member of the MSG. And so the issue of “who and what is a Melanesian” is being discussed amid reports of hundreds of Papuans being arrested in a mass Indonesian crackdown.
The theme of the forum is decolonisation. “We see Indonesia as colonising West Papua in the same way that we are supporting the movement of Kanaky for independence [from France]. And so it is broadly self-determination and decolonisation,” she said. The West Papuans insist that ULMWP are the rightful leaders of West Papua because of critical suggestions from some quarters that ULMWP are “external” and not representative of West Papua.
“But there is evidence [to the contrary] and this delegation here today actually came from inside West Papua and they’ve come to call for external international intervention, they’ve come to talk about the genocide that is happening in West Papua.
“We’re going to discuss what we are going to do about it,” Duituturaga said.
Special envoy
“When Vanuatu’s Special Envoy on West Papua, MP Johnny Koanapo, said West Papua was in the blood of the ni-Vanuatu when he launched our Civil Society Organisation Parallel Forum at Owen Hall at Independence Park yesterday, there was a feeling of elation, a real assurance of the leadership role that Vanuatu has been the beacon of hope, the symbol of independence (for West Papua).” She said it was a joy for PIANGO to note that despite Vanuatu’s internal political challenges, the country’s focus on West Papua had not shifted as confirmed by MP Koanapo’s words.  The MP, who used to be director-general of Foreign Affairs, welcomed the involvement of the civil society forum on the call for West Papua to become a full member of MSG, saying the Vanuatu government also needed the support of civil society on West Papua. Before he became MP, Koanapo was instrumental in writing the staunch speech of former Prime Minister Moana Carcasses at the UN General Assembly, condemning reports of human rights abuse against Melanesians by the Indonesian military in West Papua. PIANGO as the umbrella organisation of 21 Pacific Island countries and territories, is at the forefront of West Papua becoming a full member of MSG, Duituturaga said.
‘Missionary report’
In addition she said there was a march and a launch of the “shadow missionary report” in Suva, Fiji yesterday, which had been conducted by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace. The same report would be launched in Port Vila today. “It was launched in Brisbane last Sunday then Fiji and now Vanuatu,” she said. “This is in direct response to the Pacific Islands Forum leaders’ decision to send a fact-finding mission to West Papua. “But now it is heading for the middle of the year and the mission has not taken place because Indonesia has not responded. “So civil society had committed that we would not wait for the government as this is the second report of human rights violations in West Papua and we want to bring it to the attention of our leaders.”
Len Garae is a senior journalist with the Vanuatu Daily Post.


2) Report We Will Lose Everything.

CJPC Brisbane’s report on its shadow human rights fact finding mission to West Papua this year finds that there is no improvement in human rights in West Papua. It calls for action at the UN to investigate human rights abuses and for the Indonesian Government to negotiate with the United Liberation Movement for West Papua to find a pathway towards self determination. Full report at  https://cjpcbrisbane.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/we-will-lose-everything-may-2016.pdf



3) No improvement in Papua human rights – UN must help, says report

Part of the cover of Catholic Justice and Peace Commission report on the West Papua human rights situation. 
The report of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission on its “shadow” human rights fact-finding mission to West Papua this year has found no improvement in human rights.
It has called on the United Nations to investigate human rights abuses and for the Indonesian government to negotiate with the United Liberation Movement for West Papua to find a pathway towards self-determination.
“‘We will lose everything!’ This was the grim prediction made by the four members of the executive of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) when they presented their three-year campaign strategy to a Brisbane meeting of representatives of solidarity groups from around the South Pacific in January 2016,” says the report.
When ULMWP secretary-general Octovianus Mote uttered these words on behalf of his colleagues, both the anguish of the people of West Papua and their grim determination to overcome their oppression was evident in his voice, reports the Catholic commission of the Archdiocese of Brisbane.
“Faced with becoming a small minority in their own land within a few short years and living with unrelenting intimidation and brutality at the hands of the Indonesian government’s security apparatus together with rapidly growing economic and social marginalisation, he stressed the need for urgent action to stop the violence in their land and to secure an international commitment to give their people a genuine opportunity to freely determine their future.”
The message was clear, says the Catholic report.
“The situation in West Papua is fast approaching a tipping point. In less than five years, the position of Papuans in their own land will be worse than precarious. They are already experiencing a demographic tidal wave.

‘Ruthless domination’
“Ruthless Indonesian political, economic, social and cultural domination threatens to engulf the proud people who have inhabited the land they call Tanah Papua for thousands of years,” says the report.
One week after the meeting in Brisbane, a two-person delegation from the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Brisbane travelled to West Papua to speak directly to Papuans about their situation.
“The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Leaders Summit in Port Moresby in September 2015 had agreed to send a human rights fact-finding mission to West Papua, but the Indonesian government has not allowed this to happen,” says the Catholic report.
“One of the commission’s objectives in sending the delegation was to build relationships with the Church in West Papua for future collaboration on human rights and environmental issues.
“However, because of the Indonesian government’s unwillingness to accept a PIF mission, our delegation effectively became the first of a number of shadow human rights fact-finding missions to West Papua from the Pacific.,” says the report.
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4) Almost 1700 arrests in West Papua demos

7:06 pm today

Latest reports from Indonesia indicate police arrested almost 1700 West Papuans yesterday for taking part in a series of demonstrations across Papua region.
The demonstrations were held to express support for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, which is vying for full membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
Monday's protests came as West Papuans marked the anniversary of transferral of administration in the former Dutch New Guinea to Indonesia in 1963.
The independent West Papuan newspaper, Tabloid Jubi, reports that overall 1692 people were arrested.
Jubi reports that a researcher from Bern University in Switzerland was interrogated by police too.
The Jakarta Globe reported that over 500 arrests were made in a huge demonstration in Jayapura.
Reports from local media indicate that hundreds of others were arrested for demonstrating in cities like Merauke and Sorong, but also cities in other parts of Indonesia like Makassar and Semarang.
Last month, the head of Indonesia's Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence, KONTRAS, said that last year more than 1,200 Papuans suffered from harassment, killings, torture and ill-treatment.
Haris Azhar said these abuses were often made by security forces against Papuans for exercising their right to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and movement.


5) New Zealand parliament blocks West Papua motion

5:55 pm today
The New Zealand government has blocked a motion moved without notice by an opposition Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty on West Papua.
The motion was to have asked New Zealand's parliament to support the call by the International Parliamentarians for West Papua for a referendum on self-determination in Indonesia's Papua region.
The IPWP is meeting in London where MPs and leaders from across the world are discussing strategies to push for a West Papua referendum by the end of the decade.
Ms Delahunty said the New Zealand government had a history of ignoring the call of West Papuan's for self-determination.
New Zealand has always recognised Indonesia's territorial integrity with regard to the Papuan region.
Ms Delahunty said with the mass arrests of Papuans in the last 48 hours, attempting to table a motion was the least she could do.
"In the Pacific we see the French and Papua New Guinea being willing to consider referenda for places such as Kanaky and Bougainville," said Ms Delahunty before submitting her motion.
"There is no reason why Indonesia should not have pressure put on it and it would be great if the New Zealand parliament would step up to this but I am not at all sure how it is going to go."
However in parliament, the government objected.


6) West Papua: UN must supervise vote on independence, says coalition
Helen Davidson  Tuesday 3 May 2016 15.35 AEST

The United Nations must pass a resolution for an internationally supervised vote for independence in West Papua, global parliamentarians and independence advocates have said.
In a meeting in London on Tuesday, the West Papuan independence leader, Benny Wenda, will join parliamentarians, lawyers and humanitarians from the UK and the Pacific region to demand the United Nations pass a resolution for an independence referendum, in order to make up for its “mistake” in allowing Indonesia to take control almost 50 years ago.
West Papuans are the indigenous people of a region on the Western half of an island shared with Papua New Guinea. Formerly under Dutch colonisation, Indonesia took temporary control of West Papua under a UN–backed treaty in 1963. It later gained complete rule through a UN-sanctioned but discredited ballot in 1969, in which just a little over 1000 Indonesian-picked West Papuan leaders representatives cast votes under threat of violence.
Wenda said that vote, so called the “act of free choice”, was a betrayal of West Papuans and now was the time for the United Nations to set it right.
“We West Papuans call it the act of no choice,” Wenda told the Guardian. “The UN already made a mistake, they broke their own rule. That’s why the UN needs to correct it now.”
The Free West Papua movement hopes to see a UN resolution within two years to send international peacekeepers to protect West Papuans as they vote on independence.
“For 50 years Indonesia massacred my people, 500,000 people. We need international peacekeeping force in West Papua,” said Wenda.
“In maybe another 10 or 20 or 50 years time I think my people will become a minority. We need this as soon as possible.”

Joining Wenda at Tuesday’s announcement will be ʻAkilisi Pōhiva, the Tongan prime minister and first head of state to attend a Free West Papua meeting, Papua New Guinea governors Powes Parkop and Garry Juffa, and Vanuatu minister Ralph Regenvanu.
A message of support will be read on behalf of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Regenvanu told the Guardian his nation had always supported a free West Papua, and he called on others in the region, in particular Australia and New Zealand which currently back Indonesia’s sovereignty, to join them.
“They need to step up and recognise what’s happening on their doorstep,” he told the Guardian.
“I think the attitude of the governments of New Zealand and Australia is quite shameful when it comes to West Papua.”
Human Rights lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, noted both nations also supported Indonesian sovereignty over East Timor until “the very last moment”.
“It’s important we continue build strong civil society campaigns within Australia and New Zealand to put further pressure on the governments to do the right thing,” Robinson told the Guardian.

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