Wednesday, November 30, 2016

West Papua supporters gather at PMC for Morning Star flag event

West Papua supporters gather at PMC for Morning Star flag event

About 20 academics, librarians, journalists and Pacific issues activists gathered at the Pacific Media Centre at noon today for a Morning Star flag-raising ceremony as part of global actions for West Papuan freedom.

Kevin McBride of Pax Christi and the Asia Pacific Human Rights Coalition (APHRC) spoke of the important human rights concerns for West Papua and how “we’re all part of the oppression” with New Zealand’s complicity with Indonesian policies. PMC’s Dr David Robie talked of the “vision of hope” with mounting solidarity and support in Pacific Island nations, especially the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu…………………….

Photos/video-The Morning Star on Sydney Harbour

The Morning Star on Sydney Harbour


Note: March for West Papua -4th December
 In Sydney supporters will celebrate the day in a solidarity march from the Opera House to Town Hall Square on the 4 December.
Info at

1) Support grows for Papua referendum

2) Komnas HAM RI Have No repressive apparatus on December 1 in Papua
3) Villages may soon see the light

1) Support grows for Papua referendum

Moses Ompusunggu and Marguerite Afra Sapiie
Jakarta | Wed, November 30 2016 | 08:42 am

Amid what has been perceived as government inaction over injustice in Papua, civil society organizations have rallied to support residents in the country’s easternmost region to exercise their right to self-determination through a referendum. 

The groups, which have formed an alliance called the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-West Papua), said on Tuesday that a referendum would serve to end the “practice of colonization and militarism” in the restive region. 

Announcing a plan to rally on Dec. 1, which is seen by West Papua liberation proponents as the province’s national day, FRI-West Papua spokesperson Surya Anta said the need for a referendum was a consequence of abuses carried out by the government that have resulted in a persistent lack of welfare in the region.

“It’s not possible for West Papuans to live normally if manipulation and deceit of history still persist, racial discrimination is deeply entrenched in every aspect of their lives, the slow-motion genocide continues systematically and extortion of natural wealth destroys their livelihoods and culture,” Surya told a press conference at the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta) in Central Jakarta. 

The group claimed that West Papua “never became a legitimate part of Indonesia”, taking into account what happened in Papuans’ act of free choice (Pepera), a referendum in 1969 that it claimed was “flawed”. 

The group said only 1,022 individuals, less than 0.2 percent of the Papuan population at that time, were involved in Pepera, emphasizing that the participants had been put “under pressure” to express their consent to integrate with Indonesia. 

Some 200 protesters from various organizations across the country, including those advocating for West Papua’s liberation, were due to join the Dec. 1 rally in Jakarta and several regions, Surya said. Alliance of Papuan Students (AMP) chairman Jefry Wenda confirmed to The Jakarta Post that his organization would partake in the demonstration. 

National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said he had yet to be informed about the planned rally, adding that if it was meant to support a referendum for Papua, it could arose suspicion about a separatist movement. “It may violate Article 6, point (e) of the 1998 Freedom of Speech Law,” Boy said, referring to a provision stipulating that any protester is obliged and is responsible to maintain the unity and solidity of the nation when participating in a rally.

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto has played down the issue of a referendum, saying the government would answer the call with sustainable development efforts in Papua and West Papua.
A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
Original bahasa link at
2) Komnas HAM RI Have No repressive apparatus on December 1 in Papua

JAYAPURA, Komnas HAM Representatives requested the repressive security forces are not facing dated December 1, 2016 against the people of Papua to commemorate the birth of embryonic republic of West Papua are 55th in Papua.

"Komnas HAM asked the authorities do not take action criminalization, arrests, persecution, torture and killing of activists and the people of Papua. Party apparatus as minimal as possible to avoid the potential for human rights violations amid Indonesia was reassuring the international community about the prospects for peace in the land of Papua, "pleaded Natalius Pigai to not long ago from Jakarta.

Pigai said Manokwari new cases last month occurred just be counter-productive to the Government's efforts to improve the human rights situation in Papua. Even Tim Monitoring Commission recommended to the plenary session of the Commission to decide investigating gross human rights violations of Law No. 26 of 2000 in Manokwari.

According hemar Pigai, by looking at the escalation of human rights violations in Papua deteriorating shows Jokowi Government has no goodwill to stop human rights violations in Papua.

"At this time when the world more open and information is easily accessible course various incidents of human rights violations in Papua will be recognized and highlighted with ease, then the relevant date of December 1 we ask that all parties, both groups celebrating and also the security forces remain engaged in corridors human rights, namely freedom of expression is certainly respected by all parties and order that people will be maintained, "said Pigai.

For that Komnas HAM, Pigai said, would monitor developments and the situation prior to and during dated December 1, 2016.

Announcers: Arnold Belau


3) Villages may soon see the light

Fedina S. Sundaryani and Viriya P. Singgih
Jakarta | Wed, November 30, 2016 | 07:21 am
The government will soon issue a new rule to electrify 2,500 remote villages with the help of the private sector that may need billions of dollars for the cause.
These affected villages are part of the total 12,659 villages across the country that it aims to electrify with renewable energy sources under the Indonesia Terang (Bright Indonesia) program, the umbrella program of the development plan involving the private sector.
The rule will allow private companies, provincial administration-owned companies and cooperatives to set up off-grid power plant projects in remote villages, 2,376 of which are located in Papua and West Papua.
The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s electricity development program director, Alihuddin Sitompul, said the regulation had been signed by Minister Ignasius Jonan and was being processed at the Law and Human Rights Ministry.
 “The government hopes to encourage the private sector and provincial-administration owned companies to enter the small-scale electricity business. With a maximum capacity of 50 megawatts [MW], investors can act as mini versions of [state-owned electricity firm] PLN,” Alihuddin said during a seminar held on Tuesday.
PLN is currently the sole electricity off-taker in the country. However, with the impending regulation, private investors will be able to sell their electricity directly to residents without having to go through PLN.
Private investors will also be requested to focus on procuring electricity through a hybrid power system, supported by both renewable energy sources and conventional fossil fuel sources.
A hybrid power system combines two or more modes of electricity production, usually involving at least one renewable energy source to ensure the village can maintain power 24 hours a day.
Alihuddin was upbeat that the private sector and provincial administration-owned companies would be interested in the projects as the government would offer subsidies as an incentive. However, he declined to disclose any details.
Even though Indonesia recorded an electrification rate of 88 percent last December, it was attributed to heavy concentration on Java, while eastern regions have remained in the dark.
Lack of electricity in the regions has been mostly blamed on poor infrastructure, which also contributes to high transportation costs.

The ministry previously said the development of electricity infrastructure in Papua and West Papua would require Rp 156.02 billion (US$11.64 million) and annual operating fees of Rp 191.9 billion.
Previously, PLN corporate planning director Nicke Widyawati said the company had expressed its interest to the government in leading projects that could be interconnected into its existing network and was already assessing locations in Papua.
The ministry has remained quiet about whether the impending ministerial regulation would also involve PLN.
The private sector, meanwhile, has expressed its readiness to take part in the remote village electrification program.
Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) deputy head for bioenergy and water power Jaya Wahono said that the business group was trying to submit funding proposals worth $8 billion to various international groups, including World Bank financing arm International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), to meet the electricity procurement plan.
The massive fund could help provide 300 kilowatts of electricity to one village, where each house could get at least 450 watts of electricity.
“That way, the government can boost the economic growth in remote areas. People in coastal villages, for instance, can use the electricity to build cold storages for their fishery products,” Jaya said.
Kadin has formed a partnership with the European Chamber of Commerce to explore business opportunities available to European companies, which are expected to invest in and transfer their technological knowledge to Indonesia

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Watch Airileke’s Powerful Video for West Papuan Independence Day

Watch Airileke’s Powerful Video for West Papuan Independence Day 

by Jonny Nail | November 30th, 2016 2:40:PM EST


The title in the opening scene alone speaks volumes: "West Papua is a country in waiting".
On December 1st, 1961 West Papua — once known as Dutch New Guinea — was granted independence. Indonesia promptly invaded and took back control of the region, and ever since the West Papuan people have been fighting for their freedom, battling both against oppression from Indonesia (including actions that has seen their population percentage reduce from 98% to under 50%) and for wider recognition from international governing agencies — a bureaucratic struggle epitomised with the widely criticised 'Act of No Choice' vote of 1969.
Attempting to re-ignite awareness of the issue and to coincide with the annual December 1st global ceremonies — commemorating the first Morning Star flag raising in 1961 — ARIA-nominated, Melbourne-based Melanesian artist Airileke has recorded a new track entitled "Sorong Samarai". It's the debut release from politically motivated label Rize of the Morning Star and exclusively premiering today via Rolling Stone Australia.
The song's title references Sorong, a town in the north-west corner of West Papua and Samarai, a small township in the south-east of neighbouring Papua New Guinea. The geographical line between the two locations — commonly referred to as "S2S" — is often used to signify a united state of solidarity.
Building from that strong statement of heritage and identity, the song fuses traditional chanting and log drum percussion with a punctuating reggae rhythm that delivers a striking sense of urgency. The fist-pumped passion through the verses —  both in English and traditional dialect — is only momentarily paused for the poignant, anthemic hook: "one people, one soul, one destiny"; a line adapted from exiled activist Benny Wenda's United Nations address 20 years ago.
"We wanted to positively present the beauty of West Papua and PNG and the strength of its culture and people, so the wider community connects emotionally to the situation and begins to take a stronger interest", explains Airileke of the striking scenes in the accompanying video. The clip, directed by Carlo Santone (Blue King Brown, Nattali Rize, One Rebel Creative), continues the song's strong sense of celebration via a vibrant array of pristine island scenery and — more importantly — an exhibition of the tightly preserved culture of the people of that land.
Following the release, Airileke is set to take the song to an even wider audience in early-2017, with plans for a series of performances with collaborators from West Papua, PNG and Australia.
For more information on the Free West Papua Campaign visit the official website.
Channel Ten's current affairs program, 'The Project', will also be airing a special report on West Papua's fight for independence on December 1st at 6:30PM (AEDT).

1) Group supports referendum for West Papua

2) Support the “Self-Determination”, FRI West Papua was declared in Jakarta

3) Young people take initiative to better education opportunities

1) Group supports referendum for West Papua

News Desk The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Tue, November 29, 2016 | 07:09 pm

Fight for freedom: Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua spokesperson Surya Anta speaks to reporters at the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH) on Tuesday to declare the group’s support for Papuans to exercise the right to self-determination. (JP/Fachrul Sidiq)

Persistent oppression and discrimination as well as cultural and historical differences are sufficient reasons for Papuan people to decide their own fate through a referendum, an alliance has said.  
The Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-West Papua), consisting of non-Papuan Indonesian activists and intellectuals, was established as a form of solidarity from non-Papuans regarding the constant oppression suffered by Papuan activists who have fought for independence.
"There is no happiness for Papuans as long as they are part of Indonesia," the alliance’s spokesperson, Surya Anta, said in a press conference held at the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH) on Tuesday. 
(Read also: 

Surya said ongoing efforts from the government, such as giving special autonomy to the country’s easternmost region, had not eliminated military oppression or the destruction of natural resources. 

He said the group believed the only solution for Papua was to be able to exercise the right to determine whether to part ways with or remain part of Indonesia.
He claimed that an exercise of the right to self-determination for Papuans through an act of free choice (Pepera) in 1969 was invalid because only 1,022 individuals were involved in the plebiscite, less than 0.2 percent of the population.
"Moreover, they [Papuan people] were put under pressure to express their concerns about integrating with Indonesia," Surya added. (fac/jun)

A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
Original bahasa link at

2) Support the “Self-Determination”, FRI West Papua was declared in Jakarta

News Portal Papua No. 1 | Jubi,

                                    Illustration Solidarity action for Papua 2015 -

Jayapura, Jubi - Front Rakyat Indonesia's West Papua (West Papua FRI) declared on Tuesday (11/29/2016) in Jakarta in order to demonstrate solidarity attitude and some of the elements of the Indonesian people to self-determination aspirations of the people of Papua.

Following the escalation of the issue of West Papuan self-determination on the international stage today, some communities in Indonesia are also encouraged to take a stand. FRI West Papua was declared in the Legal Aid Institute (LBH) Jakarta, on Tuesday afternoon as a union of political parties, student organizations, cultural groups and media activism group.

In a press release received by the Editor Jubi Tuesday (29/11), they emphasized the establishment of five background the front.

Surya Anta, spokesman FRI West Papua lays the first cornerstone of the front declared for fraud and deception history of Papua's status and its integration into the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI).

"West Papua is the territory of the colony non-self-recognized United Nations and also the Dutch in 1949, so too is still recognized on the delivery of administrative to Indonesia in 1963, the status does not change, prior to self-determination," said Surya in those releases ,

The only legitimacy integration of West Papua into the Republic of Indonesia was an Act (Act) 1969, he said, proved to be invalid because it is not democratic.

FRI West Papua also highlighted the systematic racial discrimination and historically in Papua as the cornerstone of their attitude.

"Racial discrimination has been done long ago, even before the Act of place, as to which statements Murtopo in 1966" Indonesia does not want the people of Papua, Indonesia just want the land and natural resources contained in the island of Papua. If Papuans want independence, please find another island in the Pacific for free. Or ask the Americans to provide a place for people in Papua occupies over there ", as quoted by Surya in the release.

Genocide slowly; arrest, torture and imprisonment of the nation of Papua; and robbery Papua's natural wealth is the foundation of the next three founding group of this solidarity.

The fifth runway, carrying FRI West Papua to the conclusion that it knowingly to admit, "the existence of the Republic of Indonesia in West Papua is illegal; colonization has occurred in Papua during the 50s; and West Papua is a Nation (nation) (which is different from the Indonesian people - ed), "said the statement.

FRI West Papua was established by the People's Liberation Party, the Center for People's Struggle Indonesia, LIBERATION, Cultural States Indonesia Society, Socialist Study Circle, Society Solidarity Net.

Surya Anta, who also came from the People's Liberation Party in a press conference which was still ongoing at the LBH Jakarta, Jakarta Diponogoro 74, stressed the need for solidarity to Papua united, "can not be continuously dispersed. What we are doing at FRI West Papua are trying to put it together, "he said.

Through live video, looks Surya Anta alone in front of the press conference of the forum to explain and answer questions from reporters.

Initiatives supporting the West Papuan self-determination can be said to be the first openly declared in Indonesia. During this time, the solidarity the people of Indonesia to Papua issue usually ranging in matters of human rights and humanity in general, without expressly provides support to Self-Determination itself.

In the 1990s, civic groups, Indonesia has also been doing the same thing by supporting the self-determination of East Timor. Those groups such as the People's Solidarity for Maubere Rakyat Indonesia (SPRIM), Solidarity for Peace Settlement of Timor Leste (SOLIDAMOR) and the Forum of Solidarity for the People of East Timor. (*)

3) Young people take initiative to better education opportunities
Juliana Harsianti Contributor
Jakarta | Tue, November 29 2016 | 10:44 am

Dedication: Rosa Dahlia teaches students outdoors in Lenny Jaya regency, West Papua.
Two young people combine their entrepreneurial skills and passion to solve problems in education.
Despite a major allocation in the state budget, many parents still complain about the high cost of education.

At first, education activist Ai Nurhidayat thought it was normal for private schools to impose high tuition fees, since they offer qualified teachers and better facilities. It was common to see some schools apply a cross subsidy system to help high-achieving students from poor families.

However, after some contemplation, he considered that such a system was unfair.

“It favors those who are better off and more gifted than students with average abilities,” the native of Pangandaran in West Java said.

He was speaking during the Young People’s Festival, which was held by Tempo Institute in South Jakarta recently. During the event, young people met to exchange perspectives during discussions and to expand their networks.

Ai returned to Pangandaran after finishing his study in Jakarta and completing his apprenticeship in multiple areas, including in Timor Leste where he was exposed to other cultures.

Believing that schools should apply equality in their student enrollment, Ai set up SMK Bakti Karya vocational school in Parigi district, Pangandaran.

The multicultural school has enrolled students from 25 regencies all over Indonesia.

“In the beginning, I recruited volunteers from various regions to promote the school and to recruit students,” said the 26-year-old.

Ai’s does not set grade minimums for student admission. His school accepts all students as long as they have graduated from junior high school and are younger than 21. Unsurprisingly, it has drawn public interest.

“Those rejected by other schools enroll in our school,” Ai said.

He employs teachers who come from around Pangandaran as well as other cities and asks them to embrace the school’s mission. Ai wants his students to learn academic skills and participate in extracurricular activities, so they will be capable of working independently after graduation. The school also provides a dormitory facility.

  Meanwhile, Rosa Dahlia, another participant of the Young People Festival, focused on education for children in West Papua. In contrast to the numerous schools that are available in Jakarta and big cities in Java, students in West Papua have limited access to education.

“The government has intentions to improve education in Papua, but they use Java as a reference, while local conditions [in Papua] are different,” said Rosa.

Unlike Ai, who returned to his hometown, Rosa accepted a job from a foundation to teach at Lanny Jaya Papua after graduation. She has observed that Papuan students need a teaching approach that is different from the one applied in big cities on Java.

“If the teaching method is adjusted, the children are quick to learn,” said Rosa.

For instance, teachers from big cities are used to teaching primary school students who already have basic arithmetic training, so they may get impatient when they find that the students in Papua do not possess the same skills in the subject.

Rosa also highlighted the language gap. Papuan children rarely speak Indonesian or speak it in a muddled structure. She said she decided to learn the local tongue to ease communication with her students.

“I was once at a loss for the proper way to teach them Indonesian until an idea struck me,” recalled Rosa.

In order to make Indonesian language teaching easier, she created a bulletin entitled Elege Inone, which means “the voice of children” in the local Lanny language. Issued monthly, the publication was processed by students, who wrote stories, took photos, drew illustrations and printed the newsletter, with Rosa helping to create its graphic designs.

“We managed to produce three editions and planned to distribute them to schools in Lanny Jaya, but I had to move and my successor hasn’t continued this project,” she said.

(Courtesy of SMK Bakti Karya)
Critical thinking: Two comic strips by students from vocational school SMK Bakti Karya share messages of multiculturalism.
When her contract expired, Rosa could not secure an extension from her foundation. Rosa’s love of Papua prompted her to stay in the province with the help of many circles, thus enabling her to carry on teaching in Lanny Jaya.

Ai, who raises funds from donations, has also faced some problems despite receiving overwhelming interest in his school. The latest repressive measures taken in the arrest of Papuan students in Yogyakarta on allegations of promoting separatism in July have prompted a number of candidates from Papua to cancel their enrollment.

Rosa and Ai share the view that with serious effort, funds will come from various sources. They believe the most important thing is to maintain strong determination without losing hope in order to promote Indonesia’s education.

Monday, November 28, 2016

1) Island focus: Police prepare for one-price fuel in Papua

2) Pacific NGOs separate from ‘Asia Pacific’ tag

3) Fidel Castro And The Vanuatu Connection

1) Island focus: Police prepare for one-price fuel in Papua
Jayapura | Tue, November 29 2016 | 08:51 am

The Papuan Police have assigned 50 of their personnel to a special task force to monitor the distribution and pricing of fuel following the launch of the one-price fuel policy in October by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

“The taskforce will monitor the fuel distribution in Papua to make sure that the price is as decided by the President and a supply is available in each gas station,” Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw said last week.

The 50-strong team would also collect data on problems found on the ground, he said. In their operation, the team would act in synergy with the military, local administrations and state oil and gas company Pertamina.

With the single-price policy, the price of fuel in Papua and West Papua, which previously cost up to tens of thousands of rupiah per liter, is being held at the same price as applied in the rest of the country.

The implementation of the policy is being backed by Bank Indonesia through the distribution of around Rp 15 billion (US$1.1 million) in coins and small bank notes to 19 regencies in Papua during November and December.

2) Pacific NGOs separate from ‘Asia Pacific’ tag
00:00 am GMT+12, 29/11/2016, Kenya
By Pita Ligaiula in Nairobi, Kenya
The Pacific Civil Society group has successfully removed itself from the ‘Asia Pacific tag’ to become a separate group on its own.
Speaking to PACNEWS in Nairobi, Pacific Islands of Non-Governmental Organisation (PIANGO) Executive director, Emele Duituturaga said traditionally the Pacific has always been considered to be part of the Asia Pacific region.  
“And this is something that civil society of the Pacific has always raised as a policy issue, that the issues of the Pacific are very different from Asia.
“Couple of years ago, the Pacific made representation at the world level, about the need to separate the Pacific from Asia and it wasn’t until last year that it happened. So today at this global assembly for the very first time, the Pacific delegation had a separate’ Pacific identity’- separate from Asia, so that is something civil society has won.
“To this day even at the UN, the Pacific still considered to be part of Asia but in the civil society world we have successfully separated the Pacific as a separate region from Asia,” Duituturaga told PACNEWS.
Duituturaga said with Fiji expecting to host the International Civil Society week in 2017, the move will certainly boost the Pacific profile at the world stage.  
“We are fully anticipating and we are waiting for the official confirmation from Civicus that the Pacific again for the first time will be hosting the International Civil Society week which has been taking place annually around the world.
“For us as the Pacific it is part of trying to establish itself yet again. The Pacific is considered to be too far, too expensive and also our issues are really not considered at the global stage.  
“So by bringing this international meeting that happens only once a year to the Pacific and specifically to Fiji it will certainly boost the Pacific profile. It will certainly help the rest of the world have a better understanding of the issues of the small island states, it will certainly give recognition to the Pacific.  
“A lot of NGO and civil society in the Pacific don’t get much profile from donors and also from larger countries, so it will be a unique and once in a lifetime opportunity for CSOs in the Pacific to actually hold an international civil society gathering,” Duituturaga told PACNEWS.


A bit of history

3) Fidel Castro And The Vanuatu Connection

Former Prime Minister and First Vanuatu Roving Ambassador, Barak Sope, yesterday expressed his personal tribute to the late Fidel Castro of Cuba who died late last week.
Speaking from his home on Ifira in a telephone interview with the Daily Post, Barak Sope, who was one of the young political activists for the Vanuatu independence during the New Hebrides era, related how Cuba was the first country in the world to support the then New Hebrides for a political freedom from the two colonial powers, Britain and France.
“In 1977 Father Walter Lini (late) and I were present during a UN Committee of 24th on Decolonization in New York.
“This was the first time that the Vanuatu cry for political independence was heard by the UN Committee of the 24th on Decolonization.
“It was through the Cuban President Fidel Castro, at the time that Cuba became the first country in the world to sponsor the then New Hebrides application to the UN 24th Committee on Decolonization in 1977.
“So, Father Walter Lini (late) who was the President of the Vanua’aku Party and I made a trip to New York to be present during the UN Committee of 24th on Decolonization to listen to the debate for our freedom,” Barak Sope recalled.
“It was timely too because Cuba did not only sponsor Vanuatu’s application to the UN Committee of 24th on Decolonization, but it so happened that at the time, Cuba chaired the UN Committee of 24th on Decolonization, and so we knew, with hope that our political freedom was eminent, with Cuba Ambassador appointed by President Fidel Castro to Chair the UN Committee of 24th on Decolonization,” Sope recalled.
He said it was through the two roles that Cuba played at the time that the UN Committee of 24th on Decolonization shepherded Vanuatu’s application through.
Sope said other countries that supported the then New Hebrides in its initial stages for political freedom through the UN were Algeria and Tanzania.
“After Independence in 1980, I was appointed by Vanuatu’s first Prime Minister Father Walter Lini (late) as Vanuatu’s first Roving Ambassador and Secretary for Foreign Affairs, because the Foreign Affairs at the time were under the Prime Minister’s portfolio.
“In August 1981 Prime Minister Father Walter Lini appointed me as a Special Envoy to travel to Havana, Cuba, to deliver Vanuatu’s Special Message of “thank you and appreciation” to Cuban President Fidel Castro, and at the same time formalized diplomatic relations with Cuba that saw Vanuatu flag raised in Havana.
“I could not travel through the US at the time, so I had to make a long trip via UK and Canada and then to Havana, Cuba where I was accorded a high level welcome and personally me President Fidel Castro, in his Presidential Palace.
“I extended to him on behalf of the Government and the people of Vanuatu, deep appreciation for the support that President Fidel Castro and his country that paved the way from Havana to the corridors of the United Nations and finally to the Committee of the 24th on Decolonization that released our colonized country and people from Britain and France to become the Independent state and the new Republic of Vanuatu,” Sope said.
“Port Vila tied diplomatic relations with Havana in August 1981 before becoming a full member of the United Nations (UN) in September of 1981-the same year, but we recognized Cuba first because without Cuba and President Fidel Castro, it may have taken longer or never for this country to become an Independent State from Britain and France,” Barak Sope recalled.
“In 1977 Father Walter Lini and I attended the UN Decolonization Committee in informal clothing but in 1981 we attended the UN General Assembly for the first time after Independence where Father Walter Lini the first Vanuatu Prime Minister addressed the UN General Assembly for the first time as an Independent State and as the UN welcomed Vanuatu as its full member.
“Today, I am sad to say that Vanuatu has lost its first political pillar of our political freedom, the late President Fidel Castro. Personally, and of course the country has lost a man that stood up for the right of the political freedom of our nation and people in international forum and the United Nations. We truly miss him,” Sope noted of the passing away of Cuba’s former President, Fidel Castro.
The former Cuban President Fidel Castro handed his responsibilities in 2006 to Raul Castor.
He died at the age of 90 on November 25, 2016.
The relations with Cuba was enhanced further when the country provided scholarships for ni-Vanuatu to attend medical school there to become doctors.

Photos-The West Papuan struggle through T-shirts

The West Papuan struggle through T-shirts

A simply way of raising awareness

Rockin for West Papua

Free West Papua One People One Soul

Punks for West Papua

Oceania Interrupted 

Free political prisoners






West Papua Action Auckland