Photos of Celebration of the 1 December 2017 in Port Vila.
And an amazing show of support by the Government and people of Vanuatu for West Papua
The West Papuan people received an early Xmas present when the Vanuatu Government handed over to the ULMWP Leaders attending their first ULMWP Summit in Port Vila, the title to the land and the key to a building for use in their struggle for self-determination. The ULMWP leaders were meeting at the Chiefs Nakamal in Port Vila durning the week. The ceremony took place on the afternoon of the 1st of December following a march from Fatumaru Bay to the building on the land where Crow’s Nest is. The Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, Deputy Prime Minister Joe Natuman, Lands Minister Ralph Regenvanu, Parliamentary Secretaries Johnny Koanapo and Andrew Napuat, as well as the President of the Malvatumauri, the head of the Vanuatu Christian Council and local activists. A historiac day for the West Papuan people and an overwhelming show of support from the Vanuatu Government and its people for West Papua. Two articles from the Vanuatu Daily Post below covering the events.
Prime Minister Charlot Salwai and Deputy Prime Minister Joe Natuman arrive for the celebration and handover ceremony
Photos of newly renovated house which is quite large
Gathering for march
Vanuatu Daily Post
By Dan McGarry 2 December
“We are all Melanesian,” said Deputy Prime Minister Joe Natuman. “We are family. We regard it as an obligation to help one another.”
Mr Natuman recounted the history of West Papua from post-WWII days, and remarked at the end that the struggle for independence was not only a struggle against colonialism, but a struggle against corporate and commercial interests too. “It’s not just Sukarno and Suharto, it’s also American big business that’s involved,” Mr Natuman said. “We’re not just fighting colonial powers. It’s big business too.”
This is the first time a senior figure in the Vanuatu government has publicly criticised the USA and its mining interests in relation to the issue of West Papuan independence. The nation’s sense of duty in helping to make all of Melanesia free was made manifest yesterday when the government of Vanuatu officially transferred the historic Crow’s Nest building to the United Liberation Movement for West Papua. The building will be shared with local creative collective Further Arts. Mr Natuman is a lifelong supporter of West Papuan independence.
He was the first speaker in the ceremony marking the official opening of the West Papuan mission in Vanuatu.
He was joined by Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, Lands Minister Ralph Regenvanu, Parliamentary Secretaries Johnny Koanapo and Andrew Napuat, as well as the President of the Malvatumauri, the head of the Vanuatu Christian Council and dozens of Vanuatu-based independence activists.
This week also marks the annual conclave of the ULMWP leadership, along with senior militants as well. Internationally known figures Octovianus Mote, Benny Wenda and several other independence leaders were also present. Some declined to be identified or photographed due to fear of retaliation by Indonesian authorities or their proxies. The day was nonetheless a happy one, and a few drops of rain were insufficient to quench the spirits of a movement that, for the first time in two generations, finally has a place to call home.
Gift For West Papua
By Len Garae Dec 1, 2017
West Papua Leaders attending their first United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Summit at the Chiefs Nakamal in Port Vila this week, have said when the Vanuatu Government hands over to them the title to the secluded land and the key to the building on the land where Crow’s Nest is this afternoon, it is going to be the best thing that has ever happened to the West Papua struggle, to symbolize Melanesian blood that has flowed for freedom for the last 60 years.
Last week, three of the leaders spoken to by Daily Post could not hold back their joy and broke the news then quickly took it back saying the Government would have to be the one to break the news. MP for Port Vila and Minister of Land, Ralph Regenvanu explains, “The Council of Ministers has agreed to assist the ULMWP by providing a lease title on which is a newly-renovated office building which will become the Office of the ULMWP in Vanuatu.
“The lease title will be in the name of ‘ULMWP and Further Arts’, so they will be joint owners of the lease and building.
“Further Arts is a local charitable association which works to promote the arts and which has been assisting with the West Papua cause for many years.”
The handing over of the property on December 1 is significant because it is a day to remember the first raising of the West Papuan Morning Star flag 56 years ago.
Below is the programme for today that will see the Government of Vanuatu formally handing over the property to West Papuans and Further Arts.
• 2pm: Vanuatu dignitaries, West Papua Leaders, invited guests and general public gather at Fatumaru Bay.
• 2.30pm: Commemorative walk to Ceremonial Ground led by SDA Brass Band and Operasi Papua Merdeka (Military Wing)
• 3.30pm: Arrival at Ceremonial Ground and everyone seated
• 3.50pm: Flag Raising Ceremony and ‘Hai Tanaku’ Anthem
The keynote speech will be delivered by Deputy Prime Minister, Joe Natuman, followed by the handing over of the land lease title by Prime Minister Charlot Salwai and finally the handing over of the building keys to ULMWP and Further Arts by Land Minister, Ralph Regenvanu.