Sunday, October 14, 2012

AWPA letter to PNG PM re MSG

AWPA letter to PNG PM re MSG

Hon. Prime Minister Peter O'Neill,
Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea
Office of the Prime Minister
Morauta House, Waigani
Papua New Guinea

12 October 2012

Dear Prime Minister,

I am writing to you on behalf of the Australia West Papua Association in Sydney to thank you for raising concerns about the human rights situation in West Papua[1] with the Indonesian Government.  We know that PNG has been a good friend to the West Papuan people and we urge you to continue to do all you can to help raise awareness about the human rights abuses being committed by the Indonesian security forces in West Papua at international forums such as the Human Rights Council and other UN bodies. 

In relation to the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). 
We note that the MSG has granted observer status to Indonesia at the MSG and AWPA urges PNG to now support full membership for the Melanesian people of West Papua at the next MSG Summit to be held in New Caledonia (Kanaky) in 2013. A precedent previously given by the MSG to the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS) of Kanaky (New Caledonia). We believe you would have the support of the people of PNG in doing so.  In response to the question, “do you support independence for West Papua?” (in a poll by the Pacific Institute of Public Policy  in 2011),  a clear majority of respondents across Melanesia said yes, with very high support in PNG (89.3%).

We believe the MSG can play an important role in helping facilitate dialogue between representatives of the West Papuan leadership and the Indonesian Government. The West Papuan people have been calling on the international community for years to support such dialogue as a way of solving the many issues of concern in West Papua. We urge you support those representatives of the West Papuan people involved in the self-determination struggle being granted full membership at the next MSG Summit. 

Yours sincerely.
Joe Collins 
AWPA (Sydney)

[1] AWPA (Sydney) uses the name “West Papua” to refer to the whole of the western half of the Island of New Guinea. However, “West Papua” at this time is divided into two provinces, Papua and West Papua.

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