Saturday, June 27, 2015

1) Indonesia is Associate Member, West Papua Observer in MSG

2) West Papuans given Melanesia bloc access, but not full membership

3) MSG Leaders made a tough decision: PM

4) MSG grants West Papua observer status

5) Bainimarama commends Indonesian President
6) Islands in focus: Papuans  block airport over land  dispute 

Vanuatu Daily Post

1) Indonesia is Associate Member, West Papua Observer in MSG

Posted: Saturday, June 27, 2015 12:00 am
By Godwin Ligo | 0 comments
The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) has accepted the United Liberal Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) as Observer in the regional organisation on the basis that it represents West Papuans living outside West Papua.
According to international media, that was the announcement made yesterday by the MSG Chair, Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare.
The MSG Chair also announced that Associate Membership was accorded to Indonesia who is representing "the five Melanesian provinces in Indonesia".
That was the decision of the leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group at the MSG Summit in Solomon Islands that ended yesterday.
Indonesia will be represented in MSG by the governors of the five provinces in West Papua.
The ULMWP application for full membership in MSG was held back.
While Vanuatu was the beacon of hope for West Papua in the world in the past, at this stage the people of Vanuatu do not know how Vanuatu voted at the MSG in the bid for ULMWP's application for full membership.
But in a statement released by the Office of the Prime Minister yesterday, it stated that the United Liberation Movement for West Papua representatives have expressed appreciation to Melanesian Spearhead Group leaders in an address to the MSG Plenary on Friday.
The Vanuatu Prime Minister, Sato Kilman, who did not attend the MSG meeting following the political situation in the country stated: “The 20th Summit ended on Friday 26th with a Plenary which also saw addresses from newly admitted Associate members Indonesia, and the United Liberation Movement for West Papua as Observers.
“In a much-anticipated communiqué which was signed by Leaders on Thursday evening at the Mendana Hotel in Honiara, among other important decisions, Leaders approved that ULMWP be admitted as an Observer to the MSG under the regional and international organizations category and representing Melanesians living abroad.
“In addition, leaders also approved that Associate membership be accorded to Indonesia who will also be representing the five Melanesian Provinces in Indonesia.
“These two decisions were arguably quite historical as well as progressive in their own right, rendering the MSG as a platform for greater dialogue between the Government of Indonesia and the ULMWP.
“In his address to the plenary on Friday morning, representative of the ULMWP expressed their appreciation to leaders for endorsing their bid for membership and for their unification under the ULMWP umbrella which was made possible under the auspices of the Government, the Chiefs, Church Leaders and people of Vanuatu.
“It is important to note that the Vanuatu Government’s strong stance, support and advocacy for self-determination for all indigenous peoples and the universal principles of human rights which all MSG members subscribe to have been instrumental in the inclusion of La Couse Kanak and now West Papua in the agenda of the MSG, and for the inclusion of the FLNKS representing the Kanak people of New Caledonia, and now ULMWP the people of West Papua.
“To that end, the Vanuatu Government wishes to congratulate both the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) and the Government of Indonesia for choosing the MSG as a conduit or platform whereupon they may dialogue and in reconciling any differences.
“The spirit of the MSG and the Melanesian way encourages closer dialogue cooperation and the spirit of comradeship and collegiality and in a reconciliatory manner than confrontational.
“Leaders of the MSG, including Vanuatu, therefore encourage the ULMWP and the Government of Indonesia to make the most the space and opportunity rendered by their inclusion in the MSG for dialogue and in a reconciliatory and progressive manner.
“This is a position which the Government of the day will rally behind and support to be more pragmatic and progressive, as opposed to a confrontational approach.
“The 20th MSG Leaders’ Summit also saw the signing of a myriad of documents and declarations which included, the Agreement Establishing the MSG (Revised 2015), the Declaration on the MSG 2038 Property for All Plan and implementation Framework. Agreement Establishing the Regional Police Academy (RPA), Legislative Framework Agreement of the Formed Police Unit (FPU), Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Humanitarian and Emergency Response Cooperation Center (HERCC), Melanesian Declaration on the Transshipment of Nuclear Waste and Trans-boundary Movement of Hazardous Waste (previously the 1995 Lakatoro Declaration on Denuclearization on the Pacific), Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Technical Cooperation in Coastal and Aquaculture Development between members of the MSG, and the MSG Roadmap for inshore Fisheries Management and Sustainable Development.
“The leaders also considered and endorsed a paper on Recovery Support for Vanuatu in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Pam which would comprise pledges of support in areas identified in the recently concluded National Recovery Plan, and on a bilateral basis ,” the statement ended and signed by the Vanuatu Prime Minister Sato Kilman.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Vanuatu Christian Council, Bishop James Ligo, told the Daily Post that the VCC accepts the decision by the MSG leaders in granting West Papua an Observer status in the MSG as a first step.
At the same time he questions the granting of Associate Member to Indonesia.
However, the VCC Chairman said, the VCC will continue to put pressure on the MSG for eventual full membership of West Papua under ULMWP into the MSG.

2) West Papuans given Melanesia bloc access, but not full membership

Updated about an hour ago

A coalition of West Papuan organisations has been accepted into a regional grouping of Melanesian countries but denied full membership.
The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) had applied to become a full member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). 
It had hoped membership would give it greater diplomatic recognition and focus more attention on human rights abuses committed by the Indonesian military and police. 
We might not be a full member of the MSG, but a door has opened to us. We will sit across a table from Indonesia as equal.
Octavianus Mote, secretary general of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua
The Melanesian Spearhead Group's members are Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and the French overseas territory of New Caledonia's independence movement FLNKS (Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et Socialiste).
It was formed in 1986 to support the decolonisation process and help regional liberation groups, but has since evolved into a regional body discussing trade and security issues.
The West Papuan representatives the MSG summit had an opportunity to put their views on their new status in the final plenary session.
Secretary general of the ULMWP, Octavianus Mote, put a positive spin on the development, saying the diplomatic recognition will help them to focus international attention on human rights abuses in the province.
Media player: "Space" to play, "M" to mute, "left" and "right" to seek.
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AUDIO: Melanesian Spearhead Group admitting West Papuan observers seen as positive (Pacific Beat)
"For 53 years we have endured the most severe human rights violations — torture, killing, disappearance, rape, arbitrary arrest and detention — that the lives of at least 500,000 people have been taken, women, children and men," he said.
"That is why today is so important to us.
"We might not be a full member of the MSG, but a door has opened to us. We will sit across a table from Indonesia as equal."
However, Indonesia's membership of the MSG was upgraded from observer status to associate membership, giving it a greater say in Melanesian politics than the West Papua grouping.

Discussions to begin in 'constructive manner'

Fiji's prime minister Frank Bainimarama, who had already put his view that Indonesia should be granted membership before the summit, said his vote was guided by "a number of overriding principles in approaching the West Papuan issue."

Jakarta took control of Papua, which forms half of the island of New Guinea, in 1963 from former colonial power the Netherlands.
A Papua New Guinea politician who has been very vocal in support of the West Papuan cause says the inclusion of both the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and the governors in the Melanesian Spearhead Group is a clever move.
Gary Juffa, governor of PNG's Oro province, says he doesn't trust Indonesia's motives, and believes that West Papua is a free nation under Indonesian occupation.
But he told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat program that at least all parties are now part of the MSG and that might encourage positive dialogue.
Media player: "Space" to play, "M" to mute, "left" and "right" to seek.
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AUDIO: Church lobby group disappointed with West Papuan MSG decision (Pacific Beat)
"It gives ULMP a little bit of what they want," he said.
"It's a foot in the doorway, so they aren't shut out, and that's good.
"It also recognises and accommodates Indonesia as a sovereign nation, as it is recognised by the rest of the world.
"Even though the manner in which they have acquired West Papua was illegal, they are still recognised as a sovereign state and West Papua is a territory of theirs."
Mr Juffa said there was always a need for dialogue and the MSG is a platform on which to have it.
Another strong West Papua supporter, Fiji's influential Methodist Church, believes the inclusion of both the ULMWP and Indonesia could turn out to be a positive one.
Reverend James Bhagwan, secretary for communication and overseas missions for the Methodist Church, said while there are clearly problems with the decision, it may lead to political progress for the West Papuans.
Mr Bhagwan said the church had long been concerned about human rights abuses in West Papua, and it remained a key concern.
"Will what has happened alleviate that, or bring those human rights violations to a close?" he said.
"Or open the door for MSG members to go in with a peace keeping force or some sort of support to assist the West Papuans, who are suffering."

3) MSG Leaders made a tough decision: PM

17:44 Today

Taken from/By: DEPTFO 
Report by: Ritika Pratap
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says one of the most testing choices faced by the Melanesian Spearhead Group this week was related to the issue of West Papua.
The MSG Leaders at their 20th Summit in Honiara, Solomon Islands have agreed to admit Indonesia as Associate Members of MSG and granted the United Liberation Movement for West Papua an observer status.
Bainimarama says Fiji has been guided by a number of overriding principles in approaching the West Papua issue.
He says the first and foremost of these is that Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua cannot be questioned as the province is an integral part of Indonesia.
Bainimarama says to deal with West Papua and its people, the MSG has no choice but to deal with Indonesia and in a positive and constructive manner.
He says MSG member countries are convinced that the best hope for improving the lives of the people of West Papua – is to work closely with the Indonesian Government.
Bainimarama says they are hopeful as time progresses, those West Papuans who are outside Indonesia can also become part of that engagement.
He says the United Liberation Movement for West Papua may be a disappointed as they hoped for full membership but the rules of membership made that impossible.
He says the ULMWP is not the sovereign power in West Papua as is an external, non government organization that may represent West Papuan interests and opinion.
Bainimarama says the MSG simply could not give it the status it desired without compromising a fundamental principal.
However he says the ULMWP should not to regard this as a defeat but an opportunity.

4) MSG grants West Papua observer status

13:07 Today

Taken from/By: DINFO
Report by: Ritika Pratap; Island Business
Indonesia through its five provincial governors in West Papua has been admitted as an associate member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Peter O’Neill said late Thursday.
In a break from tradition where announcement of the MSG Leaders decision is supposed to be made by its chair, host of the summit, Prime Minister Mannaseh Sogavare of Solomon Islands, O’Neill’s office announced that Indonesia is an associate member of the MSG and that the United Liberation Movement of West Papua has been granted observer status.
The decision was made at the 20th MSG Leaders summit in Honiara, Solomon Islands.
The ULMWP executives and secretariat welcomed the decision of the MSG leaders on behalf of the people of West Papua, describing it as a historic decision for West Papua.
The United Liberation Movement for West Papua applied for full membership at the instruction of the MSG leaders in 2013 and 2014.
ULMWP Secretary General Octovianus Mote says despite not getting full membership they welcome the decision of the leaders as it’s their first step to full political recognition.

5) Bainimarama commends Indonesian President
VUNIWAQA BOLA-BARI Saturday, June 27, 2015
Update: 5:51PM 
PRIME Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has commended the Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his government for the steps they are taking to improve conditions in West Papua for its Melanesian population.
Mr Bainimarama commended Mr Widodo and the Indonesian Government while addressing the Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting in Honiara, Solomon Islands yesterday.
He said it was incumbent on the MSG countries to support Mr Widodo in the effort and engage with Indonesia on West Papua in a positive and constructive manner.
"From Fiji's perspective, the best way to achieve this is to bring Indonesia closer into the workings of the MSG," he said.
While Indonesia has been elevated from observer status to associate member of the MSG, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua has been granted observer status at the group.

6) Islands in focus: Papuans  block airport over land  dispute 
The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Sat, June 27 2015, 8:47 AM - 

At least 15 residents from Ifar Besar village blockaded the runaway of Sentani Airport, Jayapura on Friday, demanding land compensation.

Led by Dilon Taime, the son of Apolos Taime, who owns the customary land in the area, the residents started to install bamboo poles at the end of runaway at 4 p.m. local time.

The residents left the runaway at about 4:45 p.m., Antara reported.

Papua Police Spokesman Sr. Comr. Patrige said the police had removed the blockage, which was caused by unsettled claims to be compensated for land. 


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