Monday, January 28, 2019

1) PNG civil society group wants change on Papua policy

2) UK Parliamentarians welcome handing-in of historic West Papuan People’s Petition


1) PNG civil society group wants change on Papua policy

18 minutes ago 

Civil society groups in Papua New Guinea are urging the government to speak out about violent conflict in the neighbouring Papua region of Indonesia.
This comes amid a recent escalation of conflict between the West Papua Liberation Army and Indonesian security forces in Papua's Central Highlands.

The chairman of PNG's Union For Free West Papua, Kenn Mondiai said Papua New Guineans are deeply concerned about the conflict but their government remains silent.
He said 1986's Treaty of Mutual Respect, Friendship and Co-operation with Indonesia restricts PNG from speaking out.
"At the political level government's hands are tied because of that 1986 treaty. But as Papua New Guinean and Melanesian civil society organisations, we Melanesians are sick and tired of the manner in which the Indonesian government and the Indonesian military and the police force, their brutality," Kenn Mondiai said.
Mr Mondiai said civil society wanted PNG's government to change it policy on West Papua to become more proactive in pushing for solutions across the border.
He said he was encouraged by PNG involvement in efforts by the Pacific Council of Churches to visit Indonesia, including Papua, to gauge the latest human rights situation.
However, PNG's Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato says his government is working to support the economic development approach that Jakarta is taking in Papua region as the best response to West Papuan issues.
Mr Pato recently said the two countries had been planning and implementing joint projects in their common border areas.
Meanwhile, the PNG Union For Free West Papua is assisting representatives the Liberation Army and Free West Papua Movement (OPM) in preparation for a planned press conference on Thursday in PNG's capital Port Moresby.

The representatives are expected to address the humanitarian crisis in the Central Highlands, and unveil the OPM's plans for proposed negotiations with Indonesia.
Indonesia's Political, Legal and Security Minister Wiranto recently told media that the government would not enter any discussions with the Army, who Jakarta describes as a criminal group.

2) UK Parliamentarians welcome handing-in of historic West Papuan People’s Petition

JANUARY 28, 2019
A group of UK parliamentarians in the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for West Papua have welcomed the handing-in of the historical West Papuan People’s Petition to the UN human rights chief. 
In a statement, the APPG said:
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on West Papua is overjoyed to hear that the West Papuan People’s Petition has been officially handed to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva with support from the Vanuatu government. The petition, signed by 70% of the Papuan population and calling for self-determination for the territory, was an arduous and heroic achievement of the West Papuan people. We hope the UN will now respond by fulfilling its historic duties to rectify the 1969 Act of Free Choice and allow West Papuans to freely determine their own future.
The petition hand-in comes at a time of great concern in West Papua, with chemical weapons reportedly deployed by the Indonesian military and a humanitarian crisis in Nduga. Thousands of Papuans have been internally displaced, and several have died. We call for the urgent removal of Indonesian security forces from the Nguda Regency and for Indonesia to allow humanitarian and monitoring agencies in to the area. 
In a meeting facilitated by the Vanuatu government on January 25, 2019, the Chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Benny Wenda, handed the self-determination petition – signed by 1.8 million Papuans in 2017 – to Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. 
The ULMWP will now target the UN General Assembly. 
Read Chairman Benny Wenda’s statement here.


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