Friday, June 21, 2019

1) Melanesia group criticised for failure to look after its people

2) Opposition questions Fiji’s ties with Indonesia
3) Papua Stadium ready to hold PON 2020

1) Melanesia group criticised for failure to look after its people
The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) has come under attack for "neglecting the cries of its people, particularly in West Papua”.
5:25 pm today 

Fiji Opposition MP, Anare Jale, told Parliament's Budget debate this week the government's allocation of $FJ1.12 million to the regional group should be reduced by $120,000.
Mr Jale, who is shadow minister for foreign affairs, said the MSG has lost its way and intent, and has failed the people of Melanesia.
The MSG includes Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia's Kanaks.
Mr Jale said the MSG's role is to look after the interests of Melanesians in the region but he said the group has failed.
Foreign Affairs Minister Inia Seruiratu rejected Mr Jale's claims.
"We now have our trade agreements. We just need to strengthen the MSG and it's the leadership of the MSG that will make it work. And it was the leader of the Opposition that made Fiji join the MSG."
Mr Jale's motion to reduce contributions to the MSG was defeated along with his motion to remove the $FJ1.2m ($US560,000) allocation to the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF).
Mr Jale said the PIDF was a duplication of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) and there was no need for the budget allocation.
But Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the PIDF had given more opportunities to NGOs and civil societies in the region to participate in high-level discussions.
He said the PIDF also created more awareness on climate change.


2) Opposition questions Fiji’s ties with Indonesia

1:46 pm today  
Fiji's diplomatic relations with Indonesia have come under intense scrutiny in Parliament this week over human rights abuses in West Papua.

Opposition MP, Anare Jale, accused the Bainimarama government of turning its back on innocent West Papuans.
He told Parliament Jakarta has been put on notice for its treatment of West Papuans by Indonesian police and security forces.
"Serious human rights abuses have been taking place in West Papua and we have chosen to look the other way. How long can Fiji close her ears to the cries for freedom from our fellow Melanesians? It is blatantly obvious that Fiji has succumbed to Indonesia's cheque-book diplomacy - what a shame."
Anare Jale said his side of the house will continue to put pressure on both governments to "uphold and adhere fully to international human rights' principles".
The shadow foreign minister said the government has contradicted its recent commitment to the United Nations on championing human rights.
Mr Jale said it was also a shame that Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama was the vice chair of the UN human rights council yet was "unable to stop Indonesia's abuses on our Melanesian brothers and sisters in West Papua".
"The government of Indonesia, under the guise of sovereignty, has been using its military might to enslave and slaughter innocent West Papuans in their own land and country for standing up and demanding the right to be heard, and to govern themselves without oppression from Indonesia."
Mr Jale questioned the government's relationship with Jakarta whose "human rights record is one of the worst in the world."
In September last year, the opposition urged the UN Human Rights Commission to conduct an audit of the rights situation in Fiji considering Mr Bainimarama's bid for a seat on the council.
Then opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa said that since abrogating the constitution in 2009, the Fiji government has "established rule through draconian decrees that take control of people's lives, making a mockery of human rights there".
Also, in September 2018, Noah Kouback from Vanuatu's Permanent Mission told the UN of his government's concern about the enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention of West Papuans, in particular those speaking out about their claim to self-determination.
"Vanuatu condemns Indonesia's continued practice of arbitrary arrest and detention of indigenous Papuans exercising their internationally protected rights to freedom of expression and assembly," Mr Kouback told the UN council.
"Vanuatu notes with concern raised the working group on indigenous populations failure to respond to its request for a visit, so we call on Indonesia to allow the UN special mechanism to ... and to report on the systemic ongoing problem."
Indonesia has always denied that its police routinely abuse human rights and recently invited the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to send a team to visit the Papua region


Papua Stadium ready to hold PON 2020

5 hour ago

Jayapura (ANTARA) - The Papua Bangkit Stadium is fully built and ready to hold the National Sports Week (PON) 2020, though the venue of the competition, located in one complex, is yet under construction.

"Construction of the stadium is 100 percent complete and is replete with supporting facilities," Dwi Aji Wicaksono, manager in charge of construction of the Papua Stadium, remarked while delivering a presentation to Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi in Papua on Friday.

The stadium, to be used for the opening and closing of the four-year championship, has a seating capacity of 40 thousand and can be said to be the second-best Indonesian stadium after Gelora Bung Karno Senayan, Jakarta.

"Everything is built in accordance with international standards. The fields, grass, and lighting to the athletic track are all of international standard. We have also enabled access to the disabled," he stated.

Wicaksono noted that during this time, his side had continued to conduct maintenance of the stadium, which is a matter of pride for the Papuan people since a proposal for which had yet to be submitted to the provincial government. This stadium is expected to be used optimally.

Moreover, the stadium has an interesting design since it draws inspiration from the culture of the Papuan people. The stadium features a closed system and single seat arrangement. The pattern is almost similar to that of Bung Karno Stadium in Senayan, Jakarta.

The "Papua Bangkit Stadium", which is "Rising Papua Stadium" in English, lies on the edge of the road between Sentani and Jayapura, thereby making it easily accessible. The people of Jayapura have to travel 40 kilometers while for those from the city of Sentani, the distance is just 10 kilometers.

Meanwhile, Nahrawi expressed pride over the completion of construction of the Rising Papua Stadium that would become the largest sports center in the eastern region of Indonesia.

"This venue must be a source of inspiration for other provinces to emulate the same. This is the best after Senayan," he emphasized.

In addition, the Papua sports complex also has an aquatics arena and a multi-sport arena.Related news: Malaria center supports Papua welcoming PON 2020

Related news: West Papua receives award from Conservation International

Related news: German Ambassador Peter Schoof pays visit to Papua

Reporter: Bayu Kuncahyo, Eliswan Azly
Editor: Azizah Fitriyanti--

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