Friday, July 12, 2019

1) Winston Peters shows off drumming skills, delivers speech at Pacific Expo in Auckland

 2) Honorary Freedom of the City to be awarded to Benny Wenda
3) Jakarta ushering in new era in Pacific engagement - Marsudi

4) Indonesia's relationship with the Pacific 'fine' - Foreign Minister


1) Winston Peters shows off drumming skills, delivers speech at Pacific Expo in Auckland

Winston Peters helped open Pacific Exposition 2019 in Auckland today by showcasing his drumming skills, after giving a speech on New Zealand's role in the Pacific.
During his speech, Mr Peters told the audience of the importance of New Zealand's relationship with Indonesia, and of the Pacific diversity of the people that make up New Zealand's Parliament.
When asked if he would raise the issue of West Papua with the Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne at his meeting this afternoon, Mr Peters said New Zealand had ongoing dialogue with Indonesia on West Papua.

The Indonesian-ruled West Papua has been a contentious issue, with many from the area calling for independence from Indonesia, which has ruled it since the 1960s.
"Since 1969, that relationship between Indonesia and West Papua has been confirmed by the United Nations, and we have the same view as successive Governments in New Zealand, which have taken the view the appropriate authority is Indonesia," New Zealand’s Foreign Minister said today.
When asked about his view on the lack of West-Papua representation at the expo, Mr Peters said he was unable to answer why the Indonesians did not bring an independent West-Papuan.
"But of course it’s something we could raise in the future, so to speak. Our job is to ensure the economic, social and deal conditions of West Papuans are as good as anywhere else in the Pacific, or as good as they are in Papua New Guinea.
"Too often people are making criticisms without saying, ‘What in West Papua is inferior to PNG?’ – we need to answer that question rather than just make objective judgement."

2) Honorary Freedom of the City to be awarded to Benny Wenda
Oxford Cirty Council Published: Friday, 12th July 2019
Benny Wenda is to be awarded the Honorary Freedom of the City at a special meeting of the Full Council to be held in Oxford Town Hall, at 5pm on 17 July.
The Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor Craig Simmons said: "It is my great honour as Lord Mayor to both propose and award Honorary Freedom of the City to Benny Wenda. It is a well-deserved accolade for someone who sought asylum and sanctuary in Oxford and who, along with his family, is now contributing so much both locally and on the international stage."
Benny Wenda is an internationally-recognised diplomat and leader for the West Papua movement. Since being granted political asylum in the UK in 2002, Mr Wenda has fought tirelessly for West Papuan self-determination from his campaign headquarters in Oxford.
The Freedom is the highest honour the City of Oxford can bestow and is one of the oldest surviving traditional ceremonies still in existence. It is an honorary status only, with no other rights than to attend formal council meetings, such as Annual Council, and ceremonial occasions such as civic church services.
The Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor Craig Simmons, will propose the Conferment of the Honorary Freedom of the City on Benny Wenda. Councillor Richard Howlett will support the Conferment before it is put to Council for a vote. The Lord Mayor will present Benny Wenda with his Freedom of the City scroll.
Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of Oxford City Council said: “Ever since Benny Wenda made Oxford his home and base for campaigning for the people of West Papua, Oxford residents and the City Council have taken his cause for their own. We are delighted to give this honour to an Oxford resident who has campaigned so tirelessly on behalf of his people.”
Benny Wenda said: “I thank Oxford City Council and people of Oxford for their generosity and support in conveying this award. When I escaped from an Indonesian prison in West Papua in 2002, Oxford was one of the first places in the world that welcomed me and my family. I was given asylum in the UK and have made Oxford my home. Oxford was one of the first to hear the cry of the West Papuan people for justice, human rights and self-determination and this award shows that the people of Oxford are listening and responding. 
"The West Papuan people know that our struggle is not just an issue for West Papuans now, but has become an issue that has touched the hearts of thousands around the world. My journey has taken me here from the jungles of West Papua and the inside of an Indonesian prison cell. But until we are able to return to an independent West Papua, my family and I are not truly free. I thank the people of Oxford for all their assistance as we work to finish our long journey home.”
Mr Wenda settled in the city after reading Oxford-resident George Monbiot’s book ‘Poisoned Arrows’, which first brought to light the story of the tribal people of western New Guinea and described the Indonesian government's transmigration campaign to drive them off ancestral lands into poverty and starvation.
He has acted as special representative of the Papuan people in the UK Parliament, United Nations and European Parliament. In 2017 he was appointed Chairman for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), a new organisation uniting the three main political organisations struggling for the independence of West Papua.
Guests are invited to join the Lord Mayor of Oxford and councillors for a reception in the main hall following the meeting.

3) Jakarta ushering in new era in Pacific engagement - Marsudi

14 minutes ago 

Jakarta ushering in new era in Pacific engagement - Marsudi

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi Photo: AFP
Indonesia's Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi, says the country is ushering in "a new era" for Pacific engagement.
This week Indonesia is holding a major Pacific trade show in New Zealand, bringing together dozens of officials from across the region.
Indonesia was also signing cooperation agreements with Niue and Cook Islands on Friday
Ms Marsudi said Indonesia faces many of the same challenges as the Pacific, like the climate crisis.
"In facing all these challenges and in overcoming these threats and fears, let me assure you that Indonesia is your friend and we are all one family. Join me, we can meet those challenges by building a stronger, inclusive partnership that benefits us all."
Retno Marsudi said Indonesia's so-called "Pacific Elevation" will promote its shared trade and cultural links with the Pacific.

4) Indonesia's relationship with the Pacific 'fine' - Foreign Minister

12/07/2019  Melissa Davies Melissa Chan-Green Reddit 
Credits: Newshub.

A West Papuan human rights activist has questioned why Indonesia organised an expo for Pacific leaders to gather in Auckland on Friday.
But Indonesian officials say they feel very much part of the region and want to strengthen those ties. 
The Pacific Exposition comes amid ongoing violent conflict between the Indonesian administration and Papuans seeking independence, but Indonesia's Foreign Minister is adamant its relationship with the Pacific is rocking along fine. 
Speeches emphasised Indonesia's Pacific links, and leaders across the region, including Winston Peters, were also happy to bang that drum. 

Outside, a small group of protestors say they represent concerns that Indonesian officials organised the expo to try and control the narrative about its relationship with the Pacific.
"I think this is something Indonesia trying to make the issues not focussed on the human rights situation but more focussed on the economic development," activist Rosa Moiwend said.
West Papua was not an issue the Indonesian Ambassador wanted to discuss. 
"No we are not talking about politics here - we are talking about [the] economy, we are talking about tourism and we talk about investment," Indonesia ambassador Tantowi Yahwa said when questioned by Newshub.
There are high-level talks going on at the expo - with 17 ministers and more than 350 Government delegates from across the Pacific and Indonesia in attendance, including one from New Zealand.
We do have ideas and plans [on] how we can help Melanesia have a more comfortable relationship where Indonesia is concerned and we've got to work on that," New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters said. 
He said he will raise those plans behind closed doors.  


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