98 Organizations Support West Papua’s Inclusion In MSG

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MSG currently considering application by WPNCL

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 15, 2013) – 98 international and Pacific non-governmental organizations, academics, politicians and individuals have written to the leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) voicing support for the West Papuan application to join the MSG.

Those behind the letter - including organisations from Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, the Philippines, India and the USA - have welcomed the leadership of the MSG on the West Papua issue.

The MSG is considering a bid for membership in the group by the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation.

The grouping has also sought to engage more closely with Indonesia on human rights issues in West Papua.

However the letter describes a threat to the survival of the indigenous Melanesians of West Papua, through rapidly declining population and ongoing human rights abuses, including the denial of the right to self-determination.

The letter was written in solidarity with thousands of West Papuans who have demonstrated over the last year calling for support from their Melanesian neighbours to acknowledge their Melanesian identity and have West Papuans granted MSG membership.

A number of those demonstrations have been met with beatings and arrests by Indonesian security forces.

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