West Papuans: Melanesian Spearhead Group Failed Them

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ULMWP head questions elevation of Indonesia

By Aatai John

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, June 30, 2015) – The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) claimed that Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) failed their words when they elevated Indonesia to an associated member while granting ULMWP observer status.

This was revealed at the closing of the MSG 20th summit at the Heritage Park Conference Centre during a press conference with the West Papuan delegation.

Secretary General to ULMWP Octovianus Mote said, the MSG summit in Noumea (Kanaky) in 2013 had recognised West Papua for self determination, and at the special MSG leaders meeting in Port Moresby in 2014, which a criteria was set requiring West Papuans be united before they could be considered through an application for MSG membership.

"We want to know whether Indonesia government has followed the same process to apply for MSG membership or not?" Mote questioned.

He continued to say Indonesia never go through the MSG criteria of unification with the indigenous people of West Papua, a condition imposed on them but yet denied full membership in MSG.

"We were demanded to do a lot of things, which costs us lot of money to be fulfilled, but again we were denied and the Asians who never sought the consent of indigenous West Papuans to represents them were elevated in MSG,’’ he said.

"Why the process of applying here is so biased?" Mote asked. "Indonesia never collected signatures of their integrated region of West Papua, in order to represent the Melanesian people there," he added.

He further stated that ULMWP was elected by 500 delegates representing seven customary region of West Papua, and consisting of more than 257 tribes in July 2011.

Secretary General to ULMWP also stated that their unification was sponsored by the government and people of Vanuatu, the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs and Vanuatu Council of Churches.

He added the unification and reconciliation was facilitated by the Pacific Conference of Churches on December 2014.

"We were elected by representatives of the three largest West Papuan coalitions with broad based support from non-affiliated groups, including churches, traditional chiefs, youth and students, NGOs and women’s groups," Mote stated.

Mote further stated the argument raised by the PNG Prime Minister and the Fiji Prime Minister saying that their case is different from the Kanaks because they were fighting from outside does not reflected the truth about the real situation, he said.

[PIR editor’s note: Solomon Star reported that ‘The wind of change is here making it impossible for Melanesian leaders to ignore the significant growing support for West Papua, says Benny Wenda the spokesperson of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP). ... Wenda, who left the country yesterday told the media during ULMWP final press conference at the Heritage Park Conference centre that West Papua is a matter for the Melanesian and will always a regional issue for the pacific.’]

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